Supreme Court 'taxing' class-action cases by delay, says opponent

Legal News Line Mar. 5, 2007, 8:49am

A Texas-based legal observer and class-action proponent has slammed last Friday's Supreme Court decision in a long-running class-action suit trial. Barry Barnett, writing in today's Blawgletter, criticized the Supreme Court for decertifying a class of plaintiffs in an insurance suit that was first heard in 1999. The certification order was affirmed by the Court of Appeals in 2003. Barnett also pointed out that it took the Supreme Court two years and four months two deliver a verdict in the review of Citizens Insurance Co. vs. Daccach (no. 03-0505). That decision means the case will now recommence "the ponderous climb through the wonderland of an interlocutory appeal," he wrote. The Supreme Court ruled that that the classification certified first by the trial court and then affirmed by the Court of Appeals failed to meet four different standards (see Friday's LegalNewsLine). The Texas Supreme Court has been "almost monomaniacal in creating ever more stringent requirements for class treatment", he notes. "The Supreme Court continues to tax class cases with the delays and uncertainties of interlocutory review," he wrote. Quoting long-ago Texas Chief Justice John Marshall, Barnett concluded: "The power to tax involves the power to destroy."

More News