September 1, 2010
Third Circuit Court of Appeals Issues
Re-Hearing of De Beers Class-Action Law Suit
Re-Hearing is at the Convenience of the Court
and Grants All Sides a Chance to Re-Argue their Case
No Claims Will Be Paid Until the Full Court Issues its Opinion
On August 27, 2010, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order granting a re-hearing before the entire (en banc) Third Circuit panel "at the convenience of the court" on the settlement of the De Beers class-action law suit. The issue for the en banc panel to decide is whether the lower court correctly analyzed if it was appropriate to certify the class. Some members of the class challenged the certification of the class and the settlement agreement at the Third Circuit based on a claim (among others) of a lack of common harm to all of the members of the class. A smaller three-judge panel of the Third Circuit decided to send the case back to the District Court for re-consideration on that ground, but now the full court will re-consider the grounds for the appeal.
This decision granting a re-hearing of this issue before the entire Third Circuit panel gives all parties to the litigation another chance to argue their positions. It provides the appellants (those challenging the settlement) an opportunity to argue again that the class is incorrectly composed, making the settlement agreement reached by the parties unsupportable.
During the period of time that the case will be again argued at the Third Circuit, and until the full court issues its opinion, no claims filed by any class members will be paid. Even once the opinion is issued, there could be further delays pending ultimate resolution of all the legal issues attached to the case. There is no time table for this opinion of the full panel to be issued, and once issued the decision of the full panel can be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Click here to read the order granting a re-hearing.
Click here for more informaion about the court's July decision discarding the DeBeers settlement.
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