Class Certification

With the publication of the Supreme Court’s recent Wal-Mart decision, both plaintiffs and defense lawyers are on newly defined terrain for class certification. “Rigorous analysis” and “significant proof” are clearly required, even when this necessitates exploration of the underlying merits. As a result, insightful data analysis, undertaken early in the case, has become essential for plaintiffs’ class counsel, while defense counsel contend with the new paradigms mandating robust early discovery.

Given our focus on complex statistical analysis and the creation and management of large data sets, OnPoint has long been providing exactly the type of rigorous analysis that recent case law appears to require. Effectiveness at the class certification stage is often determined by the success of data-gathering and early discovery efforts—two areas in which OnPoint provides key assistance to counsel. OnPoint frequently undertakes responsibility for defining data requests and identifying the most relevant evidence in millions of pages of documentary production, which is then put to work in our economic and statistical analysis. In many instances, this analysis may precede the filing of a complaint; early assessments and settlement analyses are among the services that OnPoint provides. Testifying experts who submit class certification reports with OnPoint’s support include some of the most well-respected economists, statisticians, and finance experts currently practicing in the litigation arena.

Major class action engagements at OnPoint have included antitrust claims of all types, claims of denial of services, product misrepresentation, fraud on the market, interference with competitor market entry, violation of fiduciary relationships, discriminatory lending practices, and environmental damages, among others. Representations include both plaintiffs’ and defendants’ work. Typicality and numerosity are frequently addressed, but the core strength of OnPoint’s reports involves careful determination of common issue predominance, common impact, potential differences among class members and their relevance for certification purposes, and professionally accepted methodologies for calculating class-wide damages given the specialized facts of the case.

The reputation of OnPoint’s experts and the quality of the staff work that stands behind them has lead our firm to be retained in some of the most important and closely watched class certification disputes. Representative examples include Class v. Smithkline Beecham Corporation D/B/A Glaxosmithkline plc (delayed generic entry); In Re: Rail Freight Fuel Surcharge Antitrust Litigation (imposition of industry-wide fuel surcharges); In Re: Southeastern Milk Antitrust Litigation (manipulation of raw milk prices); In Re: Ready-Mixed Concrete Antitrust Litigation (manipulation of concrete prices); Frank K. Cooper Real Estate #1, Inc., et al. v. Cendant Corporation and Century 21 Real Estate Corporation (franchisee claims for breach of contract, fiduciary duty and misappropriation); James Weiss, Patricia Vogt, et al. v. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP and Zeneca, Inc. (allegations of product misrepresentation involving Nexium); In Re: Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation (undisclosed brokerage commissions embedded in commercial and employee benefits insurance premiums); In Re: High Pressure Laminate Antitrust Litigation (conspiracy to raise prices of high pressure laminates); In Re: High Fructose Corn Syrup Antitrust Litigation (conspiracy to raise and fix prices of the main sweetener in regular soda and many other food products); and In Re: Sumitomo Copper Litigation (manipulation of traded market for copper futures).