The New, Improved Class Action Rule: The December 2018 Amendments to Rule 23
Pennsylvania Bar Association Quarterly, Vol. 90, p. 182 (October 2019)
11 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2019
Date Written: October 18, 2019
Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which governs federal class action practice, was amended in December 2018. Although the amendments do not address some of the more pressing issues that have arisen in class action practice of late – ascertainability; cy pres remedies; issues class actions; and pick-off strategies – the amendments are nevertheless important and helpful.
The Article identifies, contextualizes, and analyzes six of the more important changes made in the amended Rule: (A) front-loading of the settlement process by requiring preliminary approval before notice is provided to the class; (B) clarification that preliminary approvals are not appealable; (C) procedural and substantive standards for assessing the fairness of class action settlements; (D) combined notice of preliminary approval and class certification; (E) electronic means of providing class action notice; and (F) modest changes to rein in professional objectors.
Keywords: class action, Rule 23, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, amendment, preliminary approval, settlement, notice, electronic notice, reform, aggregate litigation, appeal, objectors
JEL Classification: K40, K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation