At the third annual Western Alliance Bank Class Action Law Forum™ (CALF) in April, a prestigious faculty of panelists — including more than twelve federal judges, attorneys and other leading practitioners — discussed how class action litigation has been, and will continue to be, shaped by new court rulings, pandemic adaptations, advanced technology and societal shifts.
The virtual event, which was attended by several reporters at prominent legal publications, showcased how increasingly important it is class action professionals — and the legal field in general —stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices.
This access for both event participants and reporters to such a dynamic group of class action experts was expressed in media coverage of the various sessions — each which provided critical insights and in-depth discussions:
Hannah Albarazi of Law360 covered U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia’s advice to attorneys in his keynote — including the need to be aware that jurors are bringing powerful emotions and prejudices into the courtroom — in her article “Judge Warns Social Justice Issues Will Impact Jury Selections.” Judge Battaglia’s address focused on how matters of race and social justice will impact litigation — especially given the ongoing impact of these issues across the nation. This could impact jury selection, in particular, but also every other facet of a case.
There are certain behaviors that a CALF™ panel of judges said lawyers should avoid, such as ad hominem attacks on opposing counsel, poorly written briefs and unpreparedness before the court. Dorothy Atkins covered the panel for Law360 in “Footnotes, Eye-Popping Fee Bids Among Judges' 'Pet Peeves'”. While billing and fee awards were top-of-mind during the discussion, U.S. District Court Judge Beth Freeman noted that she has started to smaller fee awards accepted by class counsel.
Based on our Chief Judges panel, Alaina Lancaster of The Recorder wrote “California Judges Reveal Fast Track for Civil Trials as Federal Courts Begin to Reopen,” which covered the pathways California federal courts are using toward civil trails’ returning. She also highlighted the panel in her weekly Law.com column, “What’s Next.” Insights from the Chief Judges included that pending cases could start being tried at any time, so lawyers need to be ready — especially when a criminal case settles at the last minute.
As highlighted by media coverage, the 2021 Class Action Law Forum™ continued encouraging innovation, healthy debate and the evolution of this dynamic legal field — with so much more to learn and discuss as 2021 moves forward in a brighter direction.
Western Alliance Settlement Services, a national banking group within Western Alliance Bank, Member FDIC, specializes in banking for law firms, claims administrators and related businesses managing class action, mass tort and bankruptcy settlements nationwide. Relationship bankers bring clients years of experience and offer outstanding service to support all phases of the settlement process, from escrow to distribution, with a single point of contact. Settlement Services is part of Western Alliance Bancorporation, which has more than $70 billion in assets. Major accolades include being ranked as a top U.S. bank in 2023 by American Banker and Bank Director. With significant national capabilities, the Settlement Services Group delivers the reach, resources and deep industry knowledge that make a difference for customers.