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In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Devlin v. Scardelletti that objecting class members could appeal a federal district court’s approval of a class settlement without first intervening in the litigation. Public interest lawyer Brian Wolfman says the ruling was a victory for both objectors and the integrity of class action procedure: Objectors, he argues, help keep fairness hearings fair.

But a number of courts are now ruling that Devlin only applies to non-opt-out class actions, rather than the much more numerous ones that give class members opt-out rights. In this article, Wolfman details the exact wording of the Supreme Court decision and asserts that the high court clearly did not limit the application of Devlin.


Reproduced with permission from Class Action Litigation Report, 6 CLASS 453 (June 25, 2005). Copyright 2005 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033)

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6 Class Action Litig. Rep. (BNA), at 453-458 (June 25, 2005)