United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida entered order denying class certification for the firm’s clients

On May 19, 2014, Paige Gillman and Scott Konopka successfully opposed class certification before Judge James S. Moody of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, in a case involving alleged violations of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act against the firm’s clients based upon the publication of publicly available arrest records and mugshots. The court agreed with our argument that certification was improper because the damages relief Plaintiff requests were not incidental to the injunctive relief or that certification is appropriate under Rule 23(b)(2). While Plaintiff argued that certification was appropriate under Rule 23(b)(2) because the “parties’ respective claims and defenses will be controlled by the Court’s interpretation and application of how the facts of this case apply under ‘ 540.08 and FDUTPA;” the Court refused to disregard the right of certain individuals to pursue damages based on the commercial value of their image due to their celebrity, i.e. pop star Justin Bieber and professional athletes Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson and Manny Ramirez, whose images appeared on the Defendants’ Websites and would be part of the class. Further, the court held that some of the class members paid to have their image removed and may be entitled to a refund and bound by an arbitration provision, and that Rule 23(b)(2) does not provide sufficient protections to these class members in pursuing their damages claims on an individual basis. The Court further declined to bifurcate the liability and damages claims. The Court concluded that the class certification is not appropriate under Rule 23(b)(2). See SHANNON L. BILOTTA,