California Supreme Court

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California Supreme Court declines review of expansive joinder rules

March 25, 2015

The petition for review was denied.

U.S. Chamber files amicus letter urging review

February 20, 2015

In its amicus letter, the U.S. Chamber asked the California Supreme Court to review a decision that radically expanded the scope of California’s joinder rules to the breaking point, potentially allowing thousands of loosely related cases to proceed in a mass action in a blatant attempt to avoid class certification. The case arises out of a divided appellate court decision that held that a trial court lacked discretion not to join nearly a thousand, and perhaps more, individual lawsuits raising allegations of fraud in housing finance. The appellate court recognized that the plaintiffs likely brought the cases as a joinder action rather than as a class action to avoid federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act.

The U.S. Chamber’s amicus letter explained that the intermediate court had gone to great lengths to require joinder of unrelated claims that could not otherwise proceed as a class action. The amicus letter warned that if the decision is left to stand, business defendants face serious threats to their due process and other legal rights as plaintiffs’ lawyers seek to use joinder to circumvent class certification requirements.

Donald M. Falk of Mayer Brown LLP served as counsel for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center.

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