Although employers scored a landmark win Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that workers can be barred from pursuing class claims, the decision could prove to be a double-edged sword, since businesses face the prospect of footing the bill for an avalanche of individual arbitration demands workers may file. Here's a look at how plaintiffs will forge ahead now that the ruling is on the books.
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Analysis

Class Waivers Declared Legal: What's Next For Plaintiffs?

Although employers scored a landmark win Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that workers can be barred from pursuing class claims, the decision could prove to be a double-edged sword, since businesses face the prospect of footing the bill for an avalanche of individual arbitration demands workers may file. Here's a look at how plaintiffs will forge ahead now that the ruling is on the books. Read more »

Class Waiver Ruling Could Backfire On Businesses: Panel

Though they’re celebrating the decision as a win, employers may not like the legal response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling that businesses can make workers sign away their rights to file class suits as a condition of employment, panelists said Wednesday at an American Arbitration Association conference. Read more »

Judge Chides Counsel Over 'Lack Of Candor' In Swaps Suit

Investors can’t revive part of their suit accusing a slew of dealers of bullying competition in the interest rate swaps market, a New York federal judge said Wednesday, largely dismantling the putative class’ attempt to file a third amended complaint and rebuking its counsel for keeping the intended request under wraps. Read more »

2nd Circ. Won't Review Cert. Denial In HSBC RMBS Suits

A Second Circuit panel on Tuesday declined to review a New York federal judge’s decision against certifying two proposed classes of investors accusing HSBC Bank USA of failing to properly oversee an array of residential mortgage-backed securitization trusts.   Read more »

Spotify Wins Approval for $43M Songwriter Settlement

Spotify has won final approval for a $43 million class action settlement over unpaid royalties to songwriters, the kind of liability that streaming services hope to avoid via a major copyright bill that's pending in Congress. Read more »

7th Circ. Skeptical Of Containerboard Price-Fixing Claims

A Seventh Circuit panel considering whether to revive a class action brought by containerboard purchasers against two manufacturers over alleged price-fixing had tough questions during oral arguments Wednesday about whether there was enough to show the price changes were part of a conspiracy. Read more »

SECURITIES

Wall Street Banks Want Treasury Auction Rigging Suit Tossed

A group of large Wall Street banks and a trading platform accused of rigging the $13 trillion market for securities sold by the U.S. Treasury Department have asked a New York federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit that alleges the scheme was conducted through two interrelated conspiracies, according to court filings entered Tuesday. Read more »

COMPETITION

Objectors Chafe At 18% Fee Request In $2.3B Forex Deal

Major questions still dog the path to final approval of a $2.3 billion settlement of forex-rate-rigging claims by 15 major banks, a hearing Wednesday revealed, as a New York federal judge asked plaintiffs’ counsel for more data to support an 18 percent fee request and delved into the proper treatment of ERISA claims. Read more »

EMPLOYMENT

Chipotle Worker Fights Contempt Order For OT Suit

A Chipotle employee asked the Fifth Circuit to toss a Texas federal judge’s contempt order requiring her to withdraw claims citing violation of a U.S. Department of Labor overtime rule in her New Jersey suit, saying the judge cannot meddle in her case because she has no connection to his court. Read more »

Texas IHOP Hit With Suit Alleging Wage Violations

A group of at least 180 current and former employees at an International House of Pancakes has hit the entity operating the restaurant's Rockwall, Texas, location with a proposed collective action, alleging they were required to work while off the clock and weren't paid for overtime hours, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Read more »

Powell Trachtman Faces OT Suit Amid Wind-Down

A file clerk with Powell Trachtman PC has filed a proposed class action against the disbanding firm and several of its attorneys on behalf of its support staff, alleging that the firm does not pay file clerks, assistants and paralegals overtime. Read more »

BENEFITS

UChicago, Workers To Settle ERISA Suit For $6.5M

An Illinois federal judge approved a $6.5 million settlement on Wednesday to a putative class action alleging the University of Chicago mismanaged workers’ retirement savings, making the university the first in a recent wave of elite schools sued under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to settle. Read more »

Piggly Wiggly Settles Proposed ERISA Class Action For $8M

The soon-to-be-defunct grocery store chain Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company Inc. reached a roughly $8 million settlement in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act suit in South Carolina federal court on Tuesday with workers who say they lost their retirement savings linked to company stock while management allegedly sat back and watched the business fail. Read more »

PRODUCT LIABILITY

Ex-NFLer Dodges Arbitration Over $500K Settlement Advance

A Pennsylvania federal judge shut down an attempt by a third-party claims funder to initiate arbitration proceedings against a former NFL player who is expected to collect $3.5 million from a settlement in multidistrict litigation over brain injuries, ruling that the settlement agreement voided all third-party funding agreements. Read more »

'Dieselgate' Stalled Sales, VW Salespeople Say In Class Action

News that Volkswagen rigged U.S. diesel emissions tests — a scandal sometimes referred to as “Dieselgate” — has harmed the “hardworking men and women who make their livelihood selling vehicles in the Volkswagen brand” and led to reduced sales, according to a consolidated class action filed in California federal court on Tuesday. Read more »

Drivers Amend Autobahn Parts Suit To Facilitate $1.6M Deal

A group of drivers amended their claims in California federal court Tuesday against auto dealer Autobahn Inc. to help effectuate a proposed settlement that would provide the drivers with $1.6 million in vouchers for dropping claims the company misled them into believing it used genuine Mercedes parts to repair their vehicles. Read more »

PRIVACY & CONSUMER PROTECTION

Allstate Inks $6.5M Deal To End Calif. Junk Fax Class Action

A California federal judge said Wednesday he'll grant preliminary approval to a $6.5 million class action settlement ending claims alleging Allstate Insurance Co. unlawfully sent junk faxes to thousands of Golden State residents soliciting customers for car insurance. Read more »

LL Bean Says Proposed Slipper Class Action Doesn't Fit

L.L. Bean Inc. on Wednesday asked a Massachusetts federal judge to toss a putative class action, arguing the Bay State resident who says the clothing giant breached its satisfaction guarantee policy is simply looking to replace an old pair of slippers for free. Read more »

TCPA Class Action Over Car Dealer's Texts Will Go To Trial

A class action against used-car dealer Off Lease Only Inc. for allegedly sending unsolicited text messages in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act will head to a jury as a Florida federal judge found Wednesday that too many factual disputes remain for her to decide the case. Read more »

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS

UPenn Health Care Group Accused Of Overbilling State $9M

A network of Pennsylvania hospitals has filed a proposed class action accusing a hospital affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania of hogging $9 million in a general fund set up by the state to pay for care for low-income residents by knowingly submitting bogus claims, lowering the reimbursements available for other facilities. Read more »

PEOPLE

Seyfarth Shaw Adds Employment Pro From Baker McKenzie

Seyfarth Shaw LLP announced Wednesday that it has added to its Houston office a former Baker McKenzie LLP employment partner with experience fending off major trade secret and class action suits. Read more »

EXPERT ANALYSIS

Business As Usual For Employers After Epic Systems Opinion

While the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Monday in Epic Systems v. Lewis is a decisive win for employers, it simply preserves the status quo in wage and hour litigation and reaffirms the ability of employers to avoid costly class actions by requiring employees to sign arbitration agreements containing class action waivers as a condition of employment, say Veronica Gray and Allison Callaghan of Nossaman LLP. Read more »

LEGAL INDUSTRY

Feature

Foreign Lobbyists Step Into Light After Manafort Downfall

“Ridiculous” is how Paul Manafort's attorney has described his client's charges under a loosely followed foreign lobbying law, but a Law360 analysis shows that throngs of Washington influencers are now emerging from the shadows to comply. Read more »

Feature

BigLaw Feels The Heat In FARA Enforcement Push

Behind the scenes, law firms are scrambling to stay in the government’s good graces after the Foreign Agents Registration Act was used to indict President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman. Read more »

Feature

As Foreign Agent Disclosure Soars, Reform Efforts Bog Down

With the Foreign Agents Registration Act in the spotlight, some members of Congress are facing big challenges in their quest to add teeth to the law. Read more »

Akin Gump Partner To Testify At Manafort Trial

Attorneys for Special Counsel Robert Mueller confirmed Wednesday in D.C. district court that they intend to call Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP partner Melissa L. Laurenza to testify at the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Read more »

Ex-BigLaw Atty Who Shot Wife Sentenced To Life In Prison

A Georgia judge on Wednesday sentenced a former Fisher Phillips LLP partner who fatally shot his wife to life in prison, after an Atlanta jury rejected the attorney’s contention that the shooting was an accident and convicted him of felony murder. Read more »

BigLaw Too Focused On Legal Fallout In #MeToo: ABA Panel

Too many BigLaw leaders are focused on sexual harassment in the workplace and the #MeToo movement as a legal risk rather than a solvable cultural problem, legal industry and employment experts said Wednesday. Read more »

Trump's 11th Circ. Pick Sails Through Confirmation Hearing

President Donald Trump's choice for an Eleventh Circuit seat faced few questions in her Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday and no opposition from Republicans who control whether Georgia Supreme Court Justice Britt Grant's nomination advances. Read more »

DC Circ. Votes To Livestream Audio For Oral Arguments

The judges on the D.C. Circuit have voted to begin streaming live audio in nearly all oral arguments after it started doing so on a case-by-case basis last fall, the powerful U.S. appeals court said Wednesday in a victory for judicial transparency supporters. Read more »

Courtroom Cackles Get Farm Co. A Fed. Circ. Redo In IP Suit

While not as noisy as a barnyard, the chatter and laughter heard during attorney presentations led the Federal Circuit on Wednesday to grant a North Dakota farm equipment company a rehearing in its patent infringement case against a rival. Read more »

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