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The circuit court’s decision on class certification is reviewed for abuse of discretion

June 22, 2013 by in General

In a class action involving alleged violation of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, the appellate court held that the decision regarding class certification is within the discretion of the trial court and will not be disturbed on appeal unless the trial court abused its discretion or applied impermissible legal criteria. Where the circuit court’s exercise of discretion “has been frustrated by the application of an erroneous rule of law, review is required to permit the exercise in a manner ‘consistent with the law.’”

The court specifically refused to employ the de novo review standard that applies to pure questions of law (under which the reviewing court gives no deference to the circuit court’s decision, in contrast to the high degree of deference provided under abuse of discretion review). However, the court left unexplained – and unexplored – how it is possible for a reviewing court to consider whether the trial court applied the correct rule of law by applying anything other than a de novo standard of review.

Uesco Industries, Inc. v. Poolman of Wisconsin, Inc., 2013 IL App (1st) 112566.

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