Bill allows defendants appeal of class action certification

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, March 11, 2011 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Assemblyman Brian Nestande (R-Palm Desert) has introduced AB 271 to allow a defendant to appeal from an order granting class action certification.

Current state law regarding class certification is one-sided. In class action lawsuits, the important decision is that of class certification. “Certification” allows a few plaintiffs to bring an action on behalf of countless others, whereby alleged infractions result in huge settlements or judgments even though the offense was minimal. If the plaintiff class bringing the lawsuit tries to get a class certified and does not win, the plaintiff is allowed to appeal that decision to a higher judge. However, the reverse is not true: current California law does not specifically allow the defendant the same right to appeal the judge’s decision to certify a class. The only recourse a defendant has is to litigate the entire case and appeal the issue afterward, or attempt to get a rarely-issued writ of mandate. Currently, many class actions now settle because the expense of going to trial would be so great.

AB 271 is set for hearing in the Assembly Judiciary Committee on March 22.

CMTA’s Corporate Counsel Committee will have a conference call on March 14th at 10:00 am to discuss this and other legislation. If you are a CMTA member and interested in joining this committee, please contact Loretta Macktal at LMacktal@cmta.net.

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