The landscape of class action litigation has changed in recent years, with the focus shifting from pharmaceutical personal injury cases—rarely certified under Rule 23—to a wide variety of consumer products and environmental contexts that may not be as susceptible to quick disposition. We have extensive experience assisting clients in defending against this evolving arena of lawsuits. Currently and in recent years, we have defended class actions in state and federal courts and in arbitrations throughout the country, at trial and before numerous appellate courts. Our representations have covered a diversity of products, including automobiles, food products, health and beauty products, computers, home appliances, housing materials, lawnmowers, motorcycles, over-the-counter medications, pest control products and services, pet foods, prescription drugs, telephone calling cards, vitamins, and many others.
We have successfully resisted class certification through aggressive discovery practice, negotiation, and innovative legal arguments. In addition, our lawyers have extensive experience in addressing procedural issues, including choice of law issues, that frequently arise in nationwide and multiple-statewide class actions. We are also experienced in defending duplicative, overlapping class actions that are filed in multiple jurisdictions, often in both state and federal courts.
Today, class actions and mass tort problems may involve not only civil litigation, but also regulatory considerations involving the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), as well as other federal and state agencies. Many of the lawyers in our group have extensive expertise and experience working with these agencies. Indeed, several lawyers in our group have held significant posts inside these agencies.
The interplay between class actions and arbitration is an ever-evolving issue in which the Supreme Court has recently become actively involved. Our lawyers have extensive experience litigating (before both courts and arbitrators) the issues of whether class action arbitration should even be permitted under the terms of the arbitration provision and, if so, whether class action arbitration is appropriate under the rules of the American Arbitration Association.