Imagine you are an investor and you decide to file a lawsuit after a company that you invest in suffers a stock drop. When you get to the courthouse, you find that you are the first person to file a federal securities class action on these facts. However, because of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA), the district court chooses another party to be “lead plaintiff” in the litigation. Under the control of that lead plaintiff, the court dismisses the case prior to class certification, and you want to appeal that decision. Do you have standing? Your name is in the case caption for the active complaint. You were, in fact, the very first plaintiff in this action. But you aren’t the lead plaintiff anymore.
Counsel for public companies—it may be time to take another look at your litigation disclosures. A recent federal district court opinion held that one company’s use of the phrase “without merit” to describe ongoing litigation in its public filings could give rise to federal securities fraud claims. The ruling serves as the latest admonition to exercise care in crafting litigation disclosures.
Parties to an arbitration agreement sometimes choose to include a delegation clause, which is a provision that delegates to the arbitrator—rather than a court—gateway questions of arbitrability, such as whether the agreement covers a particular controversy or whether the arbitration provision is enforceable at all. See Caremark LLC v. Chickasaw Nation.
In Holley-Gallegly v. TA Operating, LLC, the Ninth Circuit recently reinforced the Supreme Court’s decade-old distinction between the analysis needed to determine whether a dispute is subject to arbitration on the one hand, and whether an arbitrator has been legally delegated the authority to make that threshold determination on the other. The decision provides important lessons to practitioners litigating disputes regarding the enforceability of delegation clauses.
Defendants on the losing side of a class certification order were recently provided with a roadmap of how to challenge a district court’s analysis on appeal.
On April 12, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit vacated and remanded a district court’s class certification order because it failed to “rigorously analyze” the prerequisites to certify a class under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. The appellate court held that the district court abused its discretion by failing to “go beyond the pleadings” – in other words, the plaintiffs’ allegations – in its analysis.
Earlier this year, we reported on the potential breeding ground for litigation under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”). A recent decision from an Illinois state appellate panel on the different limitations periods that apply to BIPA provides guidance for companies faced with a BIPA lawsuit and the arguments they can make on a motion to dismiss.
On March 30, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether a damages class action, is permitted by Article III of the Constitution or Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure where the majority of the class has suffered no actual injury. Notably, this is the first time the Supreme Court will apply the rulings of Spokeo, which held that a plaintiff “cannot satisfy the demands of Article III by alleging a bare procedural violation,” to an entire class. The Supreme Court’s forthcoming decision will have significant implications on defenses to class actions, and could possibly expand liability for companies most often entangled in class actions with plaintiffs that have tenuous claims based only on statutorily created rights of action.
A recent Ninth Circuit decision centered on something most consumers use many times every day: smartphone apps.