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 'Recognizing the important due process concerns of both plaintiffs and defendants inherent in the certification decision, the Supreme Court requires district courts to conduct a rigorous analysis of Rule 23 prerequisites.' Unger v. Amedisys Inc., 401 F.3d 316, 320-21 (5th Cir. 2005) (citing Gen. Tel. Co. v. Falcon, 457 U.S. 147, 161, 102 S. Ct. 2364, 72 L. Ed. 2d 740 (1982)). Where the plaintiff seeks to certify a class under Rule 23(b)(3), the Rules demand 'a close look at the case before it is accepted as a class action.' Amchem, 521 U.S. at 613. '[W]e stress that it is the party seeking certification who bears the burden of establishing that the requirements of Rule 23 have been met.' Bell Atl. Corp. v. AT&T Corp., 339 F.3d 294, 301 (5th Cir. 2003) (citing O'Sullivan v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 319 F.3d 732, 737-38 (5th Cir. 2003)).

Although class certification hearings 'should not be mini-trials on the merits of the class or individual claims . . . going beyond the pleadings is necessary, as a court must understand the claims, defenses, relevant facts, and applicable substantive law in order to make a meaningful determination of ...

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