In most lawsuits, the plaintiff files a complaint on his or her own behalf.
But in a class-action lawsuit, one or multiple plaintiffs bring a claim on behalf of a larger group.
The larger group is called the “class.”
Therefore, class-action certification is the process of defining the class.
In other words, what common injury or characteristic draws together the class? What interest do they have?
The certification of a class action is vital to successfully pressing your claim, so read on to understand the process more.
Understanding the “Class” of a Class-Action Lawsuit
Most of the time, class-action lawsuits happen because a large group of people suffer the same injury at the hands of one person or group.
Individually, the losses of a single person in the group can be minor. However, the collective losses are substantial.
By working together, a group of plaintiffs can share their legal costs, exercise their rights, and resolve their disputes efficiently.
Giving every victim the opportunity to participate in class action is important.
The outcome of a lawsuit has the potential to affect every victim of a common injury, regardless of whether those victims are actually involved in the lawsuit or not.
In light of these considerations, it is vital that everyone who suffered an injury is adequately represented in the lawsuit.
In addition, the lead plaintiffs, or those people who want to represent the class in the lawsuit, need to prove that they are the right representatives for the group.
What Is Class-Action Certification?
Class-action certification is the process of defining the class so that every person who has suffered a particular injury has the chance to be represented in court.
It is also the opportunity for the lead plaintiffs to demonstrate they can properly represent the entire class.
There are several requirements for the certification of a class action. In general, these rules are the same in federal and state courts:
- Numerosity. The numerosity requirement ensures that the class have enough members to make a class-action lawsuit worthwhile.
- Commonality. The commonality requirement requires the plaintiffs to show that the same issues of law or fact pertain to every member of the class. It also means that the criteria for becoming a member of the class are objective and straightforward.
- Typicality. This requirement seeks to confirm that lead plaintiffs are appropriate representatives for the rest of the class. Specifically, it confirms that their claims and injuries are typical of the other members in the class.
- Adequacy. To be adequate representatives of the class, the lead plaintiffs need to show they have no conflicts of interest and that their attorneys have the experience to handle the case.
If you are considering filing a class-action lawsuit, there may be several other minor requirements you need to fulfill.
Important Steps to Take Before Class Certification
Before starting a class-action lawsuit, you should set up a free consultation with an experienced class-action attorney.
They will be able to apply the law to the facts of your case, give you a summary of your legal options, and help you understand the path forward.
Once you have legal representation, you need to actually file your lawsuit. The document that officially starts a class-action lawsuit in federal court is called a class-action complaint.
These documents describe the class, the plaintiffs, and the underlying factual allegations for the lawsuit.
Class-action complaints are usually very complex, so you should not prepare one without legal expertise.
How Does Class Certification Happen?
It depends on what kind of court your case is in. Sometimes, the plaintiffs have to make a motion to certify the class.
In other cases, the court starts the certification process.
Regardless who begins the process, judges possess significant leeway to accept or reject your class-action certification.
If your class does not receive certification from the judge, your complaint will probably be dismissed.
Considering Whether to File a Class-Action Lawsuit? Contact Us Today.
Now that you understand the basics of class certification, you probably understand the importance of having competent legal counsel.
Fortunately, you have come to the right place if you are looking for experienced class-action attorneys.
Here at the Workplace Rights Law Group, we understand how confusing it can be to understand whether you have a case or not.
But we are ready to give you the representation you deserve and to answer your questions.
Our employment attorneys have many years of experience representing class-action plaintiffs. On top of that, we have obtained incredible results for many of our former clients.