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Partners Jess Askew III and Andrew King Author Article in The Arkansas Lawyer

News | May 22, 2019



Jess Askew III and Andrew King, Kutak Rock partners in the firm’s Little Rock office, authored the article “Shattered Class: Looking Beyond Certification in Arkansas Class Actions” for the Spring 2019 issue of The Arkansas Lawyer.

According to the article, more than 30 years ago, the Arkansas Supreme Court liberalized the state’s class action procedure to allow class certification if a predominant common issue exists, even if bifurcated or “splinter” proceedings are later necessary to adjudicate individualized issues. The authors report that “this procedure has not actually been used in any Arkansas court; no case has been tried on class-wide, common issues and then splintered into individual trials on non-common issues of damage, defenses, and the remaining elements of the claim.”

The article examines several open questions about Arkansas class-action practice after a class is certified, including whether individualized trials are required, the finality of a judgment from a trial on common issues, class counsel’s obligations after a class-wide trial on common issues, and whether notice to class members should describe the trial plan. The article then goes on to propose ground-breaking strategies that could be used to the advantage of class-action defendants.

Since 2014, Jess Askew III and Andrew King have defended more federal class action cases to conclusion than any other attorneys in the firm, according to Westlaw litigation analytics. They have defended dozens of class actions and secured favorable outcomes on a multitude of topics, including consumer rights, shareholder litigation, oil-and-gas leases, wage-and-hour claims, health care, insurance, and products liability.

Shattered Class: Looking Beyond Certification in Arkansas Class Actions