Rule 23(f) Class Certification Appeals

Strategies for Pursuing or Opposing Appellate Review in the Absence of Clear Standards

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

Conducted on Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

This CLE webinar will provide strategies for counsel either pursuing or opposing appellate review of a class certification decision. The panel will offer a thorough review of various appellate court rulings on Rule 23(f) appeals.


Rule 23(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure authorizes appellate review of class certification decisions but creates confusion for class action counsel by giving appeals courts discretion over whether to permit an appeal and lacks criteria to guide the courts’ decisions.

Because there is minimal case law interpreting Rule 23(f), many questions surround its application. When is interlocutory review of class certification decisions appropriate? Does an appellate court’s decision on whether to permit an appeal signal how it will ultimately rule?

Listen as our panel of class action attorneys—both plaintiff and defense side—examines how the various appellate courts are responding to Rule 23(f) appeals and provides strategies for counsel on pursuing and opposing appellate review of a class certification decision.



  1. Key features of Rule 23(f)
    1. No automatic right to appeal
    2. No automatic stay of district court proceedings
    3. Appeal must be filed within 10 days of class certification order
  2. Case law addressing Rule 23(f)
    1. “Death knell” cases and “reverse death knell” cases
    2. Appeal raises fundamental and unsettled legal issue
    3. Clear error in district court ruling
    4. “Sliding scale” standard
  3. Strategies for pursuing appellate review of class certification decision
  4. Strategies for challenging motion for appellate review of class certification


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What standards are the appellate courts applying in determining whether to grant an interlocutory appeal of a class certification decision?
  • How often are courts of appeals granting and denying petitions for appeal of class certification rulings?
  • What lessons can class action counsel learn from the minimal case law addressing Rule 23(f) appeals?


Paul G. Karlsgodt
Paul G. Karlsgodt

Baker Hostetler

Mr. Karlsgodt has a diverse complex commercial litigation practice that emphasizes class action defense. He is editor...  |  Read More

Cindy D. Hanson
Cindy D. Hanson

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton

She has been a member of several teams that have filed Petitions for Permission to Appeal under Fed. Rule of Civ. Proc....  |  Read More

Barry Sullivan
Barry Sullivan

Professor of Law
Loyola University Chicago School of Law

He has been a government lawyer, a university administrator, a litigating partner in a leading national law firm, and a...  |  Read More

Gregory N. Karasik
Gregory N. Karasik

Spiro Moss

He has more than 20 years’ experience in the field of labor and employment law. He has litigated wage and hour...  |  Read More

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