The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the four federal district courts in Texas, and the two federal district courts in Louisiana saw almost the same amount of class action activity in 2011 as they did in 2010. In 2010, these courts decided 14 cases substantively addressing Rule 23. The courts in 2010 certified four of the proposed classes. The same courts in 2011 decided 15 cases that substantively addressed Rule 23, certifying six of the proposed classes and two class action settlements.
This past year, the Fifth Circuit and district courts in Texas and Louisiana addressed class actions impacting areas such as the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, federal RICO laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act, civil rights violations, trademark infringement, negligence, breach of contract, and mass torts. The following is a summary of decisions from the Fifth Circuit and the Texas and Louisiana federal district courts that substantively addressed Rule 23. Hopefully, this will provide some valuable insight into litigating class action issues in the Fifth Circuit.