The Electric Scooter Revolution Hits a Roadblock

We are living through the early days of a revolution.  Not a political revolution; rather, an electric scooter revolution.  No matter where you go in Washington, D.C. and in many other cities around the country, you are likely to bump into an electronic scooter, maybe even literally.  Electronic scooter use has taken off because they provide a cheap, easy, and environmentally-friendly way to travel.  Twice each day during rush hour, commuters are forced to share the streets and sidewalks with scooter riders.  Popular electronic scooter companies such as Lift, Bird, and Lime have just begun to tap into this popular new [...]

By |2019-11-26T13:15:54-05:00March 1st, 2019|Practice Areas: Product Liability|Topics: |

SCOTUS Hears Arguments to Equitable Tolling Doctrine for Class Certification Appeal

On November 27, 2018, the Supreme Court heard  oral argument in Nutraceutical Corp. v. Lambert, No. 17-1094, to determine whether Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f)’s 14-day deadline to file for permission to appeal an order granting or denying a class-action certification is subject to equitable exceptions. Rule 23(f) provides that the court of appeals may hear an appeal from an order granting or denying class certification.  To appeal the order, the party must petition the court of appeals for permission within 14 days after the order is entered. In Lambert, Respondent Troy Lambert filed a class action [...]

By |2019-11-26T13:15:32-05:00November 28th, 2018|Practice Areas: Consumer Protection|Topics: , |

SCOTUS To Review Whether A Third-Party Defendant Can Remove a Class Action to Federal Court

On September 27, 2018, the Supreme Court agreed to review whether, under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), a third-party defendant can remove a class action from state to federal court. Home Depot USA, Inc., U.S. No. 17-1471. CAFA allows “any defendant” to remove actions from state to federal court if certain jurisdictional requirements are met. This case arose when Citibank N.A. brought a debt collection action against George Jackson in state court alleging he failed to pay for a water treatment system he bought using a Citibank credit card. Jackson filed a counterclaim against Citibank and third-party class [...]

By |2019-11-26T13:14:56-05:00November 8th, 2018|Practice Areas: General|Topics: |

SCOTUS Declines to Extend American Pipe Tolling Rule to Successive Class Actions

Recently on June 11, 2018, the Supreme Court, in China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh, 138 S.Ct. 1800 (2018), unanimously held that the statute of limitations is not tolled on successive class actions when a putative class action is filed.  Previously in American Pipe & Constr. Co. v. Utah, 414 U.S. 538 (1974), the Supreme Court ruled that the claims of non-named plaintiffs were not barred by the statute of limitations if the class action of which they were a member failed.  The statute of limitations for the individual claims was tolled while the class action was [...]

By |2019-11-26T13:14:16-05:00July 16th, 2018|Practice Areas: General|Topics: , |

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act: Recent Developments & Best Practices to Protect Your Business

Introduction Receipt of unsolicited phone calls or text messages is not uncommon. These calls are often only moderately inconvenient for the recipient; however, if the unsolicited communication does not strictly follow the mandates of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), consequences for the caller can be catastrophic. The following is a brief overview of the TCPA, recent developments in the law, and best practices to protect your business and to ultimately avoid costly litigation. TCPA Background The TCPA was enacted in 1991, a time when residential landlines were standard and cellular telephones were an exception. Twenty-seven years [...]

By |2019-11-26T13:13:26-05:00May 1st, 2018|Practice Areas: Consumer Protection|

SCOTUS to Evaluate Fairness of Cy Pres and Class Settlement Awards

On April 30, 2018, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Frank v. Gaos, No. 17-961 to determine whether a cy pres award of class action proceeds that provides no direct relief to class members supports class certification and comports with the requirement that  settlements binding class members must be “fair, reasonable, and adequate.” Cy pres is French for “as near close as possible.”  The purpose of the doctrine in class action litigation is to allow unclaimed funds to be distributed to organizations that advance the interests of the litigation, instead of returning remaining funds to the defendant.  [...]

By |2019-11-26T13:12:52-05:00April 30th, 2018|Practice Areas: General|Topics: |

D.C. Circuit Confirms Statutory Violations Alone Are Not Enough For Standing to Sue

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s holding in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins,136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016), federal courts routinely struggle to determine when a statutory violation will rise to the level of a concrete harm that will confer standing to bring suit.  For instance, the District Court for the Middle District of Florida found that a procedural violation of the FCRA—without any attendant harm—was a concrete injury enabling plaintiffs’ lawsuit to proceed.  See Hargrett v. Amazon.com DEDC LLC, 235 F. Supp. 3d 1320 (M.D. Fla. 2017) (click here for additional analysis).  On the other hand, [...]

By |2019-11-19T12:03:52-05:00March 12th, 2018|Practice Areas: Consumer Protection|

PACER Class Action Proceeds with Partial Win for Plaintiffs

On March 31, 2018, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled on cross-motions for summary judgment in the PACER class action litigation that the federal judiciary improperly spent $198 million in fees collected through the courts’ public records platform. In National Veterans Legal Services v. United States of America, three nonprofits filed a class action in 2016 against the United States alleging that thousands of PACER users were overcharged in accessing court documents and that the class is entitled to a refund under the Little Tucker Act.  The named plaintiffs, National Veterans Legal [...]

By |2019-11-26T13:12:10-05:00March 8th, 2018|Practice Areas: Consumer Protection|

Prospective Employees Who Were Not Given a Separate Disclosure of a Pre-Employment Background Checks Have Standing to Bring Suits for Technical Violations of the FCRA

Despite the Supreme Court’s holding in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016), as revised (May 24, 2016), a federal court recently allowed a class action lawsuit to proceed against Amazon, as a prospective employer, for a technical violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) and without any “actual harm.” In Hargrett v. Amazon.com DEDC LLC, 235 F. Supp. 3d 1320 (M.D. Fla. 2017), job applicants filed a class action lawsuit against Amazon, alleging a statutory violation of § 1681b(b)(2)(A) of FCRA in connection with preemployment background checks. Section 1681b(b)(2)(A)(I)-(ii) requires that before conducting a [...]

By |2019-11-26T13:11:26-05:00February 15th, 2018|Practice Areas: Labor & Employment|Topics: , |