Law360 Q&A with Jill Lawrie of Blakes

Law360 today has an interesting Q&A with Canadian attorney Jill Lawrie of Blakes (subscription required), who provides good insights and opinions about Canadian class actions and the "waiver of tort" concept in Canada, whereby plaintiffs look to recover disgorgement of revenues instead of tort damages.

Civil Justice Reform Ideas For California

The California Civil Justice Blog has a link to John Fund's article in The Wall Street Journal  "California Dreamin' - Of Jobs In Texas" discussing California lawmakers' recent legislative fact-finding trip to Texas, where they met with businesses that had relocated from California -- and throws a few legal-system reform ideas of its own into the mix, modeled on some changes Texas has made in recent years. Among them: Making the grant of class certification appealable - not just the denial of class certification, and a punitive damages cap.

Federal Court Holds That Voluntary Refund Programs Can Defeat Class Certification Under Rule 23(b)(3)'s Superiority Requirement

This post was written by James C. Martin and Colin E. Wrabley

Class action defense litigators should be aware of a recent federal district court decision that endorsed and accepted a creative option for defeating class certification—the defendant’s implementation of a voluntary refund and replacement program providing a comparable remedy to what the putative class might recover in court. See In re Aqua Dots Prods. Liab. Litig., 2010 WL 3927611 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 4, 2010). In so doing, the decision in Aqua Dots extends a growing and important trend in class action jurisprudence concerning the scope of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3)’s requirement that class litigation be “superior to other available methods for fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy.” While the notion of a refund or replacement program as an alternative to class actions has been around for decades, Aqua Dots provides a new impetus to consider this approach.

For more information, read the full alert.