In re New Motor Vehicles Canadian Export Antitrust Litigation: Examining the Requisite Levels of Inquiry into the Merits of a Case at the Class Certification Stage

Seth H. Yeager

This note examines the recent United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit decision in In re New Motor Vehicles Canadian Export Antitrust Litigation (Motor Vehicles), specifically the court’s treatment of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (Rule 23) in an antitrust context. It isolates the issue concerning the appropriate level of inquiry into the merits of a case during the Rule 23 class certification stage of a court proceeding. The note begins by detailing the language of Rule 23 and by discussing the relevant United States Supreme Court jurisprudence. It continues by exploring the dissention among circuits and commentators’ interpretations of the rule. The note ultimately concludes that the First Circuit’s ruling in Motor Vehicles was correct because it supports the adoption of a mandatory weak-form rule in the class certification setting.