U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

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Parties reach settlement in First Circuit case addressing certification of “issue” classes

January 27, 2017

The parties reached a settlement.

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief

June 15, 2015

In its brief, the U.S. Chamber filed in a case before the First Circuit on interlocutory review under Rule 23 concerning the certification of “issue” classes. The district court acknowledged that plaintiffs failed to satisfy the predominance requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3) because only a single element of the liability determination for one of plaintiffs’ claims was subject to common proof. Nevertheless, the district court found that lone common issue justified certifying the class as an “issue” class under Rule 23(c)(4).

The Chamber argued that Rule 23(c)(4) is a mechanism for managing class actions that have already been properly certified under Rule 23(b)—not another avenue for certifying a class in its own right. The Chamber urged the court to reaffirm that district courts may certify a class for damages claims only when Rule 23(b)’s stringent predominance and superiority requirements are met, and to hold that “issue” classes cannot be certified to resolve one or two issues that may be subject to common legal argument or common proof.

Evan M. Tager, Archis A. Parasharami, and Richard B. Katskee of Mayer Brown represented the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as counsel to the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center in this case.

U.S. Chamber amicus brief filed 6/15/2015. Argued 10/5/2015.

The parties filed a notice of settlement and joint motion to stay the appeal and remand to district court. Judgment dismissing case issued 1/27/2017.

Case Documents