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Class Action Lawsuits: A Legal Overview for the 115th Congress

Description: This report serves as a primer on class action litigation in the federal courts. It begins by discussing the purpose of class actions, as well as the risks class actions may pose to defendants, class members, and society at large. The report also discusses the prerequisites that a class action must satisfy before a court may "certify" it--that is, before a federal court may allow a case to proceed as a class action. An Appendix to the report also contains a reference chart that graphically illustrates those prerequisites for class certification. The report then discusses Rule 23's restrictions on the parties' ability to settle a certified class action. The report concludes by identifying ways in which Congress could modify the legal framework governing class actions if it were so inclined, with a particular focus on a bill currently pending in the 115th Congress that would effectuate a variety of changes to the class action system.
Date: April 11, 2018
Creator: Lewis, Kevin M. & Freeman, Wilson C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Civil Pleading Requirements After Bell Atlantic Corporation v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal

Description: This report discusses the U.S. Supreme Court 2007 and 2009 decisions, Bell Atlantic Corporation v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, governing whether a civil complaint filed in federal court will survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.
Date: July 1, 2010
Creator: Barbour, Emily C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Class Actions and Proposed Reform in the 108th Congress: Class Action Fairness Act of 2003

Description: The report discusses the consumer class action bill of rights in each proposal contains safeguards which provide for judicial scrutiny of coupon and other non-cash settlements, protection against a proposed settlement that would result in a net loss to a class member, protection against discrimination based upon geographic location, and prohibition on a class representative receiving a greater share of the award.
Date: June 23, 2003
Creator: Wallace, Paul Starett, Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Class Actions and Proposed Reform in the 107th Congress: Class Action Fairness Act of 2002

Description: This report discusses the Class Action Fairness Act of 2002. The bill reflects a preference for class actions to be adjudicated in federal courts and would enlarge U.S. district courts original jurisdiction over class actions with claims aggregating $2,000,000 or more (even if each of the members of the class had not sustained damages in excess of $75,000 as is now required).
Date: March 12, 2002
Creator: Wallace, Paul Starett, Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Suing Subway: When Does a Class Action Settlement Benefit Only the Lawyers

Description: This report explores the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit's "Subway" ruling which rejected a proposed settlement of a class-action suit brought against Subway for falsely advertising the length of their sandwiches; the settlement required them to inspect sandwich lengths and pay the plaintiff's attorney fees, but it only benefited the lawyers and not consumers. The report discusses the case's broader significance to class action litigation, tort reform, and consumer rights.
Date: December 12, 2017
Creator: Lewis, Kevin M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Securities Fraud Class Action Certification: Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc.

Description: This report discusses requirements for securities fraud class action certification. The report also specifically examines each of the decisions made in the Halliburton cases, which proceeded through two complete rounds in federal district court, court of appeals, and the Supreme Court.
Date: August 15, 2014
Creator: Seitzinger, Michael V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Class Actions are Back at the Supreme Court: Statutory Time Limits and "Serial Relitigation" of Class Certification

Description: This report discusses the the Supreme Court case of "China Agritech v. Rush" which concerns whether a plaintiff in a failed class action suit can sue again individually even if they would have normally been barred from doing so by the statute of limitations. The report explores the history behind the existing rules that apply with respect to statutes of limitations and class actions (the American Pipe rule), before discussing the specifics of China Agritech and the importance of the case for Congress.
Date: March 12, 2018
Creator: Freeman, Wilson C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Attorneys' Fees in the State Tobacco Litigation Cases

Description: In the past few years, many states have filed complaints against the tobacco industry in state court to recover Medicaid costs paid by the states to treat their citizens for tobacco related illnesses. The states are also attempting to recover other damages, such as punitive damages, against the tobacco industry. For various reasons, the states have hired private attorneys to assist the state Attorneys General in prosecuting these cases. In most cases, the retention of private counsel has included a fee agreement specifying the amount of compensation that these attorneys will receive for their services. These agreements are not uniform among the states, but most tend to provide some form of contingency fee arrangement. Some of these states have developed a sliding scale contingency fee schedule which varies with the amount of time spent on the litigation and whether a trial has begun. This report briefly summarizes the different fee agreements that the states have with private counsel.
Date: September 23, 1997
Creator: Contrubis, John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department