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On The Case Headlines

6th Circuit delivers a lovely gift to class action plaintiffs. Will it stand?

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday (2018 WL 3421711) that hundreds of Ohio homeowners with groundwater contamination claims against Chevron, Aramark, Behr America and Behr Dayton can litigate as a class to determine seven key issues in the case, including each defendant’s responsibility for the alleged contamination.

Dutch court approves $1.5 billion Fortis shareholder deal – but there’s a catch

Grant & Eisenhofer issued a press release Friday, hailing a Dutch appellate court’s approval of a $1.5 billion shareholder settlement with the international insurance company Ageas, the successor company of Fortis, a Dutch-Belgian financial services business that allegedly over-invested in U.S. mortgage-backed securities before the subprime crash. As G&E’s press release pointed out, the Fortis settlement – which follows seven years of litigation – is the biggest-ever for shareholders

As Trump claims power to pick federal agency judges, skeptics fear court-packing

In an executive order issued Tuesday, the Trump administration abruptly ended the longtime bureaucratic process by which federal agencies select administrative law judges – the judicial officers who preside over millions of administrative proceedings a year, from the smallest of Social Security claims to multimillion-dollar enforcement cases.

Fitbit in ‘ugly truth’ case: We meant to say arbitration is irrational for us, not consumers

Remember the case in which Fitbit’s Morrison & Foerster lawyers told U.S. District Judge James Donato of San Francisco that no rational party would pay hundreds of dollars in fees to initiate arbitration over a $162 fitness tracker? “A claim that is $162 - an individual claim - is not one that any rational litigant would litigate,” MoFo’s William Stern said at a May 31 hearing.

SCOTUS lawyers: For business clients, Kennedy exit means business as usual – for now

If you represent plaintiffs in civil rights or social justice cases, Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement announcement on Wednesday was a seismic event. As my Reuters colleague Lawrence Hurley wrote yesterday, Justice Kennedy’s signature gay and abortion rights decisions will be back in play if the Senate confirms a reliably conservative nominee without Kennedy’s maverick streak.