2006 Annual Survey of Fifth Circuit Class Action Cases

Texas Business Litigation Journal

In 2006, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and its various district courts saw moderate activity with regard to class action suits. In all, only 17 cases substantively addressed Rule 23.2 Attempts to certify classes were split, with certification being granted in six cases and denied in six cases. Five cases discussed the Rule in other respects.

Interestingly, class action suits concerning the Enron scandal continue to flourish while claims stemming from Hurricane Katrina appear to be gearing up. Despite such headline-worthy cases, little changed with respect to Rule 23’s interpretation and analysis.

Nonetheless, some new light was shed on a couple of the Rule’s more nebulous areas. One district court elaborated on Rule 23(e) settlement issues, and another court determined whether filing a federal class action can toll a plaintiff ’s individual state law claims. Additionally, all of the rulings provide vital insight into the Fifth Circuit requirements for pleading and arguing class issues.

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