Class actions are filed by a group of people having a common loss and claims against a common defendant. Most class actions involve environmental issues and product liability or defective products. These actions are not only filed to recover damages for the loss incurred by the plaintiff or a class but to also hold the defendant for their actions.
The members of a group in a class action could range from hundreds to thousands or even more. Class actions fuel the media with juicy gossip, particularly when a big company is involved. Unfortunately, the company’s stocks may be hit hard, causing a slump. The deterioration of a company’s stock dents the image of the company and the situation could be a looming catastrophe. As a captain of a company that is facing a class action in Los Angeles, you should work with class action attorneys in Los Angeles to defend your company. But how do you defend a class action?
Tips for Defending a Class Action
The best defense against legal actions is adequate preparation. The following tips can help you and increase the chances of a successful outcome.
Gather Supplementary Facts and Data
Gathering facts and data comes after establishing the magnitude of the case. You must first assess the claims to know what you’re dealing with and what is expect of you. Consider the size of the class, the magnitude of loss incure, how your product is linked to the claim, among others.
You’ll be needed to demonstrate the corrective measures taken by your company after the complaints were raised–and has the claimant or client profited from the product? The best approach would be to get all the facts of the situation from the claimant. The real facts tend to be different from what the plaintiff knows in most cases.
Consider the Legal Concerns Raised.
Evaluate the facts of the claim and consider the legal concerns of the allegations raised. Always have the legal issues at your fingertips because you’ll need them if the case goes to appeal. Courts dwell on legal issues and not factual issues.
Knowing the Key Players
Knowing the key people who pull the strings in a class action, such as the opposing counsel, the jury, or outside counsel could give you a head start. Class actions are typically complex and an incompetent legal team could worsen an already bad situation. Ensure your lawyer is a class actions specialist. Also, remember class-action lawyers specialize in particular class actions. It’s important to hire a lawyer who is experience in cases similar to yours. The common types of class actions are:
- Consumer class actions;
- Securities class actions;
- Antitrust class actions;
- Employment class actions.
Hiring experts is undoubtedly expensive but their value is priceless. The expert can be a financial, product manufacturer, a legal professional, among others and depending on your case. An expert will review your situation and help you establish an impregnable defense to defeat the class claim. The experts are particularly skill in proving the lack of commonality at the certification stage. An expert can detect the weakness of a class and capitalize on it.
Ensure Your Attorney is Familiar with the Business
Your attorney will fail you if they don’t understand your business. Ensure your legal team understands the business processes and systems, including the contentious product or service. An attorney who has handle a similar case would be a perfect fit to legally represent your company.
Formulate a Litigation Approach
Discuss the legal options available for resolving the situation with your legal team. It is important to have a game plan to help you determine the course of the litigation. The plaintiff will be a hard nut to crack if you take too much time to develop a solid litigation plan.
You should consider alternative resolution mechanisms at this point, such as resolving the case out of court among others. The Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) of 2005 currently provides alternatives to the defense in class actions, such options can be explored before the case commences.
Define your Goal
You should have the end in mind when developing your game plan. What is your goal or what will constitute a win in your case? A win could be in the form of denial of the plaintiff’s class certification or an acquittal.
Defend the Contentious Product
Your legal team must fight to the bitter end if they intend to defeat class certification. The law says that if a company lacks confidence in their products, they should not trust them with others. No one will defend their products if they don’t believe in them–meaning you’ll need your employees and other private users of the product to defend the product.
Class actions targeting a company can be complex but with the right approach, they can be resolve without affecting the operations of a company.