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Patrick T. Ryan is co-chair of the Appellate Litigation practice of Montgomery McCracken and is a member of the firm’s Class Action Defense practice group. His practice emphasizes commercial litigation, antitrust matters, the defense of professional liability claims, and business litigation involving claims asserted under the federal RICO statute.
Mar 23

Supreme Court Says Plaintiffs in Class and Collective Actions Can Sometimes Use Averages and Representative Samples to Prove Elements of Their Case

The Supreme Court decided yesterday, in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, No. 14-1146, 2016 WL 1092414 (U.S. Mar. 22, 2016), that the named plaintiffs in a wage-and-hours case could use an expert’s calculation of the average time a representative sample of workers took to put… Read More

Mar 02

Food Labeling Litigation in 2016: The Sun Never Sets

This past September, I blogged about the brewing battle over Vermont’s controversial GMO labeling law (“Act 120”), which was approved May 8, 2014 and is scheduled to take effect July 1, 2016. Since then, not only has the Vermont GE controversy taken on national and constitutional… Read More

Feb 22

New York Court Rejects Defendants’ Attempt to Moot Class Plaintiffs’ Claims By Depositing Funds With the Court

A federal district court judge in New York has denied a request by the defendants in a putative class action to deposit funds with the Clerk of Court in the amount of the defendants’ Rule 68 offer of judgment ($400) – an amount the defendants… Read More

Jan 27

Third Circuit Holds Courts, Not Arbitrators, Decide if Class-Wide Arbitration is Authorized, Even if Arbitration Agreement Invokes AAA Rules

The Third Circuit began the New Year by ruling that courts, not arbitrators, decide whether an arbitration agreement authorizes class-wide arbitration, even if the agreement invokes American Arbitration Association rules.  Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC v. Scout Petroleum, LLC, — F.3d —, 2016 WL 53860 (3d Cir.… Read More

Jan 22

Supreme Court Says Offers of Individual Settlement or Judgment Don’t Moot Class Actions

It turns out you can’t get rid of a putative class action by offering complete individual relief to a named plaintiff. In Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, 2016 WL 228345 (U.S. Jan. 20, 2016), the Supreme Court took up the question whether “an unaccepted offer to… Read More

Jan 21

Microsoft Wins Supreme Court Review of Class Certification Appeal Issue

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court granted Microsoft’s petition for a writ of certiorari and agreed to decide whether class action plaintiffs can dismiss their individual cases with prejudice after class certification is denied and nonetheless appeal the class certification ruling without first going to… Read More

Dec 15

United States Supreme Court Rejects California Appellate Court’s Refusal to Enforce Arbitration Provision

The United States Supreme Court has reversed a California appellate court’s refusal to enforce an arbitration provision in a contract, concluding that the court’s decision is incompatible with the Federal Arbitration Act and prior Supreme Court precedent. The case, DirecTV, Inc. v. Imburgia, __ S.… Read More

Aug 12

Ascertainability in Flux: Who’s in and who’s out

A recent decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals signals a growing divide among the circuits over the “ascertainability” question in class actions. In Mullins v. Direct Digital, LLC, No. 15-1776, — F.3d —, 2015 WL 4546159, at *1 (7th Cir. July 28, 2015),… Read More

Jun 09

Supreme Court Will Hear Case Where Defendant Says Lax Class Certification Standards Allowed the Use of Averages and an Improper “Trial by Formula”

The Supreme Court granted cert. yesterday in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, No. 14-1146 (U.S. June 8, 2015), a case that raises important issues on how class and collective actions are certified and adjudicated—and may allow the Court to provide further guidance on questions it… Read More

Apr 30

Did The Ninth Circuit Just Give Plaintiffs—But Not Defendants—An Automatic Appeal From Class Certification Orders?

Don’t miss Microsoft’s in-house counsel Tim Fielden’s post on two important new Ninth Circuit decisions that permitted class action plaintiffs to dismiss their cases voluntarily and then appeal adverse class certification orders without first taking their individual cases to trial and securing a final judgment.… Read More