9th Circ. Ups Ante On Cert. Of Nationwide Settlement Classes

February 1, 2018 – The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in In Re Hyundai and Kia Fuel Economy Litigation (9th Cir. 2018) has generated strong reactions in the legal community. Some observers predict the ruling will make it extremely difficult to certify a nationwide consumer class action, at least in the Ninth Circuit. Others claim the holding creates a circuit split that will need to be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court. A closer examination of the reasoning of the case, I believe, reveals that the decision does not break new ground in terms of class action law but does highlight the difficulties in certifying nationwide class actions, even for settlement-only classes. The decision also provides a valuable lesson for defense lawyers, namely that your advocacy in defeating class certification may come back to haunt you if your client later wants to settle on a classwide basis.

Click here to read the complete Law360 expert analysis written by Butler Rubin partner James Morsch.