LCJ Files Amicus Brief Opposing

Unconstitutional Creation of “Negotiation Class” in National Opioid Litigation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – February 14, 2020 – Lawyers for Civil Justice (LCJ), a national coalition of defense trial lawyer organizations, law firms, and corporations, yesterday filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Albany County v McKesson, et al., a case in the national opioid litigation, in opposition to the federal district court’s order that would result in the certification of a “negotiation class.”

“If allowed to stand, the district court order will result in certification of a negotiation class that amounts to a judicial usurpation of power beyond anything contemplated in the U.S. Constitution, or the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,” LCJ writes in its brief. “Certifying a negotiation class, as was done here, impedes our civil justice system’s ability to function so that disputes are resolved using clear and predictable rules that are known in advance and that create a fair forum for cases and controversies that will be decided under neutral principles of law.”

The brief further argues: “The judicial power does not extend to judicial efforts to solve national social crises untethered to the exercise of jurisdiction over specific cases and controversies as governed by governing statutes, case law, and court rules.”

The amicus filing reflects LCJ’s concerns about class actions and MDL procedures. Article III of the Constitution created federal courts of limited powers when it vested them with the “judicial power.” The organization believes that the order certifying a negotiation class adopted here falls outside of Article III’s limits, is unauthorized by federal law, and is inconsistent with the federal rules.

LCJ urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to reverse the district court’s order certifying a “negotiation class” because it is inconsistent with the standard for certification of classes as embodied in the rules and as articulated by the Supreme Court and this Court.

Read the full amicus brief here.

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Rules4MDLs is sponsored by Lawyers for Civil Justice, a national coalition of defense trial lawyer organizations, law firms, and corporations that promotes excellence and fairness in the civil justice system to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of civil cases. For more information, please contact Andrea Looney at alooney@lfcj.com.

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