In an opinion today, Judge Furman certified for interlocutory appeal a question about calculating economic losses in the GM ignition switch litigation (covered here).  One reason for doing so, he ruled, was that in the context of an MDL, where there are powerful pressures to settle, these sorts of questions would never otherwise be the subject of a final judgment that would be heard in an ordinary appeal:
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In an opinion yesterday, Judge Furman weighed in on  — and certified for interlocutory appeal — an issue that has divided judges in the Southern District:  whether the requirement that FLSA settlements be approved by the DOL or the Court can be avoided by a settlement accomplished via a Rule 68 offer of judgment.  Because Rule 68 is phrased in mandatory terms (when an offer is accepted, the “clerk must then enter judgment”), some courts have held that there is no room for judicial or DOL approval.

Judge Furman disagreed:
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Last week, Judge Rakoff denied a request from the defendants in a group of Petrobras securities cases to stay a September trial date pending the Second Circuit’s consideration of an interlocutory appeal of class certification.  The defendants argued that the Second Circuit appeal was on an expedited schedule, and that significant expense could be saved in the event the case had to be re-tried.  The plaintiffs opposed the stay, arguing that a delay amid Brazilian political upheaval (including issues of Petrobras’ viability) would only serve to prejudice the plaintiffs.

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In an opinion today, Judge McMahon granted an interlocutory appeal on the following question:

Under New York law, do the holders of common law copyrights in pre-1972 sound recordings have, as part of the bundle of rights attendant to their copyright, the right to exclusive public performance of those sound recordings?

She concluded, under the standards for interlocutory appeal, that there were substantial grounds for a difference of opinion on the issue:
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