A lawsuit with many plaintiffs is known as a class action lawsuit. In this type of case, multiple people accuse the defendant of wrongdoing. The complaints of the plaintiffs are similar. The courts allow all the plaintiffs to come together to litigate their issues.
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Why do Class Action Cases Exist?
To conserve resources, courts permit litigants to join forces and bring their cases as one class action. Instead of every plaintiff hiring individual lawyers to bring an action, the plaintiffs can all work with one lawyer or a team of lawyers who understand the issues on behalf of everyone.
In a class action case, individual attorneys for each plaintiff do not have to spend time understanding the specifics of the case. There is no duplicity of work, and it allows all the plaintiffs to work with a single legal team to save cumulative time and effort.
It is also helpful for the defendants to group cases into a class action. The defendant will only have to respond to a single set of lawsuits instead of multiple lawsuits (which can run into the thousands) all over the country and at different times.
The production of one set of discovery and appearing for one set of court dates can help the defendant conserve resources. They can also evaluate all cases at one time and make decisions on accepting or extending a settlement offer.
Many Plaintiffs Necessary
There must be many plaintiffs for a case to be determined a class action case. A majority of class action cases have dozens of plaintiffs or more. There must be a sufficient number of plaintiffs with similar claims to make it feasible to combine these cases in order to resolve them.
Plaintiffs must have Common Issues
The plaintiffs must have common issues for a class action case. For instance, in case the plaintiffs have all had similar complications following the use of a specific medication, they may be an ideal group for class action. While their situations may vary slightly, the underlying problems are similar.
A Class Action must Address Class Members’ Needs
Class certification is inappropriate for a case unless it can properly represent the interests of all the plaintiffs. Primarily, the circumstances should be fair for all plaintiffs. Furthermore, the courts evaluate if certifying the class will facilitate the convenient administration of justice.
Who Practices Class Action Law?
Class action cases are civil cases, and more specifically, personal injury cases. Lawyers focusing on class action cases practice tort law. A majority of lawyers do not practice only class action law. In case a lawyer takes up class action cases, they likely work on such cases as a part of a broader civil litigation practice.
Most class action cases are handled by big law practices as they require substantial resources. These practices have the resources and personnel to manage significant amounts of discovery and client outreach.
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