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A Beginner's Guide to Class Action Lawsuits

A Beginner’s Guide to Class Action Lawsuits

In a class action lawsuit, multiple plaintiffs share common claims against a defendant, usually a government entity, corporation, or any organization. These common claims or a class combine to form a single case, which can be more effective and persuasive than individual cases.

Class action lawsuits include a wide range of issues like unethical employment practices, security fraud, etc. These cases are very difficult to fight as the defendant is usually a strong party, both in terms of reputation and money.

In such situations, the affected people should get together and fight for their rights. But this process is difficult without the assistance of the best class action attorneys.

This article talks about everything you need to know about class action lawsuits. Read on.

Key features of a Class Action Lawsuit

These features are the key elements over which a class action lawsuit can be valid:

  • Representative Plaintiff: The case is initiated by a class action attorney on behalf of the class.
  • Commonality: The class members must have common claims or laws of facts.
  • Numerosity: The size of the class must be large enough that individual cases don’t make sense.
  • Typicality: The claims of the class action attorney must be typical of those of the class.
  • Adequacy: The class action attorney must adequately protect the interests of the class.

The Steps Involved in a Class Action Lawsuit

Filing the complaint

In this step, the attorney outlines the allegations against the defendant, the legal basis for the claims, and defines the size of the class.

Certification of the Class

Before the case can proceed, the court has to certify the class. The class is judged based on factors like commonality, numerosity, typicality, and adequacy.

Certification can be a very disputable stage as the defendant challenges the certification of class and tries to argue that the case should not be treated as a class action lawsuit.

Notification to Class Members

If the class gets certified, then the members are all notified of their rights and options. They can either stay within the class or opt out to pursue their individual claims.

Discovery and Pre-Trial Motion

In this step, both parties gather evidence against each other and build their cases. Then the documentation, interrogatories, and depositions are shared with each other. Pre-trial motions can also be filed for the purpose of summary judgments.

Settlement or Trial

If both parties reach a settlement out of court, then the lawsuit ends here. Otherwise, the case goes to trial before the court.

Distribution of Damages

If the class action lawsuit is successful, then the court will oversee the procedure for the distribution of compensation for damages on a fair basis.


Benefits of a Class Action Lawsuit

The benefits of a class action lawsuit are listed below.

  • Efficiency: Consolidating many claims into one saves time and resources.
  • Access to Justice: It groups individual lawsuits into one, meaning they all get equal attention.
  • Deterrence: Class action lawsuits can hold large and strong entities responsible for the misconduct.


Class action lawsuits act as a vital mechanism for addressing widespread harm and holding large corporations accountable for their actions. It also provides a collective and efficient means for individual compensation where individual cases wouldn’t be very successful.