The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the federal district courts in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi saw a slight increase in class action activity in 2012 compared to 2011. In 2011, these courts decided thirteen cases substantively addressing Rule 23 litigation classes and two settlement classes, certifying seven of the proposed litigation classes and approving both of the class action settlements. The same courts in 2012 decided fifteen cases that substantively addressed Rule 23 litigation classes and four settlement classes, certifying only two of the proposed litigation classes but approving all four class action settlements.
This past year, the Fifth Circuit and district courts in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi addressed class actions involving Rule 23 issues impacting federal laws such as the Sherman Act, ERISA, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, among others. The courts also addressed class actions involving violations of state law, including negligence, breach of warranty, fraud, and various statutory causes of action. The following is a summary of decisions by the Fifth Circuit and associated district courts that substantively addressed Rule 23. Hopefully, this will provide some valuable insight into litigating class action issues in the Fifth Circuit.