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1.1.1 A Practical Guide to Litigating Class Actions

This treatise is a practical guide for plaintiffs’ attorneys who litigate consumer class actions. It provides step-by-step advice on every major aspect of handling a consumer class case, from pre-filing evaluation through distribution of class benefits, as well as case management. In addition, the online version of this treatise contains scores of class action litigation documents, including co-counseling agreements, complaints, a client retainer form, discovery, class briefs, class notices, stipulations of proposed settlement, and objections to class settlements. Most documents are available in Microsoft Word format, making it particularly easy for practitioners to edit them to fit the facts of their own cases.

This treatise provides attorneys who have not litigated a consumer class action before with sufficient “nuts and bolts” instructions, legal references, and sample pleadings to guide them as they proceed with their cases. The treatise also is designed to help more experienced practitioners avoid or resolve issues they may not previously have encountered or considered.

The complexity of litigating a case as a class action is intimidating for many attorneys. As discussed infra, there are compelling reasons to overcome those trepidations. However, proper regard must be given by plaintiff’s counsel to potential obstacles before a case is filed. The remainder of this treatise takes the attorney step by step through each stage in class action litigation and demonstrates how even a small law office might manage a case. Just as important, however, looking ahead and anticipating what difficulties may arise should assist attorneys in deciding not to file an inappropriate class action.