Class Certification in RICO Litigation: Leveraging the New Reliance Standard

Strategies for Prosecuting and Defending Certification After Bridge v. Phoenix Bond

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, September 1, 2009

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Program Materials

This seminar will discuss emerging trends in RICO-based class action cases, analyze the impact of the Supreme Court's Bridge decision on class certification, and outline strategies for bringing or defending RICO class action litigation.


The sharp increase in RICO-based class litigation in recent years is primarily attributable to the Class Action Fairness Act, as plaintiffs seek to bring more nationwide class actions based on federal statutes.

Some federal courts have ruled that RICO fraud classes cannot satisfy Rule 23(b)(3) because individual issues of reliance and proximate causation predominate over issues common to the class. However, the Supreme Court's Bridge v. Phoenix Bond & Indemnity ruling arguably changes this standard.

By eliminating the requirement that plaintiffs plead and prove first party reliance in RICO mail fraud claims, the Bridge decision should simplify class certification. Cases evaluating certification since Bridge provide even more guidance.

Listen as our authoritative panel of class action litigators analyzes the impact Bridge has had on RICO class action litigation and discusses best practices for either bringing or defeating class certification of RICO claims.



  1. Developments in RICO class action litigation
    1. Impact of CAFA
    2. Case law developments
      1. Class certification cases pre-Bridge v. Phoenix Bond & Indemnity
        1. McLaughlin v. American Tobacco (2nd Cir 2008)
      2. Bridge v. Phoenix Bond & Indemnity (Sup. Ct. 2008)
      3. Case law post-Bridge
        1. Cases favorable for defendants
        2. Cases favorable for plaintiffs
        3. In re Zyprexa Prods. Liab. Litig. (E.D.N.Y. 2008, cert. granted 2nd Cir. 2009)
  2. Strategies for plaintiffs in RICO class certification
  3. Strategies for defendants to defeat RICO class certification


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • Is the Bridge holding with respect to reliance tantamount to the "fraud-on-the-market" presumption applicable to securities cases?
  • How have post-Bridge courts interpreted the Supreme Court's holding regarding first party reliance in RICO class action certifications?
  • How can plaintiffs leverage Bridge in RICO class action certification?
  • Why is proximate cause critical to defendant's ability to defeat certification?


Erika C. Birg
Erika C. Birg

Seyfarth Shaw

She is a partner in the firm's Litigation Section. She assists clients with protecting their business interests in...  |  Read More

Michael M. Maddigan
Michael M. Maddigan

O'Melveny & Myers

He is a member of the Health Care and Life Sciences and Class Actions, Mass Torts, and Aggregated Litigation...  |  Read More

Karl E. Neudorfer
Karl E. Neudorfer

Seyfarth Shaw

He represents clients in a wide variety of business disputes in state courts, federal courts, and alternative dispute...  |  Read More

Howard Langer
Howard Langer

Langer Grogan & Diver

He has specialized in complex commercial litigation, particularly antitrust law. He was lead counsel in In re...  |  Read More

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