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PIs Help Defeat Class Actions

Posted Jun 13, 2007 8:10 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Los Angeles lawyer David Aronoff has found a new way to oppose class actions.

Aronoff thought that too many judges were displaying a “rubber stamp mentality" and routinely certifying class-actions. So five years ago, he decided to hire a private investigator to find links between proposed class representatives and plaintiffs' firms, the Recorder reports.

Aronoff’s approach paid off in April, when U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of San Francisco refused to certify a class of consumers who had purchased air purifiers. Aronoff had contended the name plaintiff got involved in the case by responding to a newspaper ad.

"It is clear from the record that plaintiff's counsel, and not plaintiff, is the driving force behind this action," Patel wrote.

Aronoff, a partner at Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner, told the legal newspaper this is the second time his investigations have persuaded a judge to deny certification.

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