Monday, November 15, 2010

NAACP LDF files Amicus Brief in AT&T v Concepcion to protect the rights of petitioners in Class Action cases

In its friend-of-the-court brief, the NAACP LDF stresses the significant adverse implications of class-action bans for civil rights litigation. Thanks to notable class-action suits, such as Brown v. Board of Education and Griggs v. Duke Power Company, our nation has made significant progress toward the Constitutional aspiration of a “more perfect Union.” But class actions remain an indispensable tool for promoting equal opportunity. Class-action bans could prove extremely detrimental in many spheres where class actions have been successful over the past two decades in redressing civil rights violations. The NAACP LDF’s brief illustrates this fact by surveying recent cases challenging discrimination by large employers, mortgage lenders, insurers, and vehicle financing companies.

Recognizing the important public interests served by class actions, courts have held that class-action bans are unenforceable under the generally applicable laws of California and at least nineteenth other states. Contrary to the claims of AT&T Mobility, neither the Federal Arbitration Act nor any other federal law prevents courts from invalidating class-action bans under ordinary state contract law principles. To the contrary, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, federal antidiscrimination statutes, and even the Supreme Court have all recognized the importance of class actions, especially in the civil rights context.

Click HERE for the Brief



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