Labor and Employment Law

Ca. Labor & Emp't Rev. January 2014, Volume 28, No. 1

The Future of Class Actions in Light of the Supreme Court’s Ruling in American Express v. Italian Colors

By Rhett T. Francisco, Trevor R. Hindin, and Andrew J. Sokolowski

Rhett T. Francisco’s practice includes both individual actions and class actions in the areas of wage and hour, FLSA, wrongful termination, compliance, and unfair competition, among other areas. Andrew J. Sokolowski has more than a decade of experience with employment law, business law, and class actions. He also advises businesses on compliance with California and national employment and consumer laws. Trevor R. Hindin is a cum laude graduate of Syracuse University College of Law, and an associate with the Law Offices of Rhett T. Francisco. Mr. Hindin has extensive experience litigating consumer class actions and employment class actions (including wage and hour cases).

Introduction

If you have read the headlines regarding class actions after the Supreme Court’s ruling in American Express v. Italian Colors1 (Amex), you may have heard that the sky is falling, and that the end of class actions is imminent.2 Some legal pundits have gone so far as to claim that Amex is the "worst Supreme Court arbitration decision ever," and that it will have "catastrophic" consequences for class actions.3 But the Chicken Little perspective is exaggerated—a product of reports, articles, and blogs that overstate the implications of Amex. In reality, Amex is a ruling in favor of arbitration and against access to the courts, but it is not the death knell for class actions.

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