First American (FATIC) has appealed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Edwards to the U.S. Supreme Court. Ninth Circuit had sided with Plaintiff and NAILTA, which filed an Amicus in the case.
November 30, 2010 – The Edwards case involves the use of captive title insurance agreements by a title insurance underwriter to gain market share in exchange for exclusive referrals of title insurance business. NAILTA filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in Edwards in order to help the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California understand the nature of the title insurance industry and the problems associated with reverse competition structures. First American objected to NAILTA’s involvement in the case. Despite those objections, the Ninth Circuit permitted NAILTA’s filing and ruled in favor of the Plaintiff, Denise Edwards, by granting a motion to certify a title agency-only class action and remanding a nationwide motion for class certification back to the trial court for additional discovery.
With the filing of the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, First American is challenging the Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling on the title agency-only class action and seeking an appeal of last resort for that determination. It is now up to the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether they will hear the appeal or not. A decision is expected sometime in 2011.