How to Start a Class Action Lawsuit

A class action sounds rather complicated, and like any legal matter, it certainly is, for those who have to do the detail work. If you’re not a lawyer, however, it’s really not all that complex. There are very exact steps to take, but most of these will be handled by the attorney. This will give you a good idea of how to get the ball rolling, but first, before we look at the how, let’s look at the why. A class action is something that’s filed when there has been some kind of misconduct on the part of a larger entity, such as a business or corporation, that has adversely affected a large number of people. When it’s a large enough group, it makes sense for everyone involved to handle it as a large group rather than hearing all the individual stories. This makes for a class action.

To begin, then, there are a few criteria that need to be met for a class action lawsuit to be considered viable. These questions are important for you to ask yourself before interviewing attorneys to take your case. They will make the bulk of their money on the case if it wins, so they have as much interest as you in winning, and every reason to turn it down if it’s not thought out. Keep in mind that the lawyers usually get about 25% of the award on these, and sometimes more. This can leave very little left for the individuals. The criteria then include: a large enough group of people affected, commonality among all of them in terms of damage, the damage has to have come from the same event, and then there’s also concern for viability of the defendant along with viability of the legal representation.

They will necessarily want to make sure the damages are as uniform as possible, so that the need for class action is clear. If there are lots of individual variables and concerns, it is not a good candidate. A good example of a good candidate, then, would be a video store overcharging for late fees. This case would be easy to resolve if it were found in favor of the people, and the damages and rewards would be uniform. Once these criteria are met, then, you would be ready to take it to the lawyers that you feel would best represent you, and begin getting ready to go to court.

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 18th, 2010 at 2:31 pm and is filed under Class Action Information, Corporate, Legal. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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