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
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.
Warner/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…
A 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…
We 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…
The 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.