King & Spalding’s national class action defense team is one of the largest and most experienced in the United States. Recognized by Law 360 as a national “Class Action Group of the Year” twice in the last four years, our team focuses from day one on defeating class certification. But King & Spalding’s class action litigators also understand that there are many ways to resolve a class action successfully, whether by obtaining summary judgment, trying a case to verdict, winning on appeal, or—when the circumstances demand—negotiating a satisfactory settlement. King & Spalding lawyers have successfully handled hundreds of high-stakes class actions in federal and state courts all over America.
Our class action experience spans jurisdiction, subject matter, and industry focus. We have successfully litigated cases asserting potentially high-exposure claims in jurisdictions considered the most hostile to corporate defendants. Indeed, our clients often engage us to handle the most significant class action cases they face. But we are equally experienced in handling a wide portfolio of cases that demand both efficiency and uncompromising quality. We understand that not all class actions can be handled alike, and we take great pride in partnering with our clients to develop and then execute strategies tailored to their needs and the specific circumstances they encounter.
Class Action Victories
In the past several years, the firm has represented clients in over 250 consumer class actions, almost all of which have been dismissed or effectively resolved early in the litigation and on terms favorable to our clients. Among other successes, we have:
- Defeated class certification over and over again. See, e.g., In re Hydrogen Peroxide Antitrust Litig., 552 F.3d 305 (3d Cir. 2008); Smith v. Progressive Cas. Ins. Co., Case No. 2010-CP-26 1052 (Horry County, SC Aug. 20, 2013); Berger v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., Case No. 11-55592 (9th Cir. Feb. 3, 2014); Colapinto v. Esquire Deposition Services, LLC, 2011 WL 913251 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 8, 2011); Jeff Enterprises, Inc. v. The Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., Case No. 07-60302 (S.D. Fla. 2008); Rollins, Inc. v. Warren, 653 S.E.2d 794 (Ga. App. 2007); Gardner v. Equifax Info. Services, 2007 WL 2261688 (D. Minn. Aug. 6, 2007); Blain v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., 240 F.R.D. 179 (E.D. Pa. 2007); Marino v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., Case No. 06-80343 (S.D. Fla. 2007); Buynie v. Airco, Inc., 2007 WL 2275013 (N.J. Ct. App. 2007), cert denied, 944 A.2d 30 (N.J. 2008); O'Neill, et al. v. The Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., Case No. 05-61931 (S.D. Fla. 2006); Danielson, et al. v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., et al., Civil Action File No. 1:05-CV-2091-WSD (N.D. Ga. 2007); Dawalt v. Purdue Pharma, et al., No. 01-CL-01463 (Boone County Ky. Cir. Ct. 2006).
- Handled 17 appeals under the Class Action Fairness Act. See, e.g., Frederico v. The Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., 507 F.3d 188 (3d Cir. 2007); Evans v. Walter Indus., Inc., 449 F.3d 1159 (11th Cir. 2006); Soutter v. Equifax Information Svcs., appeal pending, No. 11-1564 (4th Cir.).
- Defeated putative class actions with dispositive motions. See, e.g., Savett v. Whirlpool Corp, et. al., No. 12-cv-310 (N.D. Ohio Aug. 31, 2012); Phillip Long Dang, D.C., P.C. v. XLHealth Corp., No. 1:09-cv-1076, 2011 WL 553826 (N.D. Ga. Feb. 7, 2011); Willard v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc.,No. 5:09-cv-110/RS-MD, 2009 WL 4730644 (N.D. Fla. Dec. 7, 2009); Rickher v. Home Depot, Inc., 535 F.3d 661 (7th Cir. 2008); Pacholec v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., No. 07-3593, 2008 WL 4401397 (3d Cir. Sep. 30, 2008).
Creative Resolution Strategies
In other cases, recognizing that the cost and burdens defending class actions impose on our clients, we work with clients to evaluate whether their interests and circumstances warrant a global resolution. Our experience helps us counsel clients on creative settlement strategies that will allow them to eliminate, for the least amount of money, the looming threat of expensive, repeat litigation. These strategies include injunctive relief for future practices, creative forms of value to the class, and possible modifications in business practices.
From the outset, we partner with clients to integrate their business and legal strategies. To avoid costly discovery, we strive to determine as early as possible whether a case should be tried, working with clients and experts to make a reasonable assessment of each case based on the merits. If a trial is in the client’s best interest, we map out a strategy that combines advocacy and technical expertise. We also implement efficient, effective procedures for managing discovery, such as alternative staffing, off-site and lower cost production facilities. This, of course, is in addition to counseling clients in negotiating (or nearly eliminating) the risk of class action litigation associated with certain claims. Our broad-based experience, coupled with our firm’s full-service platform, afford us a unique perspective to proactively assist clients in avoiding potentially significant and costly class action litigation.