November 20, 2012 Articles

The Numbers Game: Dukes and Concepcion

Are class action filings down since these Supreme Court rulings? Should class action practitioners start looking for other work?

By Robert J. Herrington

After the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011), and AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740 (2011), many predicted the end of the class action. Some thought Dukes would make it so hard to obtain class certification that plaintiffs’ lawyers would stop filing cases (or at least slow down). Others thought Concepcion would bring consumer class actions to a screeching halt, as more and more companies adopted class action waiver provisions in their agreements with consumers.

For those of us on the front lines, the battle still seems to be raging, with dozens of new class actions filed each week. Lawsuits targeting the food and beverage industry seem particularly popular. Other hot areas include privacy class actions, wage and hour litigation, and products liability cases targeting biotech companies.

But what about the overall picture? Are class action filings down in the year or so since Dukes and Concepcion? Should we, as class action practitioners, start looking for other work?

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