Two new opinions

Ferreras v. American Airlines—class action—reversal—Jordan

This case involves claims for overtime wages brought by employees of American Airlines, Inc. (“American”). The employees allege that American violated the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law (“NJWHL”) because the airline’s timekeeping system defaults to paying employees based on their work schedules, even if they work additional hours outside of their shifts and in excess of 40 hours per week.

The employees brought their claims as a putative class action and moved for class certification. The District Court decided that all of the requirements for class certification, as set forth in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, were met, and it thus certified the class. American appeals that order, arguing that the District Court did not conduct a rigorous analysis and that several of the requirements of Rule 23, including commonality and predominance, were not met. American argues that this case cannot proceed as a class action because determining when each employee was actually working will necessarily require individualized inquiries. We agree and will therefore reverse the order of the District Court.

Joining Jordan were Chagares and Restrepo.


Wells Fargo v. Bear Stearns—bankruptcy—affirmance—Smith

In conclusion, we hold that (1) a Bankruptcy Court’s determination of good faith regarding an obligatory postdefault valuation of collateral subject to a repurchase agreement receives mixed review. Factual findings are reviewed for clear-error while the ultimate issue of good faith receives plenary review; (2) 11 U.S.C. § 101(47)(A)(v) “damages,” which may trigger the requirements of § 562, require a non-breaching party to bring a legal claim for damages; (3) the safe harbor protections of 11 U.S.C. § 559 can apply to a non-breaching party that has no excess proceeds; and (4) Bear Stearns liquidated the securities at issue in good faith compliance with the GMRA. Thus, we will affirm the judgment.

Joining Smith were McKee and Phipps, in what I believe is the first precedential panel opinion with Judge Phipps on the panel.