Today, the California Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Pioneer Electronics v. Superior Court, no. S133794, which involves pre-certification communications with putative class members. I am planning to attend the argument, and hope to be able to put up a post either later today or tomorrow morning.
My prior posts on this case are collected here, and one of the amicus briefs is available here. In a nutshell, the Court of Appeal imposed a limitation on the plaintiff's right to discover information about the putative class members, citing the right to privacy: "The court must take reasonable steps to assure that the consumer receives actual notice of his or her right to grant or withhold consent of the release of personal information, and that consent for such release be by the consumer's positive act, rather than by mere failure to respond." Pioneer Electronics (USA), Inc. v. Superior Court (Olmstead), 128 Cal.App.4th 246, 249 (2005) (Second Appellate District, Division Four). The amicus brief linked to above refers to this as an "opt-in discovery mechanism" and argues that it is inconsistent with the policies behind the class action device and will hinder employment and civil rights litigation.