Class Actions Blog

Archive for the ‘Groundbreaking Decisions’ Category

Respected US District Judge Jed Rakoff refuses to enforce Uber’s arbitration and class action waiver clauses

Posted on: August 4th, 2016 by Keith Dubanevich

In a strongly worded decision, Judge Rakoff began his opinion by raising suspicion about whether the Federal Arbitration Act could properly be applied in today’s commercial context:

Application of [the federal policy favoring arbitration] to the Internet is said to inhere in the Federal Arbitration Act, as if the Congress that enacted that Act in 1925 remotely contemplated the vicissitudes of the World Wide Web. Nevertheless, in this brave new world, consumers are routinely forced to waive their constitutional right to a jury and their very access to courts, and to submit instead to arbitration, on the theory that they have voluntarily agreed to do so in response to endless, turgid, often impenetrable sets of terms and conditions, to which, by pressing a button, they have indicated their agreement.

Read more…

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Court rules Happy Birthday song copyright invalid

Posted on: October 9th, 2015 by Steve Larson

copyrightWarner/Chappell Music Inc. does not own a valid copyright on “Happy Birthday To You,” a California federal judge ruled Tuesday in a class action decision.  This assures that the world’s most recognizable English language song is in the public domain.

U.S. District Judge George H. King found that Warner had never acquired the rights to the song’s lyrics.  In copyright records, court records and several agreements over the use of the song, nowhere was there a discussion of the lyrics to “Happy Birthday,” according to the decision. Some records mention the melody or piano arrangement, but not the words to the song, the judge said. Read more…

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court gives green light to class actions

Posted on: February 9th, 2015 by Steve Larson

walmartA Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision in mid-December upholding a nearly $188 million judgment against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for denying breaks to its workers signals a split with federal courts over standards for bringing class actions, and could cause new claims to be pursued in the state court system. Read more…

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Court rules FedEx drivers are employees not independent contractors

Posted on: August 29th, 2014 by Steve Larson

Fotolia TruckWe received an excellent ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in the FedEx case.  We have been representing the Oregon drivers in this class action for almost 10 years.

Here is a link to the New Republic article about the case.   Read more…

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U.S. Supreme Court holds parens patriae actions are not mass actions subject to CAFA

Posted on: February 20th, 2014 by Steve Larson

Supreme Court BlogLaw and justice concept, gavelThe U.S. Supreme Court issued its first class-action-related decision of the 2013-14 term.  In Mississippi ex rel. Jim Hood v. AU Optronics Corp., Case No. 12-1036 (U.S. Jan. 14, 2014), the Court held that a parens patriae action brought by the Mississippi attorney general on behalf of Missouri citizens was not a “mass action” subject to the Class Action Fairness Act.

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Ninth Circuit eliminates consumer injunction protections under California law

Posted on: November 8th, 2013 by Steve Larson

Consumer Law Cases 2Paul Bland of Public Justice recently provided the following information about a decision under California Law:

“California’s consumer protection laws are often thought of as some of the best in the nation, and one reason for that is that they provide great remedies for broad, systemic public injunctive relief.  For example, say a company is cheating a lot of consumers in the same way, such as engaging in deceptive practice or collecting debts that it shouldn’t be collecting.  Under California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and its Unfair Competition Law (UCL), consumers who have been ripped off in various ways can bring a case and ask a court to order the company to stop its illegal practices.  Over the years, consumers have literally saved billions of dollars because of the public injunction provisions of these statutes, and a wide variety of illegal corporate schemes have been halted by courts applying those laws. Read more…

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The information contained in this blog does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. We make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this blog.

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This blog is intended to provide information to the general public and to practitioners about developments that may impact Oregon class actions.

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  • Keith Dubanevich

  • Steve Larson
  • Keith Dubanevich has extensive experience handling antitrust, consumer and securities cases. Until joining the Portland, Oregon law firm Stoll Berne as a shareholder, he was the Associate Attorney General and Chief of Staff at the Oregon Department of Justice.
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