Our lawyers have developed a focused practice in class action litigation, including a number of appeals that have helped to shape the law in Arkansas. That focused practice has given us the opportunity for broad experience across nearly every area of the law that is subject to the class action procedure. This experience serves our clients well because we understand the nuances of class action procedure as well as the manner in which a wide spectrum of trial judges apply the requirements of Rule 23 to the issues they face. Strategic litigation is vital in this area of the law because the claims of thousands of class members make the stakes high in every case. Class actions are often bet-the-company litigation, and it is important to have the right lawyers on the case from the date the complaint is served to take advantage of every opportunity that experienced lawyers know can minimize the potential for losses.
Focused on Clients
Our clients who have faced class actions cover the spectrum of companies and industries, from banking and insurance to consumer and employment issues.
Focused on Services
When you engage us, we immediately help you to evaluate the case and develop a legal defense strategy based upon the issues, the parties, and the court in which the case is filed. This strategy includes seeking early dismissal of questionable claims (e.g., Parnell v. FanDuel, Inc., 2019 Ark. 412), targeted discovery to address legal and practical problems with the alleged class definition, measures to eliminate expansion of the class into the future, and how alternative dispute resolution (including arbitration and mediation) may help you to minimize exposure and potential loss. We can also work with you to develop agreements and business processes that may minimize future class actions.
In Arkansas state courts, an interlocutory appeal is permitted from each class certification order. Our deep appellate experience, both in class actions and in other types of appeals, is beneficial not only for the frequent appeals in this area of the law but also to help develop the legal strategy below that will give you the best chance for success on appeal.
We also have extensive experience in the removal of class actions to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act, including how to address complaints that are designed to avoid CAFA removal.
Although not technically a class action, we also have experience in qui tam matters, including matters that are national in scope.
- E.g. United States ex rel. Rille v. Hewlett-Packard Co.; 2011 WL 4625646 (E.D. Ark. Oct. 5, 2011)
- United States ex rel. Her v. Regions Financial Corp., 2008 WL 2370942 (June 3, 2008)
- United States ex rel. Her v. Chambers Bank, 2008 WL 11450745 (June 3, 2008)
Focused on Matters
Our experience includes involvement in the early development of class action procedures in cases such as:
- BPS Inc. v. Richardson, 341 Ark. 834, 20 S.W.3d 403 (2000)
- Baptist Health v. Haynes, 367 Ark. 382, 240 S.W.3d 576 (2006)
We have continued to develop arguments and strategies in numerous cases over the years. We have successfully argued against class certification in a variety of legal contexts:
- E.g., Kennedy v. United American Ins. Co., 2013 WL 1367131 (E.D. Ark. Apr. 3, 2013)
- Her v. Regions Financial Corp., 2008 WL 552754 (W.D. Ark. Feb. 27, 2008)
- Union Pacific R.R. v. Vickers, 2009 Ark. 259, 308 S.W.3d 573
When our clients are not successful in defeating class certification, the multi-layered strategy we develop with clients' input can result in obtaining rulings that ultimately make it difficult for a plaintiff who faces a certified class to prevail on the merits.
- E.g., United American Ins. Co. v. Smith, 2010 Ark. 468, 371 S.W.3d 685 (2011)
When that happens, we are prepared to try class claims to a verdict:
- E.g. Bureau Policy Holders & Members v. Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co. of Arkansas, Inc. 335 Ark. 285, 984 S.W.2d 6 (1998)
- Hutson v. Baptist Health, Pulaski Circuit No. CV-2008-8221 (Dec. 5, 2012)