Category Archives: Consumer

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The Ninth Circuit Applies the Brakes to Runaway Nationwide Class Actions

In the recently published decision Mazza v. American Honda Motor Company, Inc., No. 09-55376 (9th Cir. 1-12-12), the Ninth Circuit reversed the certification of a nationwide class composed of consumers seeking relief under California’s consumer protection laws. In doing so, the court significantly decreased the viability of such nationwide classes, particularly when the plaintiff seeks … Continue Reading

UnZIPped in New Jersey?

A New Jersey state trial court has initially weighed in on the issue of whether a retailer violates state law by requesting a customer’s zip code at the point of purchase.  In a case fashioned after the California Supreme Court’s decision in Pineda v. Williams-Sonoma, 51 Cal.4th 524 (Feb. 10, 2011), New Jersey Superior Court … Continue Reading

Discover Bank Is Dead: The U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Federal Law Preempts State Laws That Obstruct The Enforcement Of Class Action Waivers In Arbitration Agreements

On April 27, 2011, the Supreme Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act “preempts California’s rule classifying most collective arbitration waivers in consumer contracts as unconscionable.” AT&T v. Concepcion, 563 U.S. ____, majority at 5, 18 (2011). The Court referred to this rule as the “Discover Bank rule,” after the California Supreme Court’s decision in … Continue Reading

The Second District Court of Appeal Applies the “Filed Rate Doctrine” to California Insurance Ratemaking, and Holds that the Use of Approved Insurance Rates Cannot Create Tort Liability Against an Insurer in a Class Action

In MacKay v. Superior Court (October 6, 2010) ___ Cal.App.4th ___ the Second District Court of Appeal threw out a class action challenging an insurer’s rating practices on the ground that California law prohibits insureds from challenging rates approved by the California Department of Insurance (“DOI”) through a civil action. Writing for the court, Justice Croskey … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Holds That Plaintiffs Alleging Respa Violations Under Section 8 Need Not Show An Overcharge To Have Article III Standing To Sue

In Alston v. Countrywide Financial Corp., 2009 WL 3448264 (3d Cir. October 28, 2009), the United States Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit confronted the issue of whether consumer plaintiffs alleging a violation of section 8 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 (“RESPA”), codified in relevant part at 12 U.S.C. § 2607(d)(2), … Continue Reading

The Recent Assault on Consumer Arbitration Clauses

After years of growth, the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), and numerous court decisions emphasizing the strong public policy in favor of arbitration as a cost-effective means of resolving disputes, arbitration now appears to be under siege—particularly in the consumer context.  Many consumer contracts, including those involving cellular phones, credit cards, and other consumer finance products, … Continue Reading
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