Class Action

A class action is a suit in which one person or a small group of people represent the rights of many others who have similar circumstances. The person who files the suit is called the named plaintiff. The named plaintiff pursues his claim, just like in any other case. During the course of the suit, however, the named plaintiff asks the judge to “certify” a class. The class is the group of people whose circumstances are like those of the named plaintiff. If the judge grants certification, the named plaintiff continues the case for himself and the class members. If the judge denies certification, the named plaintiff proceeds with his individual case. It takes only one person to bring a class action suit, even thought there may be thousands of people in the class.

How does the client benefit from filing suit as a class action?

There are several benefits to filing a suit as a class action. First, litigation is expensive and many cases are too small to warrant the time and expense of litigation. A class action may therefore be the only way that a person with a small claim has access to the courts and a just resolution. Second, a successful class action allows the named plaintiff the opportunity to reduce his litigation costs by spreading them across the class. Third, a defendant may be more likely to take the suit seriously if it is plead as a class action because the defendant’s liability could be significantly greater if it is to the class as a whole. Fourth, the court often determines the amount of attorneys’ fees in a successful class action. These awards are frequently 25% to 33% of the class recovery, meaning that the actual attorneys’ fee due from the named plaintiff’s recovery may be less than the amount stated in the fee contract. Finally, courts sometimes make an award to the named plaintiff at the conclusion of a successful class action. Such an award is in the judge’s discretion and is made to compensate the named plaintiff for the effort expended to benefit the class members.

What Experience Does McClanahan • Myers • Espey Have With Class Actions?

Each of the partners at McClanahan • Myers • Espey has significant experience with class action litigation. Mike Myers has worked on class action cases his entire career and has been counsel of record in eighteen approved class action settlements, including every class action settlement involving broad-based, corporate-owned life insurance. Randy McClanahan’s class action experience is also extensive and highlighted by his service as a member of the steering committee for the class of former Enron employees asserting ERISA claims against the company. Bob Espey has also represented businesses and individuals in class actions involving commercial and insurance claims throughout his career.

Contacting  Us:

There is no charge at McClanahan Myers Espey  for preliminary discussions about your case.  For further information about our Class Action litigation practice, please contact us at: