Should Mississippi Have a Class-Action Rule? Your Comments are Invited
November 7, 2017 § 5 Comments
The MSSC has tasked the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Civil Rules to study whether Mississippi should adopt a procedural rule allowing class actions. The committee is expected to recommend whether or not to do so, and, if the answer is positive, to propose how such a rule would operate.
The impetus for the referral comes from a motion filed with the court by Attorney Richard T, “Flip” Phillips to adopt Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
To refresh your recollection, when the MRCP was adopted in 1982, Rule 23 was omitted. Up until then, equitable principles allowed consolidation of actions into something resembling class actions in chancery. The MRCP put an end to that, and some used Mississippi’s liberal joinder laws to fashion mass litigation that proved to be nightmarish in implementation. The MSSC and venue legislation put the kibosh on that, and so we are left with no tools for anything resembling class actions.
Both sides on the issue point out that Mississippi is the only state that does not have any form of state-court class action. Virginia allows class action in only extremely limited circumstances. All other states have rules allowing class actions.
The committee is gathering information and hopes to be in a position to make a recommendation by the spring of next year.
What do you think? Should Mississippi have a rule allowing class actions? Your comments are invited and will be shared with the advisory committee.