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View Diary: SCOTUS Justice Kagan Ridicules Roberts Court's "Make-Believe" Problems (63 comments)

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  •  Thnking this all the way through (9+ / 0-)

    It seems like it would be an easy way to do make these sort of lawsuits far less common.  

    If you were a business, and you had an employee bring a suit against you, and you made an offer of 5 bucks and a baseball cap, your employee would not accept, right?

    That would appear to be sufficient for the interest to become moot, according to this judgment.

    I am not a lawyer, but I can't imagine they wouldn't see that silver lining.


    by otto on Fri May 10, 2013 at 07:19:50 AM PDT

    •  Not quite. The settlement offer was for the (9+ / 0-)

      entire amount of her claim.  She asked the court for $7500 + costs, and they offered to give her that.  In order to moot the case, the offer has to be for the total amount of damages sought.  So unless you were only requesting $5 and a baseball cap in damages, that wouldn't be enough to moot the case.

      •  I don't know if an offer of settlement "moots" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        caul, FarWestGirl

        a case, though: if procedure allows a motion to dismiss based on a tender of the entire amount claimed, that would be different.  Then the named plaintiff would be dismissed and there's nobody left to represent the class.

        What's strange is that the case goes to the supreme court without an attempt to join a significant number of plaintiffs, but I suppose that the thought is that Genesis will just repeat the tactic to avoid the class action.  

        "We're now in one of those periods when the reality of intense pressure on the middle class diverges from long-held assumptions of how the American bargain should work" --James Fallows

        by Inland on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:22:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think what Justice Kagan is saying is that (10+ / 0-)

          the court SHOULD have decided whether an offer to tender the entire amount moots the claim.  Just skimming over the case, my understanding is that there is a circuit split on this issue, and the Court ducked it here on procedural grounds (basically saying the plaintiff waived it/failed to properly preserve it).  

          But even if the case is moot as to the named plaintiff, that doesn't moot the case as to the class, provided the class was certified before it became moot (or there was a wrongfully denied motion to certify), per USPC v. Geraghty (I think that's the right case...).  That is, she can still proceed as class representative, even if her case specifically has become moot.  

          The question presented here was whether she can proceed as a  "collective action" under FLSA (which is different from a Rule 23 class action, apparently - I didn't know this until looking at the decision) even when no one else has joined her suit and the suit is moot as to her.  

          •  I assumed it was Rule 23, which is already (0+ / 0-)

            way over my head.  But it's good that the mistake is confined to FLSA, knock on wood.

            "We're now in one of those periods when the reality of intense pressure on the middle class diverges from long-held assumptions of how the American bargain should work" --James Fallows

            by Inland on Fri May 10, 2013 at 09:22:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  From Adam B's diary at the time (8+ / 0-)

            It seems that Kagan is clearly saying nothing that occured mooted the claim, so she could hardly be suggesting that the court should have decided whether it did or didn't. She's saying it didn't, and the court decided wrongly.

            The offer, according to its terms, would “be deemed withdrawn” if Symczyk did not accept it within 10 days. That deadline came and went without any reply. The case then proceeded in the normal fashion, with the District Court setting a schedule for discovery. Pause here for a moment to ask whether you’ve seen anything yet that would moot Symczyk’s individual claim. No? Neither have I
            After the offer lapsed, just as before, Symczyk possessed an unsatisfied claim, which the court could redress by awarding her damages. As long as that remained true, Symczyk’s claim was not moot, and the District Court could not send her away empty-handed.

            “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

            by Catte Nappe on Fri May 10, 2013 at 10:13:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  What about an admission (0+ / 0-)

          of guilt?  Too many settlements include the agreement that the plaintiff not admit guilt.  This would have forced all other cases to go through the court at great time and expense, but if they had admitted guilt then the other cases would have been slam dunk.

          Is that the real reason she rejected the settlement?

          Republican tax policies have led to financial conditions which have caused Republicans to demand cuts to programs they have always opposed.

          by AppleP on Sat May 11, 2013 at 06:38:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't understand the backstory (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        misslegalbeagle, figbash, WheninRome

        If they offered her the entire amount of her claim plus costs why did she turn it down?    

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