There's been some press coverage of Justice Scalia's stay of a judgment in Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Scott, the Louisiana class action requiring the tobacco company to set up a $250M+ smoking cessation fund, but it's mostly focused on scorekeeping and the underlying allegations of the suit. But what's really significant about the stay is the interest the Supreme Court is taking on the tail-wagging-the-dog aspect of class actions, where the procedural Procrusteanism of creating a class ends up depriving defendants of their ability to mount a substantive defense that they would have to individual claims. Scalia's order weighs in on the tremendous due process problems—a hint on his thoughts in the pending Dukes v. Wal-Mart case. If the Supreme Court weighs in, it would have the potential to strike down billions of dollars worth of abusive consumer class actions, especially the "harm-less lawsuits" that Michael Greve and I have frequently criticized. Russell Jackson has excellent analysis, and Daniel Fisher's coverage at Forbes is, as usual, more savvy than that of most legal reporters.
SCOTUS to rule on due process in class actions?
- Sackett v. EPA
- Apple iPhone 4 bumper class action settlement
- Dahlia Lithwick does it again
- A small victory against the EPA
- Around the web, March 13
- Plaintiffs' lawyers protect their cartel by bringing antitrust suit
- Apple class actions
- 0.1% claim rate in "successful" class action
- Around the web, February 21
- Herzfeld & Rubin, Volkswagen, and Stockholm Syndrome
- "A Public Letter From the Cobell Lawyers Prompts Ethics and Harassment Concerns"
- Around the web, January 27
- Where are the aggressive class action defense lawyers?
- Wherein George Soros wastes his money
- Frankel on Baer race quota orders
Center for Legal Policy at the