New opinion: NFL concussion-suit opinion issued on class-certification jurisdiction

I’ve blogged about the NFL concussion suit appeal here and here and here and here because its a big case and the appellate counsel involved are celestial.

Back in September, CA3 entered an order denying an interlocutory petition by a group of retired players who objected to preliminary class-certification. Today, the divided panel issued its opinion explaining the basis for that denial.

The majority held that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the petition because the district court’s class-certification ruling was labelled conditional. The dissent argued this holding will “result in inefficient (indeed, chaotic) piecemeal litigation,” and included an unusual nod to the majority author as “a well-regarded textualist.”

The case is In re: National Football League Players Concussion Injury Litigation. Majority opinion by Smith, joined by Jordan; folksy dissent by Ambro. Arguing counsel were Steven Molo of MoloLamken for the settlement objectors and Bruce Birenboim of Paul Weiss and Samuel Issacharoff for the settlement-proponents.