• February 22, 2010

Defendants have enjoyed quite a lot of success in federal courts since Iqbal and Twombly on motions to dismiss but such motions still have their limits, of course.   In a pending class action against the National Arbitration Forum, against many consumer lenders (J.P. Morgan, American Express, Bank of America, MBNA, Capital One, etc.), and against several other related entities, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson (D. Minn.) canvased the plaintiffs’ class action complaint’s allegations of “systemic, pervasive, and far-reaching allegations of bias and corruption, rendering every single arbitration performed by NAF suspect” and pounded the majority of defendants’ motions to dismiss.

Judge Magnuson referred to the argument of one of the defendants as (Mann Bracken) as “border[ing] on the frivolous.”

In short, Judge Magnuson resoundingly rejected Defendants’ efforts to kill this case off quickly.  Defendants successfully repulsed plaintiffs’ plainly weak make-weight claims for tortious interference and alleged violations of the plaintiffs’ Fifth Amendment rights but he let plaintiffs proceed on commonly vulnerable claims such as plaintiffs’ civil RICO count and claims under Minnesota’s consumer protection statutes (which have often foundered on the “public benefit” requirement since Ly v. Nystrom (particularly in federal court (D. Minn)?)).

The list of lawyers and firms involved in this action on both sides is way too long to set out here (or at the head of the Judge’s Order, as is often done in smaller cases) but suffice it to say there is a great deal of fire-power on both sides and an epic scrum may be imminent as discovery proceeds in this case…

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