Class Actions: The Law of 50 States

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Thomas A. Dickerson

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“State and federal court class action practitioners alike will find Class Actions: The Law of 50 States to be an invaluable reference tool.”  —Class Action Reports

Class Actions: The Law of 50 States is an up-to-date step-by-step guide to: identifying a potential class action; determining ex parte class certification; conducting pre-certification discovery; selecting a proper class representative; preparing pleadings and pre-certification motion papers; responding to motions and counterclaims; fulfilling requirements for class certification; delivering timely and proper notice to class members; pursuing the case through discovery and trial, or settling the case and winning the court's approval; and satisfying the rigorous guidelines governing fee awards.

This comprehensive resource analyzes the effect of the Supreme Courts decision in Rent-A-Center v. Jackson in future class action cases. The advantages and disadvantages of noncash settlements and suggestions for avoiding problems with class counsel fees are discussed. Also featured is an explanation of settlement stipulations, aggregation and distribution of settlement coupons and cy pres settlements.

Book #00606; looseleaf, one volume, 961 pages; published in 1988, updated as needed; no additional charge for updates during your subscription. Looseleaf print subscribers receive supplements. The online edition is updated automatically. ISBN: 978-1-58852-045-6

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  • Availability: Available
  • Brand: Law Journal Press
  • Product Type: Books
  • Edition: 0
  • Page Count: 961
  • ISBN: 978-1-58852-045-6
  • Pub#/SKU#: 606
  • Volume(s): 1

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  • Thomas A. Dickerson
Judge Dickerson is an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department of the New York State Supreme Court, and the author of over 280 legal articles in the areas of consumer law, tax certiorari, travel law and class actions. He is the author of both Class Actions: The Law of 50 States and Travel Law published by Law Journal Press®.

Background to Class Action Litigation

§ 1.01 The Nature and Purpose of the Class Action
[1] The Basic Elements of a Class Action
[2] Purpose
§ 1.02 Historical Origins
[1] The English Courts of Equity
[2] United States Federal Courts
[3] State Courts
§ 1.03 Recognizing and Analyzing Potential Class Action Litigation
§ 1.04 Rules, Guidelines and Interpretations
[1] Federal Rule 23
[2] The Uniform Law Commissioners’ Model Class Actions Rule
[3] State Class Action Rules

Selecting a Proper Class Representative

§ 2.01 Individual Standing
[1] Plaintiff Class Actions
[2] Defendant Class Actions
§ 2.02 Representative Standing
[1] Practical Considerations
[2] Typical Claims
[3] Differing Damage Claims and the Effect on Typicality
[4] Typicality and Common Law Fraud Actions

The Complaint

§ 3.01 Basic Pleadings
[1] The Case Caption
[2] Identifying the Named Parties and the Nature of the Action
[3] Identifying the Class
[4] Preliminary Statement
[5] Damages
§ 3.02 Pleading Specific Causes of Action
[1] Breach of Contract and Express Warranty
[2] Common Law Fraud
[3] Consumer Protection Statutes
[4] Breach of Fiduciary Duty
[5] Unjust Enrichment
[6] Negligence

Pre-Class Certification Litigation Practice

§ 4.01 In General
§ 4.02 The Preliminary Conference and the Answer to the Complaint
[1] The Preliminary Conference
[2] The Answer
[3] Recusal and Disqualification of Class or Defendant’s Counsel
§ 4.03 Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss
[1] Failure to State a Claim
[2] Pleading Deficiencies
[3] Lack of Jurisdiction
[4] Standing
[5] Mandatory Arbitration Clauses 
[6] Striking Class Allegations
[7] Removal of State Court Class Actions to Federal Court and Remand Back
[8] Competing Class Actions
[9] Plaintiffs’ Motion to Strike Class Allegations
§ 4.04 Motions for Summary Judgment
[1] Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment
[2] Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment or Preliminary Relief
§ 4.05 Destruction of Records
§ 4.06 Communicating with the Class Representative or with Potential and Actual Class Members
[1] Offers to the Class Representative and “Pick Off” Cases
[2] Court Control of Communications with Class Members
§ 4.07 Pre-Certification Discovery
[1] Discovery of Plaintiffs
[2] Discovery of Defendants
§ 4.08 Counterclaims
§ 4.09 Lawsuits and Sanctions Against Class Representatives and Class Members, Defendants and Their Attorneys

Procedural Aspects of the Motion for Class Certification and Appeals

§ 5.01 Issues Before the Court
[1] Burden of Proof
[2] Status Prior to Class Certification
§ 5.02 The Timing and the Format of the Certification Motion
[1] Timing
[2] Format
§ 5.03 Appeals of Certification Orders

Requirements for Class Action Certification

§ 6.01 Basic Considerations
§ 6.02 Class Identification
§ 6.03 Numerosity
§ 6.04 Common Questions of Law and Fact
[1] Predominance
[2] Differing Damages
[3] Breach of Contract
[4] Breach of Warranty
[5] Common Law Fraud
[6] Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices
[7] Breach of Fiduciary Duty
[8] Negligence
[9] Mass Torts
[10] Violation of State and Federal Statutes
[11] Declaratory Judgments and Injunctive Relief
[12] State Civil RICO Claims
§ 6.05 Typicality of Claims and Adequacy of Representation
[1] Typicality
[2] Adequacy of Representation
§ 6.06 Superiority of the Class Action Device
[1] Collateral Estoppel
[2] Mandatory Arbitration
§ 6.07 Manageability
[1] De Minimis Damages
[2] Fluid Recovery and Cy Pres Concepts
[3] Jurisdiction Over Non-Residents
[4] Improper Venue and Forum Non Conveniens
[5] Choice of Law Considerations
[6] Limiting Class Actions to One State
[7] Trial Plans
§ 6.08 Consideration of the Merits
§ 6.09 Selection of Lead Class Action Counsel
[1] The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
[2] Fee Auctions
[3] Race and Gender Diversity
[4] Intervention and Substitution
§ 6.10 Modification, Decertification and Recertification
§ 6.11 Sanctions Against Class Action Attorneys

Notice of the Action to Class Members

§ 7.01 Supreme Court Guidelines
§ 7.02 State Practice
[1] The Timing of the Notice
[2] Mandatory vs. Discretionary Notice
[3] Contents of the Notice
[4] Methods of Notice
[5] Cost of Notice

Discovery and Trial

§ 8.01 Preparing for Trial
§ 8.02 Discovery
[1] Discovery by Plaintiffs
[2] Discovery by Defendants
§ 8.03 Trial of the Class Action
[1] Bifurcation and Subclassing
[2] Representative Proof
[3] Using Class Members as Witnesses
[4] Inferences, Circumstantial Evidence and Jury Instruction


§ 9.01 Settling Class Actions
§ 9.02 Approval of the Court
[1] In General
[2] The Court as Guardian of the Class
§ 9.03 Settlement Procedures
[1] Stipulation of Settlement
[2] Preliminary Court Approval
[3] Notice of the Proposed Settlement
[4] The Settlement Hearing
[5] Finality, Collateral Attacks and Injunctions

Costs and Attorneys’ Fees

§ 10.01 Introduction
§ 10.02 Fees Based on a Percentage of Recovery
[1] Criticism of the Lodestar Method
[2] Attorneys’ Fees in Coupon Claims-Made and Non-Cash Settlements
[3] Common Fund Fees Based Upon Benefits Generated for Opt-Outs and Other Non-Class Beneficiaries
[4] Interim Fee Awards
§ 10.03 The Lodestar Approach to the Payment of Fees
[1] Policy Considerations
[2] Time and Costs Records
[3] Establishing Beneficial Hours and Expenses
[4] Establishing the Hourly Rate
[5] Lodestar Computation
[6] Augmentation of the Lodestar
[7] Responsibility for Payment
[8] Fee Disputes
[9] Incentive Awards
§ 10.04 Applying for the Fee and Notifying the Class
[1] The Time of Filing the Application
[2] Disclosure of Fee Sharing Arrangements
[3] Notice to the Class
[4] The Final Fee Application
[5] Incentive Awards and Objectors’ Counsels’ Fees
[6] Collateral Attack on Settlements and Awards of Class Counsel’s Fees and Costs
[7] Litigation Loans