Monday's Daily Journal had an article (subscription) about an Orange County Superior Court misclassification case in which a judge apparently granted the defendant's motion to deny class certification. The article identifies the case as "Williams v. AZ3 Inc., JCCP4385; BCBG Overtime Cases, 02CC00378 (Orange Super. Ct., filed Dec. 24, 2002)."
Defendants proactively attack class action allegations in three different ways that I've heard of: (1) demurring to or moving to strike the class allegations, which is a pleadings motion; (2) moving to decertify the class after certification has been granted; and (3) moving to deny class certification, which is an evidentiary motion. It sounds like this one was an evidentiary motion — as opposed to an attack on the pleadings — in support of which the defendant presented declarations to prove that the elements of certification could not be established. I agree with the several lawyers quoted in the article that defense motions to deny class certification are very rare. In fact, I've seen them only in federal court. This may be because the California Rules of Court don't expressly permit such motions. I don't recall hearing of such a motion being granted in a California state case before. Anyone?