Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, July 8, 2016

New ABA book offers up-to-date analysis of class action law in each state

Attorney Bill Colvin reads a copy of the American Bar Association’s “The Law of Class Action,” which offers an examination of class action law in each of the 50 states. Colvin has been involved in class action cases since the 1990s. - Photo by David Laprad

In 1985, the United States Supreme Court ruling in Phillips Petroleum Co. v. Shutts opened the door for state courts to entertain multi-state and nationwide class actions that had traditionally been filed in federal forums. The following decade witnessed a significant increase in the number of multi-state class actions being adjudicated in the state courts. The American Bar Association (ABA)’s release of the “The Law of Class Action: Fifty-State Survey 2015-2016” offers an examination of class action law in each of the 50 states.

Chattanooga-based attorney Bill Colvin spoke favorably about the book during a recent interview with the Hamilton County Herald.

“It does a good job of explaining what class actions are and of summarizing what’s happened over the last year, particularly with respect to the effects of the Class Action Fairness Act,” Colvin said. “Once you get past that, the bulk of the book is a summary of class action laws state by state. It’s going to save a lawyer a lot of time digging up cases.”

A press release from the American Bar Association says the book “serves as a valuable tool for both in-house and outside counsels who confront the prospect of litigating class actions in state forums with which they may have little or no experience.”

Litigators from each of the respective states prepared the summaries and addressed changes in rules and statutes as well as significant case law. “The summaries in the book provide a thorough and thoughtful understanding of the workings of the relevant state class action rules and case law that will be extremely useful to practitioners and parties alike,” the press release says.

“It’s a great resource if you’re going to be involved in a class action case,” said Colvin.”

Colvin first became involved in class actions when he represented 360 women in a plaintiffs’ class action lawsuit against silicone breast implant maker Dow Corning Corp. in the 1990s. He also had a significant role in the plaintiffs’ class action lawsuit against Tri-State Crematory.

“The Law of Class Action” is the collaboration of the ABA Section of Litigation, cochaired by Fabrice Vincent and Dennis Egan. The Fifty-State Survey was prepared by attorneys in the various states. To order the book, call (800) 285-2221 or visit www.shop.americanbar.org.

Source: Some information from the American Bar Association