How To Defend Yourself in a Class Action Lawsuit

If you are sued in a class action, you need to hire a lawyer as soon as possible.A class action is a lawsuit brought by a group of people.The judge needs to approve the class action in order for it to proceed.To defend yourself against a class action, you need to prevent it from being certified.Each person needs to bring a lawsuit if you succeed.You can avoid class actions in the future.

Step 1: Hire a lawyer.

If you are being sued as part of a class action, you need a lawyer’s assistance to head off the class certification.The class plaintiffs are pooling all of their claims against you, so you are likely to be sued for a large amount of money.A qualified attorney is a must if you want to defeat class certification.Individual lawsuits must be brought if you defeat the class certification.They can not bundle their claims in a class action.Some people might not want to file a lawsuit because they don’t have enough money to hire a lawyer.If you prevent class certification, you can avoid lawsuits.If you don’t know how you can afford a lawyer, look at your insurance policies.Products liability coverage is one of the things you may have.You should read your insurance policy.Some policies have a duty to defend provisions.If there is a chance that the claim will be covered by the policy, the insurer will defend you against lawsuits.

Step 2: The law should be read.

A class action can be brought in state or federal court.To be certified as a class, it needs to meet the requirements.State and federal court requirements are the same.The federal certification rule has been used in many state rules.The rule on class certification can be found by visiting your local law library and asking the librarian to show you the rule.You can find a law library at the courthouse or law school.Your lawyer should show you the law and discuss the certification requirements with you.

Step 3: There are differences in the claims of the people.

Federal law requires that the plaintiffs show that they share common questions of law or fact in order to qualify for class certification.The injuries the plaintiffs claim to have suffered should be looked at to see if they are similar or not.A group of people might file a lawsuit against you.You might have prescribed it to treat different illnesses.If a group of people took the pill to treat a different disease, then they might not all have the same questions of law or fact.

Step 4: The claims of the representatives are atypical.

A group of people are representing the entire class in a class action.The lawyers who handle the case are the ones who show up in court.Their claims must be typical of the entire class in order to serve as a representative plaintiffs.It is possible to defeat class certification by showing how the representative plaintiffs have different claims than the other class members.A majority of the class might have used the pill for other reasons, even if the representative plaintiffs only used it to treat joint pain.

Step 5: They are not adequate representatives.

The judge has to agree with the representation of the entire class.You argue that the representative plaintiffs don’t have lawyers.The attorneys might not have handled this type of lawsuit before.Lawyers who specialize in real estate will probably not provide adequate representation if the class action is for medical malpractice.There may be a conflict of interest between the lawyers who represent the representatives and the other people in the class.If the child of a class representative is married to a lead counsel, then there is a conflict of interest.A court might be concerned that the class representative and the lawyer only care about themselves, not the entire class.

Step 6: The class action is not a better way to resolve disputes.

If you are sued for money damages, you will need to show how a class action is superior to other methods of resolving the dispute.The common questions must be argued that they predominate over individual ones.You could be sued for an injunction.An injunction is a legal order that tells you not to do something.They need to show that you acted in a way that applies to the class in order to get an injunction.To show that the class action is not a superior method of resolving the dispute, you should argue that individual issues are more important than common ones.You can show how different the claims are and argue that it would be too costly and time consuming to file a class action.

Step 7: An opposition to motion for class certification should be drafted.

A lack of commonality, typicality, adequate representation, or predominance of common issues are some of the reasons your lawyer will argue that class certification is inappropriate.The motion will be filed in response to the motion to certify the class.The motion is so important that you should have your lawyer draft it for you.If you win, the class will not be certified and you will need to file individual lawsuits.Many of the lawsuits will disappear.Individual lawsuits might not be worth the time of the people who are suing them.When low damage amounts are involved, a lawyer won’t represent someone on contingency.

Step 8: Line up experts.

Class actions can be brought in mass accident cases.When a large number of people are injured by a medicine or medical device, they are brought in.In these cases, expert witnesses are needed to testify that your product or conduct caused the injuries.You could use an expert to testify about what you should have done.You and your lawyer should have legal experts of your own.If there is an expert in the case, you will need one as well.Dueling experts are often the subject of these kinds of lawsuits.The jury has to decide which expert to believe.Experts who are willing to testify for the defense in your case should be familiar with your lawyer.Background research on the expert is required.You will try to undermine the expert that you present.You can challenge the credentials of an expert.It can be expensive to have expert witnesses.A non-medical expert witness charges an average of $248.A medical expert witness charges.Experts charge for reviewing the file, giving a deposition, and preparing their testimony.

Step 9: You have to pick a jury.

If you represent a large corporation, jury selection in class actions can be critical.Research shows that juries are more likely to punish corporations than poor or wealthy individuals.Your lawyer should be prepared for jury selection.A jury expert will try to uncover the biases of individual jurors.

Step 10: The opening statements should be presented.

The trial begins with an opening statement.The purpose of the opening statement is to give the jury a sense of what evidence will be presented.The opening statements are not evidence.The opening statement might never be presented by a lawyer.The purpose of the statement is to give the jurors a road map of what the trial will be about.

Step 11: The witnesses should be challenged.

You will have to wait for the other side to present their case.The witnesses and expert witnesses will be cross-examined by your lawyer.The purpose of cross-examination is to make the jury question the credibility of the witnesses.If this is a personal injury lawsuit, your lawyer will have to be careful.They might be sympathetic to the jury because of the injuries they have suffered.The witness may be asked only basic information.Attorneys might not ask questions of the witness.Your lawyer can be more aggressive.She could challenge the expert’s testimony by citing a published article or book in which he expressed a contrary opinion than the one he is giving on the witness stand.

Step 12: You should present your own witnesses.

You will be able to present your case after the people present their case.If the plaintiffs used an expert witness, you will present your own.If your actions are in dispute, you might have to testify yourself.If you have to testify, your lawyer should have helped you prepare by doing practice sessions.If you want to testify effectively, remember to sit up straight and look at the attorney.Look at the jurors as you answer.Answer only the question that was asked.Do not volunteer information.As possible, answer as simply and clearly as possible.Ask for clarification if you don’t understand a question.As you testify, don’t gesture.That can be hard to concentrate on.Don’t look at your lawyer when you are cross-examined.It creates an impression that you are looking for help when you look at your attorney a lot.

Step 13: You can use visual aids and exhibits.

If the trial is complicated, jurors would benefit from visual aids.If the lawsuit involves dangerous side-effects of medicines, lawyers might use models or diagrams of the human body to show how the medicine interacted with the body.It is possible for your lawyer to enlarge or blow up important records.If you enlarge the document in this way, the jurors will remember the key portion.A video animation could be created by your lawyer to make the evidence easier to understand for the jury.The animation recreates an event.

Step 14: The closing argument should be delivered.

Your lawyer will make a closing argument at the end of the evidence.The purpose is to convince the jury that the evidence does not show that you are at fault for the injuries.The type of lawsuit will affect the legal arguments.The standard of proof in a class action is usually aponderance of evidence.If you are sued for personal injuries caused by your product, you can argue that the evidence is at least 50% in your favor.You will win in either situation.

Step 15: Wait for the verdict from the jury.

The judge will allow the jurors to retire for deliberations after reading their instructions.The jury doesn’t need to reach a unanimous verdict in state court.They still do in federal court.

Step 16: Ask the judge to reduce the damages.

A huge amount of damages by the jury is the greatest threat to a class action.Damage awards can go as high as $10 million because of the pooling of cases.If you are a corporation, jurors might think you can afford to pay such a large amount.The damages amount can be reduced if you file a motion with the court.Your lawyer should draft this motion.He or she will argue that the amount of damages awarded is so high that it shocks the conscience.

Step 17: If it’s necessary, appeal.

If you lose, you can appeal.You should talk to your lawyer about the strengths and weaknesses of your appeal.You can’t appeal if you’re unhappy.You need to point out the mistakes the jury or judge made.

Step 18: The clauses should be drafted.

You won’t have to defend yourself in court if you have a valid arbitration clause.If you want to remove the dispute from being heard by a judge, you can do so by using an alternative method of dispute resolution.If you reserve the right to arbitrate each case individually, you can avoid class actions.If you want the clause to be valid in your state, you should have a lawyer draft it.

Step 19: The clause should be included in all contracts.

If you run a business, you should include it in your employee contracts.If you provide a service, you can include it in the agreement.If you don’t try to hide the agreement, your terms of service will be considered a contract.

Step 20: A motion to compel is filed.

If you are sued by a group of people who have signed an arbitration clause, you can file a motion in court.This can be filed instead of an answer.People can sign away their right to sue in a court or as part of a class action if they choose to do so.You won’t have to defend yourself against individual suits once the case is removed.The risks of suffering a huge money damage are higher if you defend against only one lawsuit.You should talk to your attorney about it.If you don’t want to enforce the agreement, you can go to court.