Thomas M. Byrne

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Survey Article


After an eventful 2004, in which the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals explored in depth the class certification requirements of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the court's 2005 docket presented more threshold questions concerning whether or not putative class actions could proceed past the pleading stage. The court's most important class action decisions during the year addressed the efficacy of contract provisions designed to preclude class actions in favor of individual arbitration proceedings. This issue is among the most controversial in class action law, as many businesses have turned to using standard arbitration provisions to curtail class action and other litigation exposure, and courts are divided on the outcomes.

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