You've probably heard about the order granting class certification (540-page pdf file) in the "light" cigarettes case (49-page pdf file). San Francisco Chronicle columnist David Lazarus had this to say in his column Wednesday:
[E]very so often a case comes along that serves as a potent reminder of why class-action suits are a vital tool for consumer protection, and why politicians and judges should be wary of moves that tip the legal balance too much in favor of corporate defendants. .... The class-action system isn't perfect, and a very real need exists to shake things up. But there's a reason many large businesses are fighting so aggressively to change the rules -- because class-action lawsuits are one of the few means at consumers' disposal to stick up for themselves. You don't want that going up in smoke.