10th Circuit Panel Overturns Royalty Class Certification, Orders Commonality Review

DENVER - A unanimous 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel reversed certification of an Oklahoma natural gas royalty calculation class action on July 9 after concluding that the trial court abused its discretion by failing to apply a strict burden of proof on the plaintiffs with respect to the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a) commonality standard and remanded with instructions to review application of the Rule 23(b)(3) commonality standard to the class claims (Chieftain Royalty Co. v. XTO Energy Inc., No. 12-7074, 10th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 13837).

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