The majority of lawsuits are brought by one person or entity against another. While the parties certainly get the most attention when dealing with an attorney on a one-on-one basis, there is also only one party to bear the burden of all the cost and all the stress and all the work involved. If you are aware of multiple persons with similar claims against similar defendants, it may be worth your while to seek out Class Action Lawsuit Lawyers In California to see if a class action lawsuit may prove a valuable tool.

In short, a class action lawsuit is a legal claim where a group of plaintiffs are represented by one person or a few individuals that have all been damaged in a similar way by similar persons or entities.

While class action lawsuits are found in every state, Class Action Lawsuit Lawyers In California are exceptionally busy, as this State, as well as Florida, New Jersey and Texas have the most pending class action lawsuits in the United States.

In general, the rules for class action lawsuits require (i) that there are so many members that it is impracticable to try each case individually, (ii) all plaintiffs in the class must be dealing with common questions of law and (iii) the representative plaintiffs must assert claims typical of other members in the class. Of course, the lead plaintiffs must also agree to represent the interests of all class members, and not just their own.

Most commonly, a person need not do anything in order to join a class action lawsuit, as class certification happens early in the litigation and this stage often involves identifying members of the class that might be viable plaintiffs. Once certified, class members will be notified by the lead plaintiffs about their inclusion in the lawsuit, such notice to inform prospective members about the purpose of the lawsuit, who the lead plaintiffs are, who the attorneys are and why it is believed that you are a viable class member.

While some class action suits require a prospective plaintiff to “opt in,” or take some sort of affirmative step to become part of the class, most lawsuits are “opt out,” meaning that you are automatically a plaintiff unless you decide to withdraw from the class, something that may be done if a prospective class member believes they can do better bringing the action on their own. It is a good idea to discuss this with class action lawsuit lawyers In California to make sure you are making a sound decision.
So what are the advantages to class action suits?
  • There will be lower litigation costs, as they will be shared among class members;
  • People who are only entitled to small amounts of recovery would generally not bring a suit on their own. But now, with lower litigation costs, they have the opportunity for recovery;
  • Class action suits are far more efficient than individual suits, as it will be decided by one judge in only one court. This makes decisions consistent and take less time;
  • Also since there is only one decision by one judge (or a single settlement), both recoveries for each plaintiff and the amount to be paid by each defendant will be more consistent.
Disadvantages to class action lawsuits may include:
  • Plaintiffs have a lack of control compared to what they would in an individual lawsuit. Indeed, class representatives make the important decisions, including when it is time to settle, causing other plaintiffs to have far less control.
  • The amount of recovery is likely to be less or even non-financial, as company defendants may offer coupons or rebates instead. As a result, persons seeking a financial award may be disappointed.
  • You are stuck with the attorneys selected by the lead plaintiffs. If they are ineffective, you may end up with a poor result that you had no control over. And as a member of the class, you cannot bring another claim at a later date.
As you can see, there are many things to contemplate when it comes to a class action lawsuit. The best way to resolve these issues is to speak with an experienced attorney with multiple successful class action suits under his belt. And if you are offered entrance into a class action by other attorneys, you can speak with an attorney of your choosing to get advice.

Part of your decision-making process, however, should involve discussing the matter with the lead plaintiff or at least the attorneys for the class. Learning about the firm’s experience, success rate, presentability and reputation are all important factors you can use to make the right decision. For these reasons, take the class action lawsuit seriously, but make sure it is the right fit for you.