Seventh Circuit Provides Guidance on Certifying Class Definition and Claims Differing from Those Proposed in Complaint

Seventh Circuit Provides Guidance on Certifying Class Definition and Claims Differing from Those Proposed in Complaint

This week we discuss the Seventh Circuit’s opinion in Beaton v. SpeedyPC Software, which weighed in on the propriety of certifying a class narrower than the definition proposed in the complaint and upon claims not specifically identified in the complaint. We also briefly look at eight other appellate decisions from the past two weeks that include: (i) holding that the misuse defense under Indiana’s Products Liability Act can be a complete defense; (ii) a party’s complete about-face can be a basis for surprise to obtain relief from a judgment under Trial Rule 60(B)(1); (iii) multi-year assertion that a defendant is subject to the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act and numerous delays to await a medical review panel determination can be sufficient to estop a plaintiff from arguing that the defendant is not subject to the Medical Malpractice Act; (iv) contracts attached to complaints are admissible as evidence at trial even if not specifically identified in final exhibits list; (v) a claim for unjust enrichment can be made even if the benefits are provided by a third-party; (vi) courts may commit reversible error when elevating formality over substantial justice with overly rigid application of procedure at trial; (vii) illustrating considerations in applying the doctrines of apparent authority and apparent agency; and (viii) citations to the record along with other citations count toward the word limit in federal appellate filings despite no rule specifically stating that citations are included in the word count.

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Seventh Circuit Answers When a Change in Legal Theory Stated in a Complaint Will Prove Disastrous and When an Indiana Supply Contract is Enforceable

Seventh Circuit Answers When a Change in Legal Theory Stated in a Complaint Will Prove Disastrous and When an Indiana Supply Contract is Enforceable

This week, we discuss the Seventh Circuit’s ruling in the second appeal of Brc Rubber & Plastics, Inc. v. Cont’l Carbon Co., which held that a supply contract for the purchase of an approximate amount for a fixed price was an enforceable contract and further analyzed how a change in legal theory from that advanced in the complaint may impact the litigation.

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Seventh Circuit Affirms Piercing Corporate Veil to Attach $7.5m Judgment

Seventh Circuit Affirms Piercing Corporate Veil to Attach $7.5m Judgment

Today’s discussion looks at numerous recent cases ranging from the use of unsigned depositions at summary judgment, the possible need to provide details in support of damages calculations for actions sounding in breach of contract, whether Goodwin and Rogers apply to duty analyses beyond premises liability, the grounds for awarding class-action attorney fees, the scope of specific personal jurisdiction under Indiana law, and then take a deeper dive into the Seventh Circuit’s opinion affirming a bankruptcy court’s decision to pierce a corporate veil in order to attach a $7.5m judgment held by a former shareholder against the lone remaining shareholder.

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Seventh Circuit: Plaintiff Does Not Release Nonparties He Knows Nothing About When Settling With Defendants

Seventh Circuit: Plaintiff Does Not Release Nonparties He Knows Nothing About When Settling With Defendants

This week we look at a decision by Judge Posner for the Seventh Circuit which briefly examines whether a party can be held to release claims against entities that were not mentioned in settlement discussions. Our discussion also clarifies an often-cited proverb that has long left the blacksmith harshly done.

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Seventh Circuit: Rule 67 is Not Viable Path to Pick Off Class Action Plaintiff

Seventh Circuit: Rule 67 is Not Viable Path to Pick Off Class Action Plaintiff

This discussion looks to the Seventh Circuit's decision in Fulton Dental, LLC v. Bisco, Inc., which rejected a defendant's attempt to use Rule 67 to deposit funds with the court's registry as a way to force a putative class representative to involuntarily settle its claim. Fulton Dental builds on the Supreme Court's decision, last year, in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, which held that an unaccepted Rule 68 offer of judgment could not moot a plaintiff's claims.

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7th Circuit Rejects Heightened Ascertainability Requirement in Consumer Class Actions Signaled in Carrera v. Bayer Corp. (3d Cir. 2013)

7th Circuit Rejects Heightened Ascertainability Requirement in Consumer Class Actions Signaled in Carrera v. Bayer Corp. (3d Cir. 2013)

In a major decision, the Seventh Circuit rejected the heightened ascertainability requirement for class certification that has been recently adopted in the Third Circuit. As a result, the Seventh Circuit not only rejected adoption of the Third Circuit's interpretation, but also dissected and found lacking each of the proffered underlying policies. Thus, the Seventh Circuit still recognizes the utility of affidavits in identifying class members. Perhaps the best line: "When it comes to protecting the interests of absent class members, courts should not let the perfect become the enemy of the good."

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7th Circuit Weighs in on Crucial Standing Issue in Cyberattack Cases

7th Circuit Weighs in on Crucial Standing Issue in Cyberattack Cases

Today's discussion focuses on this week's Seventh Circuit decision in Remijas v. Neiman Marcus Grp., LLC, in which the court found standing for a putative class action following a cyberattack causing credit card information for 350,000 customers to be accessed.

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What Happens on Appeal When Trial Court Dismisses Case Without Deciding All Issues: Competing Fields of Thought?

What Happens on Appeal When Trial Court Dismisses Case Without Deciding All Issues: Competing Fields of Thought?

What happens when the trial court enters a final judgment that isn't really final because the trial court has not actually decided every issue? Earlier this month, Chief Judge Wood for the Seventh Circuit indicated that an appellate court has no choice but to remand the case due to a lack of appellate jurisdiction. Today, the Court of Appeals of Indiana issue a decision that takes a different approach–the approach taken by the Second Circuit in a case mirroring the issue addressed by Chief Judge Wood: decide the merits of the appeal and remand for further proceedings on the overlooked issue.

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Does a Subsequent Order Labeling Another a ‘Final Judgment’ Impact the Deadline for Filing an Appeal?

Does a Subsequent Order Labeling Another a ‘Final Judgment’ Impact the Deadline for Filing an Appeal?

This discussion examines a host of cases from the Seventh Circuit and Indiana Court of Appeals from the past week and focuses on a case from Indiana examining whether a subsequent order labeling a prior order as a "final judgment" is a final judgment in accordance with Rule 54 for purposes of appeal.

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7th Circuit (Wood, C.J.) Examines Federal Interpleader & Application of the Rooker-Feldman Doctrine

7th Circuit (Wood, C.J.) Examines Federal Interpleader & Application of the Rooker-Feldman Doctrine

This week's discussion examines the Rooker-Feldman doctrine along with federal interpleader and the Wilton-Brillhart abstention doctrine through the recent Seventh Circuit decision Arnold v. KJD Rel Estate, LLC. The discussion also takes a brief look at the Indiana Supreme Court case Robinson v. Erie Insurance Exchange–holding that the language of an insurance policy did not extend uninsured motorist coverage to property damage caused by a hit-and-run without physical injury to the driver.

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Does § 1981 Provide a Private Right of Action Against State Actors? On First Impression, 7th Cir. Says No

Does § 1981 Provide a Private Right of Action Against State Actors? On First Impression, 7th Cir. Says No

This week's discussion looks to a case of first impression in the Seventh Circuit: Campbell v. Forest Pres. Dist. of Cook Cnty., Ill. The issue was whether the Civil Rights Act of 1991 amended 42 U.S.C. § 1981 to permit a private right of action against state actors, thereby permitting a four-year statute of limitations, or whether, as set forth in Jett v. Dallas Indep. Sch. Dist., § 1981 claims against state actors must arise under § 1983, thereby limited to the forum state's limitation for personal injury claims.

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7th Circuit: Personal Jurisdiction & the Role of State Long-Arm Statutes

7th Circuit: Personal Jurisdiction & the Role of State Long-Arm Statutes

This week the HLB returns with a bang, or a foomp as the case may be. We delve into the issue of personal jurisdiction and the role of a state long-arm statute in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in Walden v. Fiore back in February through the case Advanced Tactical Ordinance Sys., LLC v. Real Action Paintball, Inc. handed down by the Seventh Circuit today. The foomp, if you hadn't guessed is an onomatopoeia for the noise of a paintball marker. This and more peculiar witticism from your author inside.

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7th Circuit (Posner) Examines CAFA Amount in Controversy in Light of Knowles & Rooker-Feldman Doctrine

7th Circuit (Posner) Examines CAFA Amount in Controversy in Light of Knowles & Rooker-Feldman Doctrine

This week we look at the Seventh Circuit (Posner) decision in Johnson v. Pushpin Holdings, LLC that examined whether a named plaintiff in a class action could stipulate to limit damages recovery to below the $5 million threshold requirement for federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). The case also, briefly, stepped into the realm of examining the Rooker-Feldman doctrine that bars review of a state court decision by a federal court other than the Supreme Court and how that might apply to removal under the CAFA.

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