12 Steps of a Class Action Lawsuit

Thousands if not millions of claims might flood the court system without the ability to file together in a class action lawsuit. Filing together in a class action suit not only allows for the courts to be less burdened, but it also encourages corporate defendants to behave in a more responsible behavior.

A class action lawsuit is a lawsuit filed by one or more plaintiffs, who are also known as the “named plaintiffs”, on behalf of others who have a similar legal claim. A class action lawsuit allows individuals to join together as a group and all file one lawsuit against a common defendant. These type of lawsuits also allow for attorneys fees and all other costs of litigation to be shared among all plaintiffs, instead of one or a few individuals having to pay the cost, which can be a great deal of money, all alone. Class action lawsuits are an important legal right for all consumers, and are a very important part of our judicial system and its ability to function efficiently. Thousands if not millions of claims might flood the court system without the ability to file together in a class action lawsuit. Filing together in a class action suit not only allows for the courts to be less burdened, but it also encourages corporate defendants to behave in a more responsible behavior.

There are 12 Steps of a Class Action Lawsuit

Filing – Case Initiated – A complaint is filed by the attorney(s) on behalf of the plaintiff(s).

Response – The defendant(s) respond(s) with an answer, motion to dismiss or other legal pleading.

Discovery – Both sides disclose evidence to each other that supports their respective cases.

Certification Request – Plaintiff(s) file(s) a motion to certify the case as a class action.

Certification Opposed – Defendant(s) file(s) opposing briefs to the plaintiff(s) motion for class certification.

Class Action Certification – Judge certifies or denies the class action (if the judge denies, the case can continue as individual lawsuit(s) filed by the plaintiff(s).

Notification – If certified, notification of class action to prospective claimants, who must choose whether to stay in the case or file their own individual case.

Trial – Case is either set for trial, in trial, or has been tried before a judge or jury.

Appeal – A judgment of the trial court has been appealed to a higher level court.

Settlement Phase – Deadline is set for class action members to submit claims with supporting documentation.

Pay Out – Proceeds are distributed to class members.

Dismissed – A case can be dismissed at any point during the ten-stage process. This is not actually a stage, but the end of the process. This means that the case has terminated, at least for now, without the plaintiffs receiving any relief. The plaintiffs may have voluntarily dismissed the case, or the court may have ordered the case to be dismissed. Depending on the circumstances, the plaintiff may be able to file the action again later.

NOTE: The steps outlined above are only meant as a general guide, and may not be applicable to all class action cases. Some class actions will proceed to trial when settlement between the parties cannot be reached.

Class Action America is committed to providing YOU with the information and access you need to find out if you are eligible to claim your share of billions of dollars distributed yearly through thousands of class action lawsuits.