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Class, Individual Litigation

A Must-Read for All Consumer Lawyers: NACA’s New Class Action Guidelines

This article explains the top four reasons why the new Fourth Edition of NACA’s Standards and Guidelines for Litigation and Settling Consumer Class Actions is a must-read not only for class action attorneys, but even for lawyers whose practice typically does involve class actions. The article lists the areas covered by the guidelines, changes in the Fourth Edition, and other key NCLC class action resources.

15 Blunders in Seeking an Attorney Fee Award

This article sets out 15 blunders to avoid when seeking a statutory attorney fee award. Time records must be “bullet-proof.” The article also explains 8 blunders in filling out time records. The remaining mistakes relate to hours that count for statutory fees, evidence supporting an hourly rate, and the presentation to the court justifying the fee award.

Protecting Federal Claims by Using State Courts

This article describes advantages and tactics in bringing federal consumer claims in state court, in response to Supreme Court decisions that narrow federal court standing requirements under Article III of the Constitution. Also detailed are a just-updated state-by-state analysis of state court standing rules, analysis why federal court standing requirements do not apply to federal claims in state courts, and a summary of advantages of litigating federal claims in state courts.

The Latest Developments on Constitutionality of CFPB Regulations

This article examines important developments at the Supreme Court, Second Circuit, and the district courts since the Fifth Circuit’s October ruling that the CFPB’s funding mechanism is unconstitutional and that a CFPB rule must thus be vacated. The article also offers updated litigation practice pointers for cases involving CFPB rules where defendants may challenge the rule’s validity based on the CFPB’s funding mechanism.

Protecting Awards for Named Plaintiffs; Other Class Action Practice Tips

This article provides practical steps to respond to an Eleventh Circuit ruling prohibiting extra recoveries for class representatives—a ruling that can cause havoc with prosecution of consumer class actions. The article also explains how to use the Supreme Court’s Ramirez case to breathe new life into state court class actions and highlights available practice tools from today’s most successful consumer class action practitioners.

Tips on Handling Attorney Fee Hearings

This article provides practice pointers for attorney fee hearings, based on the author’s 44 years of trial experience handling exclusively consumer law cases. The article focuses on time records and other steps to take well before the hearing, use of a 50-state survey of consumer attorney fee rates, getting ready for the hearing, and tips for conduct of the hearing itself.

Impact of Supreme Court’s “Major Question Doctrine” on Consumer Litigation

The Supreme Court’s June 30 decision in West Virginia v. EPA is significant in its application of the “major question doctrine” to agency rulemaking, and consumer lawyers can expect to see this doctrine raised as a defense in their cases. This article explains the doctrine, why it is inapplicable to almost all consumer litigation, and provides five tips to show that it is inapplicable.

Supreme Court Supports Equitable Tolling to Extend Legal Deadlines

This article examines an April 21, 2022, Supreme Court decision with important application to the equitable tolling of limitations periods found in federal consumer statutes. The article explains when equitable tolling should be available, lists actions justifying equitable tolling, and considers other approaches to extending limitations periods, including the fraud discovery rule.

Bringing Federal Consumer Claims in State Court: A 50-State Analysis of Standing Rules

The Supreme Court’s decision in TransUnion L.L.C. v. Ramirez, 141 S. Ct. 2190 (2021), creates serious constitutional standing obstacles for consumer litigation in federal court, particularly for class actions and claims seeking statutory damages. As explained in another NCLC article, Ramirez held that a credit reporting agency’s false identification of class members as terrorists did not cause...

Practice Implications of June 25 Supreme Court Ramirez Decision

The Supreme Court’s June 25 Ramirez decision reshapes constitutional standing for federal court FCRA, FDCPA, TILA, TCPA, RESPA and other individual and class cases based on consumer statutes. This article details Ramirez’s practice implications for varied types of consumer injury, provides pleading and proof tips, and explains how initiating a case in state court may alleviate standing problems.