In Martin v. Behr Dayton Thermal Products LLC, the Sixth Circuit interpreted how Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3)’s requirements interact with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(c)(4). Rule 23(b)(3) provides that a class action may be certified if a “court finds that the questions of law or fact common to class members predominate over any questions affecting only individual members and that a class action is superior to other available methods for fairly and efficiently adjudicating the controversy.” Rule 23(c)(4) provides that “[w]hen appropriate, an action may be brought or maintained as a class action with respect to particular issues.” The Sixth Circuit recently held that the interaction between Rule 23(b)(3) and Rule 23(c)(4) should be interpreted broadly. Under the “broad” view, “courts apply the Rule 23(b)(3) predominance and superiority prongs after common issues have been identified for class treatment under Rule 23(c)(4).” The Sixth Circuit was correct in its holding because the broad view leads to an efficient allocation of judicial resources while remaining faithful to the text and purpose of Rule 23.
Shaquille Grant, Case Note, Issue Classing—The Express Checkout of Class Actions, 72 SMU L. Rev. F. 59 (2019).
Further Related Reads
- Carol Rice Andrews, The Personal Jurisdiction Problem Overlooked in the National Debate about Class Action Fairness, 58 SMU L. Rev. 1313 (2005).
- William V. Dorsaneo, III, Reexamining the Right to Trial by Jury, 54 SMU L. Rev. 1695 (2001).
- Susan E. Abitanta, Comment, Bifurcation of Liability and Damages in Rule 23(b)(3) Class Actions: History, Policy, Problems, and a Solution, 36 Sw L.J. 743 (1982).