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Class Actions


Overview

Carlton Fields’ class action practice team of more than 70 lawyers handles complex class actions throughout the country, at every state and federal court level, including the U.S. Supreme Court. We have defended hundreds of high-exposure class actions across a range of substantive areas, including financial services, insurance, consumer fraud, health care, real estate, antitrust, securities, product liability, toxic tort, telecommunications, tax, construction, and employment. We are familiar with virtually every issue class actions present, including the standards for class certification and strategies for defeating it, challenges to standing, jurisdiction and venue, removal, dismissal, summary judgment, arbitration, settlement administration, MDL proceedings, and joinder of parties.

Our firm also has a deep understanding of the legal doctrines and laws that have particular impact on the financial services and insurance industries, including the filed-rate and form doctrines, primary jurisdiction, the McCarran-Ferguson Act, the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, and the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act. Additionally, we regularly litigate removal and settlement issues related to the Class Action Fairness Act.
 
Early Case Assessment

The early evaluation of class action litigation is critical to efficient case planning as well as risk management. Our class action attorneys work closely with our clients to assess not only the strengths and weaknesses of the case but also to craft a litigation plan to reduce exposure and identify a set of shared objectives.

Tailored Strategies

For some clients, a vigorous challenge to class certification is critical. Others prefer strategic settlement. Still others wish us to try their cases and, if necessary, pursue appeals. In each situation, we help clients achieve their business objectives and litigation goals.
 
Case Management

We are frequently retained to manage or coordinate a client’s overall institutional response to multiple jurisdiction, parallel class actions, or multidistrict litigation. The skills of our class action team are supplemented by our firsthand knowledge of the risks peculiar to various jurisdictions and our significant experience in selecting and teaming with local trial counsel as appropriate.
 
Firmwide Resources

Our national class action defense practice team works closely with firm colleagues who focus on particular issues that arise in class action lawsuit defense. For example, they collaborate with our e-discovery team to formulate cutting-edge strategies that address the growing challenges raised by electronically stored information. They also receive crucial support from the firm’s appellate lawyers, who work alongside them before and during trial to develop the best possible record and, if necessary, to prevail on appeal.

Thought Leadership

  • The firm conducts and publishes an annual national Class Action Survey, which details best practices for reducing class action costs and managing their risks. The survey draws on more than 300 in-depth interviews each year with general counsel and senior legal officers at leading companies of every size.
  • Our class action lawyers contribute frequent posts to our blog, Classified, which features case summaries and links to class action-related news.
  • We write and speak often on class action defense issues and trends, and have presented to clients and counsel across North America.

Experience

Carlton Fields has litigated and counseled clients in hundreds of class actions for more than 30 years in federal and state courts across the nation.

Search our interactive Class Actions Experience Map by region, federal courts, state courts, keyword, and industry.

 

All Insights

Carlton Fields Defends Transamerica in Putative Class Action Involving Long-Term Care Insurance

Carlton Fields Defends Transamerica in Putative Class Action Involving Long-Term Care Insurance

May 10, 2019

The judgment was an appropriate and significant win for the insurance industry.

Food for Thought: A Review of 2018 Litigation

Food for Thought: A Review of 2018 Litigation

April 9, 2019

Food for Thought is a review of significant court decisions affecting the food, beverage, dietary supplements and personal care products industry. Although many cases in this edition focus on class certification, others relate to summary judgment.

Be Prepared for the Next Wave of Biometric Data Laws: Five Tips for Businesses

Be Prepared for the Next Wave of Biometric Data Laws: Five Tips for Businesses

March 20, 2019

Advancements in technology have made it possible for more companies to use biometric data to streamline their business, improve security and workplace efficiency, and offer new services and features to customers.

Class Certification Denied in Suitability Class Action

Class Certification Denied in Suitability Class Action

December 18, 2018

The Southern District of New York recently declined to certify a class in a suit relating to investments in certain closed-end mutual funds, holding that individual questions overwhelmed the class-wide questions in contravention of the typicality and predominance requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23.

 Food for Thought: Does Cheez-It Decision Establish a Concerning Precedent for Packaged-Food Makers?

Food for Thought: Does Cheez-It Decision Establish a Concerning Precedent for Packaged-Food Makers?

December 11, 2018

In its newest opinion addressing class action claims related to allegedly misleading labels, the Second Circuit Court of Appeal vacated a decision from the Eastern District of New York granting the defendant’s motion to dismiss – effectively validating the claims for deceptive advertising.

Food for Thought: Ninth Circuit Reverses Dismissal of Putative Class Action Alleging Misleading Label on Kroger Bread Crumbs

Food for Thought: Ninth Circuit Reverses Dismissal of Putative Class Action Alleging Misleading Label on Kroger Bread Crumbs

October 14, 2018

In Hawkins v. The Kroger Company, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s dismissal of the plaintiff’s putative class action alleging that the defendant, The Kroger Company, sold Kroger Bread Crumbs with packaging that included misleading labels.

Food for Thought: Plaintiff’s Claim Still Has Some Muscle – Ninth Circuit Reverses Class Action Against Protein Powder Manufacturer Alleging Source of Protein Was Misrepresented

Food for Thought: Plaintiff’s Claim Still Has Some Muscle – Ninth Circuit Reverses Class Action Against Protein Powder Manufacturer Alleging Source of Protein Was Misrepresented

October 12, 2018

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal reversed an order from the Northern District of California that dismissed an action against defendant MusclePharm Corporation alleging false or misleading statements.

Even Disclaiming ‘Magic Words’ Won’t Save Plaintiffs from SLUSA Preclusion

Even Disclaiming ‘Magic Words’ Won’t Save Plaintiffs from SLUSA Preclusion

October 1, 2018

In 2016, a putative class action lawsuit was filed in California state court on behalf of all persons over the age of 60 who were issued a variable annuity policy by defendants within the state.

SEC Regulation Best Interest: Charting a Course for Securities and Annuity Sales

SEC Regulation Best Interest: Charting a Course for Securities and Annuity Sales

September 5, 2018

In June, we circulated our fifth article on the continuing saga regarding the standard of conduct for sales of securities and annuities — and the efforts of federal and state regulators to impose new conditions on the existing standards. Our earlier articles focused on the potential for regulatory and litigation issues arising under the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule adopted in 2016, which was struck down by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Food for Thought: Fast-Track to Trans Fat Removal Not Required for “Fast Bites”

Food for Thought: Fast-Track to Trans Fat Removal Not Required for “Fast Bites”

August 10, 2018

The Ninth Circuit, in an unpublished opinion, affirmed the lower court’s decision dismissing the lawsuit against a manufacturer of frozen foods because the allegations did not establish that the manufacturer acted unlawfully, unfairly or fraudulent.

Seventh Circuit Approves Cy Pres Settlement

Seventh Circuit Approves Cy Pres Settlement

August 8, 2018

The case arose out of a million phone calls made to consumers throughout 2011 and 2012 in which people were offered a chance to go on a free cruise if they agreed to participate in a political survey.

Fourth Circuit Holds Plaintiffs Who Allege Identity Theft Have Standing to Sue Post-Data Breach, But What Does it Mean For Certification?

Fourth Circuit Holds Plaintiffs Who Allege Identity Theft Have Standing to Sue Post-Data Breach, But What Does it Mean For Certification?

July 9, 2018

The Fourth Circuit’s 2017 decision in Beck v. McDonald held that the mere fear of identity theft in the wake of a data breach was insufficient to confer Article III standing. Plaintiffs must do more. But how much more?

Are Administrative Fees and Costs a Benefit to the Class as a Whole? A Circuit Split Continues

Are Administrative Fees and Costs a Benefit to the Class as a Whole? A Circuit Split Continues

July 3, 2018

The Eighth Circuit’s deference to district courts in awarding attorney’s fees in these circumstances is in line with the approach taken by the Ninth Circuit.

Win for MassMutual in Rare Class Action Trial

Win for MassMutual in Rare Class Action Trial

June 25, 2018

A California jury recently returned a verdict in favor of MassMutual following a 12-day trial in a state-court class action that claimed the insurer failed to pay dividends owed to policy owners.

SEC Regulation Best Interest: Charting a Course for Securities and Annuity Sales, Avoiding Collision and Potential Regulatory and Litigation Issues

SEC Regulation Best Interest: Charting a Course for Securities and Annuity Sales, Avoiding Collision and Potential Regulatory and Litigation Issues

June 12, 2018

During the past two years, we have written about potential litigation arising under the Department of Labor’s, first proposed, then adopted fiduciary rule. This article is the first of several we will write on the potential impact of these events on the recommendation and sale of securities generally, with particular emphasis on insurance company annuities.

Put This in Your Pipe: Supreme Court Rules 9-0 That American Pipe Tolling Does Not Permit Filing of Serial Class Actions Beyond the Statute of Limitations

Put This in Your Pipe: Supreme Court Rules 9-0 That American Pipe Tolling Does Not Permit Filing of Serial Class Actions Beyond the Statute of Limitations

June 12, 2018

As we previously reported, last year the Ninth Circuit in Resh v. China Agritech, Inc., No. 15-55432, 2017 WL 2261024 (9th Cir. May 24, 2017), joined a circuit split when it held that the statute of limitations did not bar a third successive putative class action alleging securities fraud claims against a fertilizer manufacturer.

In Crypto Litigations Mandatory Arbitration Agreements May Not be Immutable

In Crypto Litigations Mandatory Arbitration Agreements May Not be Immutable

June 4, 2018

Permissionless blockchains, like the one underlying the bitcoin payment network, were created to provide the public with transparency over transaction information and records. Attorneys draft arbitration clauses primarily to do the opposite.

Food for Thought: A Review of 2017 Litigation

Food for Thought: A Review of 2017 Litigation

May 24, 2018

Food for Thought is a review of significant court decisions affecting the food, beverage, dietary supplements and personal care products industry. Although many cases in this edition focus on class certification, others relate to summary judgment.

Food for Thought: Under California Law, Individual Class Members Need Not Show Reliance on Allegedly Misleading Statements at Time of Purchase

Food for Thought: Under California Law, Individual Class Members Need Not Show Reliance on Allegedly Misleading Statements at Time of Purchase

May 18, 2018

In its latest opinion addressing class action claims related to allegedly misleading labels, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal held that individual class members need not show they relied on allegedly misleading statements for a proposed class action against supplement manufacturer Pharmavite LLC to proceed.

Fifth Circuit Dashes Delivery Driver’s Bid to Keep Wage Hour Claims Out of Arbitration

Fifth Circuit Dashes Delivery Driver’s Bid to Keep Wage Hour Claims Out of Arbitration

May 8, 2018

In Edwards v. DoorDash, Inc., the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed its position that arbitrability of claims is a threshold question that must be determined by the court prior to deciding certification motions.

Food for Thought: Starbucks Defeats Icy Class Action

Food for Thought: Starbucks Defeats Icy Class Action

March 27, 2018

The lead plaintiff alleged that Starbucks’ method of preparing its iced beverages deceives its customers by misrepresenting the amount of liquid a customer receives when he or she orders an iced drink.

Cyan Makes SLUSA Removal Proponents Feel Blue: Supreme Court Holds That Securities Act of 1933 Class Actions Can Stay in State Court

Cyan Makes SLUSA Removal Proponents Feel Blue: Supreme Court Holds That Securities Act of 1933 Class Actions Can Stay in State Court

March 22, 2018

Cyan sets – and limits – the legacy of SLUSA as affixing the federal substantive standard to class actions for securities wrongdoing against issuers and their officers and directors.

Recent Developments in Securities Class Actions and Companies' Disclosure Obligations Regarding Cybersecurity Risks and Events

Recent Developments in Securities Class Actions and Companies' Disclosure Obligations Regarding Cybersecurity Risks and Events

March 8, 2018

Some recent events may encourage shareholder attorneys to pursue securities fraud class actions after disclosure of a cyber incident leads to a drop in the stock price.

Food for Thought: For the Second Time, California Federal Court Declines to Certify Class Action Against Baby Food Manufacturer

Food for Thought: For the Second Time, California Federal Court Declines to Certify Class Action Against Baby Food Manufacturer

February 13, 2018

Plaintiff alleged that defendant violated federal and state law by making false and misleading claims on food labels.

Third Time Is the Charm: Class Certified in DMF-Related Shareholder Suit

Third Time Is the Charm: Class Certified in DMF-Related Shareholder Suit

December 29, 2017

In City of Westland Police & Fire Retirement System v. MetLife, the plaintiffs allege that the insurer overstated its earnings because it did not hold sufficient reserves for death benefit claims on group life insurance policies that were incurred but not reported.

Food for Thought: Liability-Only Class Certification Denied for Claims That “No Sugar Added” Juice Labels Misled Consumers Into Thinking the Juice Had Fewer Calories

Food for Thought: Liability-Only Class Certification Denied for Claims That “No Sugar Added” Juice Labels Misled Consumers Into Thinking the Juice Had Fewer Calories

October 16, 2017

Plaintiff’s putative class action alleged that defendant Mott’s violated FDA regulations and California’s Sherman Law and Unfair Competition Law when it labeled and sold its 100 percent apple juice with the label “No Sugar Added,” which plaintiff claimed misled consumers into thinking the juice had fewer calories than its competitors.

Food for Thought: Summary Judgment Affirmed in False ‘GMO’ Advertising Class Action Against Chipotle

Food for Thought: Summary Judgment Affirmed in False ‘GMO’ Advertising Class Action Against Chipotle

October 4, 2017

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s summary judgment in favor of defendant,

ANZ Securities and Opting Out of Securities Fraud Class Actions

ANZ Securities and Opting Out of Securities Fraud Class Actions

September 25, 2017

The most likely class member to "opt-out" of a securities fraud class is an institutional investor. A recent Supreme Court case may force institutional investors and others to opt out sooner.

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Gary L. Sasso

Gary L. Sasso

President and Chief Executive Officer

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Disclaimer

The information on this website is presented as a service for our clients and Internet users and is not intended to be legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. Although we welcome your inquiries, please keep in mind that merely contacting us will not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Consequently, you should not convey any confidential information to us until a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Please remember that electronic correspondence on the internet is not secure and that you should not include sensitive or confidential information in messages. With that in mind, we look forward to hearing from you.