Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Castillo v. Bank of America (9th Cir. - Nov. 18, 2020)

Rather than talk about the merits of this appeal, I simply wanted to propose a tiny change in the way in which the opinion discusses its procedural posture.

It's a class action.  Here are the two paragraphs in which Judge Gould describes how the case got to the Ninth Circuit:

"In response to Castillo’s Motion for Class Certification, the district court found that Castillo had satisfied the requirements of commonality and typicality under FRCP 23(a)(2)–(3), but not predominance under FRCP 23(b)(3). This appeal followed. . . .

Challenging only the denial of the second claim—the overtime-wage claim—and any claims derivative of it, Castillo timely appealed. FRCP 23(f)."

True.  Sort of. 

That'd indeed be the complete process in California state court, in which the denial of certification is the "death knell" of the litigation and hence allows an immediate appeal.  But not in federal court.  In the present case, the party that loses the certification motion (here, the plaintiff) first has to file a request for permission to appeal.  Only if the Court of Appeals grants permission may the appeal permissibly be heard.

A request for permission to appeal was necessarily made (and granted) here.  An important step.  One that probably merits at least brief inclusion.