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United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
July 16, 2003, Filed
[*296] GARWOOD, Circuit Judge:
In this Rule 23(f) interlocutory appeal, the plaintiffs-appellants, Rochelle Communications, Inc. (Rochelle) and Adroit Medical Systems, Inc. (Adroit), challenge the district court's denial of their motion to certify two classes of plaintiffs allegedly injured by the refusal of the defendant, AT&T Corp. (AT&T), to permit the passage of caller identification (caller ID) data across its long-distance telephone network. Because we conclude that the appellants cannot satisfy the predominance requirement of Rule 23(b), we affirm.
Facts and Proceedings Below
In 1996, Bell Atlantic Corp. (Bell) brought suit under section 4 of the Clayton Act [*297] 1 against AT&T and its subsidiary Lucent Technologies, Inc., seeking treble damages and injunctive relief for alleged violations of the antitrust laws. According to Bell, AT&T attempted to monopolize the market for caller-ID service in violation of section 2 of the Sherman Act 2 when, for approximately four years beginning in 1992, AT&T blocked the [**2] free passage of caller-ID data over its long-distance network. Shortly after Bell brought suit, the named class plaintiffs, Rochelle and Adroit, intervened and moved to certify two classes of plaintiffs who allegedly suffered antitrust injury because of AT&T's conduct during the class period, a period running between March 19, 1992, and November 30, 1995. 3
[**3] A. Caller ID
] The decision to certify a class may often necessitate a highly factual inquiry, see Alabama v. Blue Bird Body Co., Inc., 573 F.2d 309, 316 (5th Cir. 1978), and the propriety of class certification here hinges in part upon evidence introduced below concerning the nature and operation of caller ID.
The record reflects that caller ID is a service marketed and provided by local telephone companies that permits the display, on a device either attached to or incorporated into the telephone of the recipient of a call, of the telephone number, and occasionally the name, of the calling party. The service operates by transmitting data containing, at a minimum, a calling party's telephone number (CPN) over the telephone networks until it ultimately reaches, and is displayed on, the call recipient's caller-ID display unit. 4
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
339 F.3d 294 *; 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 14324 **; 2003-2 Trade Cas. (CCH) P74,087; 56 Fed. R. Serv. 3d (Callaghan) 30
BELL ATLANTIC CORPORATION; ET AL, Plaintiffs, ROCHELLE COMMUNICATIONS INC; ADROIT MEDICAL SYSTEMS INC, a Tennessee Corporation, Plaintiffs-Appellants, versus AT&T CORPORATION; ET AL, Defendants, AT&T CORPORATION, Defendant.
Subsequent History: As Revised August 4, 2003.
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. 5:96-CV-45. David Folsom, US District Judge.
caller id, damages, class member, antitrust, predominance, long-distance, telephone, formula, class certification, calculate, plaintiffs', network, savings, class period, recipient, customer, signal, proposed class, caller-ID, certify, amount of damages, district court, certification, caller, blocking, display, fact of damage, individualized, fail to demonstrate, telephone number
Civil Procedure, Special Proceedings, Class Actions, Certification of Classes, Judicial Discretion, Communications Law, Regulated Entities, Telephone Services, General Overview, Prerequisites for Class Action, Appeals, Standards of Review, Abuse of Discretion, Commonality, Numerosity, Predominance, Antitrust & Trade Law, Sherman Act, Claims, Criminal Law & Procedure, Inchoate Crimes, Attempt, Elements, Monopolies & Monopolization, Attempts to Monopolize, Sherman Act, Scope, Monopolization Offenses, Remedies, Damages, Torts, Business Torts, Clayton Act, Regulated Practices, Private Actions, Prioritizing Resources & Organization for Intellectual Property Act, Elements, Causation, US Department of Justice Actions, Criminal Actions