Ortiz v. Fibreboard Corp., 527 U.S. 815, 20 (1999)

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834

ORTIZ v. FIBREBOARD CORP.

Opinion of the Court

of such a risk of impairment may, for example, be found in suits brought to reorganize fraternal-benefit societies, see, e. g., Supreme Tribe of Ben-Hur v. Cauble, 255 U. S. 356 (1921); actions by shareholders to declare a dividend or otherwise to "fix [their] rights," Kaplan, Continuing Work 388; and actions charging "a breach of trust by an indenture trustee or other fiduciary similarly affecting the members of a large class" of beneficiaries, requiring an accounting or similar procedure "to restore the subject of the trust," Advisory Committee's Notes on Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 23, 28 U. S. C. App., p. 696 (hereinafter Adv. Comm. Notes). In each of these categories, the shared character of rights claimed or relief awarded entails that any individual adjudication by a class member disposes of, or substantially affects, the interests of absent class members.

Among the traditional varieties of representative suit encompassed by Rule 23(b)(1)(B) were those involving "the presence of property which call[ed] for distribution or management," J. Moore & J. Friedman, 2 Federal Practice 2240 (1938) (hereinafter Moore & Friedman). One recurring type of such suits was the limited fund class action, aggregating "claims . . . made by numerous persons against a fund insufficient to satisfy all claims." Adv. Comm. Notes 697; cf. 1 Newberg 4.09, at 4-33 ("Classic" limited fund class actions "include claimants to trust assets, a bank account, insurance proceeds, company assets in a liquidation sale, proceeds of a ship sale in a maritime accident suit, and others").14 The Advisory Committee cited Dickinson v.

14 Indeed, Professor Kaplan, reporter to the Advisory Committee's 1966 revision of Rule 23, commented in a letter to another member of the Advisory Committee that the phrase " 'impair or impede the ability of the other members to protect their interests' " is "redolent of claims against a fund." Letter from Benjamin Kaplan to John P. Frank, Feb. 7, 1963, Congressional Information Service Records of the U. S. Judicial Conference, Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure 1935-1988, No. CI-6312-31, p. 2.

Some fund-related class actions involved claims for the creation or preservation of a specific fund subject to the interests of numerous claim-

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