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Comments sought on proposed changes to federal class action rule

Jessica Karmasek Nov. 14, 2016, 1:33pm

Civil Rule 23, which governs class action lawsuits, has been amended four times since its adoption in 1934. Most recently, it was revised in 2003.

Non-profit group pushes Congress to stop new labor rules, including DOL’s potentially costly fiduciary rule

Jessica Karmasek Nov. 14, 2016, 8:36am

Those within the financial services community seem hopeful, with Donald Trump’s presidential win Tuesday, that the U.S. Department of Labor’s conflicts of interest rule is in play.

Groups want Third Circuit to enforce Flonase class action settlement against Louisiana AG

Jessica Karmasek Nov. 7, 2016, 2:54pm

The Washington Legal Foundation is among those calling on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to overturn a Pennsylvania federal court’s decision that, they argue, would undermine class-wide settlements by permitting plaintiff states to file copycat lawsuits despite benefiting from a settlement.

Group claims Illinois AG is trying to stymie its early voting program to help father, fellow Democrats

Jessica Karmasek Nov. 7, 2016, 8:29am

A spokeswoman for Attorney General Lisa Madigan said the office received a number of complaints regarding vote-by-mail ballot applications.

Dallas asbestos firm argues it hasn’t failed to obey federal judge’s orders

Jessica Karmasek Nov. 4, 2016, 10:04am

Judge Consuelo B. Marshall for the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California issued a one-page order last week, asking Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett PC to show cause why its case against John Crane Inc. over the company’s allegations of racketeering shouldn’t be dismissed for failure to prosecute.

Asbestos firm's political donations draw attention as trial lawyers eye Democratic Senate

Jessica Karmasek Nov. 3, 2016, 10:08am

BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - As trial lawyers seek a Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate, as well as a Democratic president, a major asbestos firm in Massachusetts is catching flak for doling out bonuses to its attorneys that match their contributions to various political campaigns -- mostly Democratic.

State AGs ask U.S. SC to review lawyer payout in class action settlement

Jessica Karmasek Oct. 28, 2016, 10:29am

The original dispute involved allegations of consumer fraud over gym membership contracts with fitness club company Global Fitness Holdings LLC. In particular, plaintiffs alleged that between 2006 and 2012, the company sold memberships and incorrectly charged fees pertaining to cancellation, facility maintenance and personal-training contracts.

Hillary-supporting trial lawyer says she's up for 'dream job' at Clinton White House

Jessica Karmasek Oct. 28, 2016, 9:31am

LAS VEGAS (Legal Newsline) - Last week, at the largest gathering of mass torts plaintiffs attorneys in the nation, prominent Dallas attorney Lisa Blue Baron announced she is interviewing for her “dream job” at the White House as a member of a panel that would help vet federal judges.

Federal judge approves $14.7 billion settlement in Volkswagen emissions class actions

Jessica Karmasek Oct. 27, 2016, 11:04am

Under the settlement, the German automaker is required to spend up to $10 billion on vehicle buybacks and owner compensation. It also must pay $2.7 billion into a trust to support environmental programs and reduce emissions, and spend an additional $2 billion on investments and promotion of zero emissions vehicles.

Sixth Circuit denies rehearing in Nationwide data breach class actions

Jessica Karmasek Oct. 25, 2016, 11:23am

Nationwide Insurance filed a motion for rehearing en banc, or a rehearing by the full court, after a majority of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit sided with the plaintiffs last month, saying it would be “unreasonable” to expect customers to wait for “actual misuse.”

New to the U.S., litigation funding company commits more than $1.5 million to class action against Chevron

Jessica Karmasek Oct. 24, 2016, 9:12am

According to a copy of the litigation funding agreement, Therium Litigation Funding IC currently has $1.7 million invested in the class action lawsuit against the oil giant. Judge Susan Illston of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted Chevron Corp.’s motion in August, requiring the agreement be released.

Consolidated complaint filed in securities fraud class action against diagnostics company Alere

Jessica Karmasek Oct. 20, 2016, 1:22pm

The plaintiffs in the proposed class action, originally filed in a Massachusetts federal court in April, argue they purchased Alere Inc. common stock and suffered damages as a result of the company’s alleged federal securities law violations and false and/or misleading statements and/or material omissions amid a failed merger with Abbott Laboratories Inc.

Bentham legal counsel: Judge’s ruling on funding agreement ‘right,’ but reaction overblown

Jessica Karmasek Oct. 19, 2016, 3:42pm

In August, Judge Susan Illston of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted Chevron Corp.’s motion requiring plaintiff Natta Iyela Gbarabe to produce his funding agreement. The plaintiff filed a proposed class action against the oil giant over a January 2012 gas explosion off the coast of Nigeria.

Eleventh Circuit confirms U.S SC’s Spokeo ruling on standing, concrete harm

Jessica Karmasek Oct. 19, 2016, 3:41pm

The federal appeals court, in a ruling this month, said where a plaintiff brings a lawsuit based only on alleged statutory violation, he or or she must, to establish standing, allege a concrete harm.

Deadlines pushed back in $30 million Wells Fargo settlement to avoid additional costs

Jessica Karmasek Oct. 18, 2016, 12:02pm

The settlement, reached over alleged violations of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, was preliminarily approved by Judge Richard Story of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in August.

Seattle law firm looks to file class action over Samsung Note 7 smartphones

Jessica Karmasek Oct. 14, 2016, 12:02pm

Keller Rohrback LLP has been investigating Samsung’s recent recall of the newly launched Note 7 for the last month. The smartphones pose a safety risk, the firm said in a press release, reportedly catching fire and exploding while charging.

Christian financial services organization sues U.S. DOL over its fiduciary rule

Jessica Karmasek Oct. 13, 2016, 12:56pm

Minneapolis-based Thrivent Financial for Lutherans argues the new rule, which, among other things, redefines the term fiduciaries, would subject it to penalties under federal law and would force it to agree contractually with its customers that they could participate in class actions against the organization.

Attorney: U.S. SC ruling on ‘pick off’ defense doesn’t change much for TCPA class actions

Jessica Karmasek Oct. 12, 2016, 9:14am

Henry Pietrkowski, an attorney at the Chicago office of Reed Smith LLP, admitted the court’s Gomez decision isn’t a great one for TCPA defendants, but said the ruling did leave a narrow opening for their attorneys.

Class action lawsuit filed against PepsiCo over its Naked Juices; company calls claims ‘baseless’

Jessica Karmasek Oct. 11, 2016, 12:45pm

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed last week in a New York federal court, claim the company’s supposedly healthier beverages actually consist of “cheaper and less nutritious ingredients” like apple and orange juices.

Plaintiffs attorney: U.S. SC decision won’t stop companies from finding ways to head off class actions

Jessica Karmasek Oct. 3, 2016, 9:42am

Attorney David Stein, who often represents consumers in complex consumer protection and financial fraud cases against Fortune 100 companies, said in a lot of cases, voluntary reimbursement or relief is not enough for plaintiffs.