Sprint Communications v. APCC Services (decided by Supreme Court on June 23, 2008)
“…Petitioners suggest that the litigation here simply represents an effort by the aggregators and the payphone operators to circumvent Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23’s class-action requirements. But we do not understand how “circumvention” of Rule 23 could constitute a basis for denying standing here. For one thing, class actions are permissive, not mandatory. More importantly, class actions constitute but one of several methods for bringing about aggregation of claims, i.e., they are but one of several methods by which multiple similarly situated parties get similar claims resolved at one time and in one federal forum. See Rule 20(a) (permitting joinder of multiple plaintiffs); Rule 42 (permitting consolidation of related cases filed in the same district court); 28 U.S.C. § 1407 (authorizing consolidation of pretrial proceedings for related cases filed in multiple federal districts); § 1404 (making it possible for related cases pending in different federal courts to be transferred and consolidated in one district court); D. Herr, Annotated Manual for Complex Litigation § 20.12, p. 279 (4th ed.2007) (noting that “®elated cases pending in different federal courts may be consolidated in a single district” by transfer under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a)); J. Tidmarsh & R. Trangsrud, Complex Litigation and the Adversary System 473-524 (1998) (section on “Transfer Devices that Aggregate Cases in a Single Venue”). Because the federal system permits aggregation by other means, we do not think that the payphone operators should be denied standing simply because they chose one aggregation method over another.”
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