Two putative class actions recently filed in the Northern District of California preview a new theory of consumer claims relating to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Rather than rely on alleged omissions or representations about health risks, the plaintiffs claim that they relied on marketing statements that indicated the products they purchased were disposable and would completely degrade over time and that the presence of PFAS in the products means those marketing statements were false.
Continue Reading Is a Wave of PFAS Consumer Class Actions on the Horizon?

On January 3, 2018, the Ninth Circuit found unconstitutional a California law barring retailers from imposing surcharges on customers using credit cards. The ruling has important implications for retailers operating in California and potentially for retailers operating in several other states with similar bans on credit card surcharges.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Clears the Way for Surcharges on Credit Card Payments in California

On June 19, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court announced important constitutional limitations on state courts’ ability to exercise specific jurisdiction over nonresidents’ claims against out-of-state defendants. The Court’s nearly unanimous decision in Bristol-Myers v. Superior Court has potentially far-reaching implications for companies facing claims brought by nonresident and resident plaintiffs in states in which those companies are neither incorporated nor maintain their principal place of business.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Again Tightens Jurisdictional Requirements for Claims Against Out-of-State Defendants

The United States Supreme Court has granted certiorari in a set of cases in order to determine whether class action waivers in employees’ arbitration agreements are unenforceable, which is the interpretation of the National Labor Relations Board.
Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Enforceability of Class Action Waivers in Employee Arbitration Agreements

On January 3, 2017, a Ninth Circuit panel weighed in on a growing split among circuits over Rule 23’s ascertainability requirement – in particular, the extent to which a plaintiff must prove there is an “administratively feasible” means of identifying class members.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Widens Circuit Split on Rule 23’s Ascertainability Requirement

The American Tort Reform Association recently released the 2016–2017 edition of its “Judicial Hellholes” report. This annual report identifies venues it deems least favorable for civil defendants based on recent decisions and verdicts, as well as state laws and policies.
Continue Reading ATRA Releases Annual “Judicial Hellholes” Report