Keeping up with significant case-law developments as a young lawyer can help set you apart from your peers and garner recognition from partners. If you are called on to assist in arguing for or against class certification, especially in the context of claims brought under consumer-protection laws, be sure to consider the impact that the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Mazza v. American Honda Motor Co., 666 F.3d 581 (9th Cir. 2012), may have on your argument.
In Mazza, defendant Honda appealed the district court’s certification of a nationwide class consisting of all consumers who had purchased or leased Acura RLs with a collision-mitigation braking system during a three-year period. The plaintiffs, who brought their claims under California law, alleged that Honda misrepresented facts relating to the braking system and concealed material information. On appeal, Honda claimed, among other things, that “common issues of law do not predominate because there are material differences between California law and the consumer protection laws of the 43 other jurisdictions.” The Ninth Circuit agreed, holding that the material differences precluded California law from applying to all class members.