Class certification is often discussed as a “stage” of litigation, but the Second Circuit’s recent decision in Jin v. Shanghai Original, Inc. et al is a good reminder that, even after a class is certified, class treatment must remain appropriate throughout the litigation. In Jin, the Second Circuit upheld the decertification of a class after “red flags” alerted the court that plaintiffs’ counsel was no longer serious about taking the case to trial. The opinion is particularly significant in practice areas where settlement is the expectation and trial the exception—and it provides a roadmap for defense counsel contemplating a motion to decertify if class counsel does not remain diligent. Whether to do so may depend on the case. A class decertified for counsel’s failures of representation may just be scooped up and reasserted by a different (and more adequate) lawyer. But in cases with serious proof problems, class decertification on adequacy grounds may effectively end the litigation.
See more on MoFo's Class Dismissed Blog.