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On The Case

On the Case Podcast: Episode three

Courting Change: Trump’s impact on the federal appellate courts

While all eyes are on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, this is far from the full story of Trump’s impact on the federal judiciary. In less than two years, Trump has appointed 26 judges to the 13 Courts of Appeals ’ a record pace. Reuters legal columnist Alison Frankel talks to Arthur Hellman, a law professor and expert on the federal courts, about Trump’s picks to the appellate bench and how his appointments could impact the balance of power of Democratic and Republican-appointed judges.  Listen 


1st Circuit: No class certification if you can’t weed out uninjured class members

In its Oct. 15 opinion in In re Asacol (2018 WL 4958856) the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals clarified its position on an issue that continues to cause much consternation among the federal appellate courts: Can trial judges certify class actions in which not every class member has suffered an injury? The 1st Circuit panel – Judges Sandra Lynch, William Kayatta and David Barron – sided with the 3rd, 5th and District of Columbia Circuits to hold that the predominance requirement in t

The attorney general attacks ‘judicial encroachment.’ Who’s his real audience?

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a fiery speech Monday night at the Heritage Foundation, the conservative think tank linked to President Trump’s rapid-fire appointment of conservative federal judges.

Chicago sues Sessions (again) over sanctuary policy, claims ‘bad faith’ evasion of injunction

The city of Chicago has already won a permanent injunction against the Justice Department's 2017 policy of conditioning certain law enforcement grants on compliance with the Trump administration’s immigration policies. Last July, U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber of Chicago granted summary judgment in Chicago’s suit against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, holding that DOJ’s attempt to force the city to abandon its so-called sanctuary policy was both unconstitutional and unlawful

New SCOTUS petition invites justices to kill off M&A shareholder suits in federal court

Over the past couple of years, as shareholder challenges to M&A transactions have migrated from Delaware Chancery Court to federal courts, judges have begun squirming about the legitimacy of these class actions. Just last month, for example, I told you about a decision in which U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin of Chicago said he has the inherent power to police mootness fees defendants have agreed to pay shareholders' lawyers – even when those shareholders' lawyers voluntarily dismi

Both sides want to settle class action. Judge says keep litigating. A First Amendment story?

U.S. District Judge William Alsup of San Francisco has developed a rigorous set of rules to ward off collusive class action settlements that benefit no one but plaintiffs' lawyers. As the judge explained in an order in a consumer class action against the computer peripherals company Logitech, he believes class members are best positioned to understand the value of their claims after they’ve conducted discovery and litigated a motion to be certified as a class. “That way, the class certification

Hedge funds step up to lead shareholder suit against Tesla

A pair of offshore hedge funds that claim to have lost more than $15 million to cover short positions in Tesla have asked for court approval to lead consolidated private securities fraud litigation against the carmaker.

In rare bipartisan move, 31 states ask SCOTUS to undo ban on consumer antitrust claims

America’s gaping political divide turns out to be bridgeable – at least when state politicians decide to rally around the cause of overturning U.S. Supreme Court precedent that protects monopolists from consumer suits.

Stay tuned: Fight to lead local TV ad price-fixing MDL is coming right up

There’s absolutely no doubt that the hottest securities class action of the moment is the shareholder fraud case against Tesla over Elon Musk’s infamous $20 million tweet, in which investors have until Tuesday at midnight to file a claim to lead the case. There will undoubtedly be no shortage of candidates, given that plaintiffs’ lawyers have been publicly asserting billion-dollar exposure for Tesla.

Defense group argues new MDL stats prove need to change rules for mass torts

The defense group Lawyers for Civil Justice has just released new statistics about the concentration of products liability cases in multidistrict litigation. According to the study, which is based on 2017 data from the U.S. Courts and the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, cases consolidated in MDLs comprised 46.7 percent of the civil docket before U.S. district judges in 2017 – 124,202 cases in 256 MDLs.

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