Civil Practice and Procedure

Editor:
John S. Sandberg, Esquire 

Class action settlement upheld pursuant to abuse of discretion standard; opinion includes detailed discussion of how class action settlements are reviewed and approved. Bachman, et al individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated v. A.G. Edwards, Inc., No. 95074 (Mo. App. E.D., May 31, 2011), PER CURIAM

This was an appeal, in part, from the approval of a class action settlement. The standard of review on appeal was the abuse of discretion standard. The court discussed the amount of the settlement and the awarding of attorney's fees and determined they were all reasonable. The opinion discusses in detail how appellate courts review class action settlements.

Declaratory judgment action, asserting that the enhanced penalty provisions enacted for intoxication related driving offenses was unconstitutional, dismissed on the basis that plaintiffs had an adequate remedy at law. Schaefer, et al. v. Koster, Attorney General of the State of Missouri, No. 91130 (Mo. banc, June 14, 2011), Teitelman, J.

The Court claimed that the trial court was within its discretion to dismiss plaintiffs' declaratory judgment action because each plaintiff had an adequate remedy at law. The Court's view that the ruling was discretionary implies that there might have been an affirmance if the trial court had ruled the other way.

Held:
The abuse of discretion was the appropriate standard and the dismissal was not an abuse of discretion.

The Missouri Bar Courts Bulletin, 11-Jul