The Ninth Circuit has handed down a number of interesting opinions relating to class actions in recent months:
- In Chalk v. T-Mobile USA, Inc., 560 F.3d 1087 (Mar. 27, 2009), the court struck down an arbitration clause with a class action ban as unconscionable under Oregon law.
- In Hunt v. Imperial Merchant Servs., Inc., 560 F.3d 1137 (Mar. 31, 2009), the court held, apparently for the first time, that "a district court has the discretion to require a class action defendant to pay the costs of class notification when the court has already determined that the defendant is liable on the merits." Slip op. at 3885.
- In Rodriguez v. West Publishing Corp., 563 F.3d 948 (Apr. 23, 2009), the court affirmed an order granting final approval of a class action settlement, although it disapproved of certain "ex ante incentive agreements" between some (but not all) of the class representatives and class counsel.
- In Hatfield v. Halifax PLC, ___ F.3d ___, 2009 WL 1259380 (May 3, 2009), the Ninth Circuit held that California courts would recognize American Pipe tolling, at least as to California class members. The opinion discusses American Pipe tolling in detail. [Via The Complex Litigator.]
We are still waiting for the Ninth Circuit to hand down its en banc opinion in Dukes v. Wal-Mart, Inc., nos. 04-16688 & 04-16720, which was argued on March 24, 2009.