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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dalton v. Lee Publications: 9th Circuit Denies Permission to Appeal Order Granting Class Certification

On Tuesday, a split panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a defendant employer's petition for permission to appeal an order granting class certification. Dalton v. Lee Publications, Inc., --- F.3d ----, 2010 WL 4608799 (November 16, 2010). The plaintiffs deliver newspapers for San Diego's North County Times. They allege that the defendant illegally classifies them as independent contractors, rather than employees. District court judge Barry Ted Moskowitz (S.D. Cal.) certified the class in July. Dalton v. Lee Publications, Inc., --- F.R.D. ----, 2010 WL 2985130 (July 27, 2010).

Circuit Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain dissented from the decision to deny permission to appeal, expressing concerns about the pressure to settle after class certification, the $18 million potential exposure in the case, and the fact that the defendant is "a member of the struggling newspaper industry."

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