Class Axn

Prereq's 2 Class Axn (EXAM)

  1. Jxn
    1. Fed Quest.
    2. Diversity
      1. Cit. of class rep / named class member only
      2. Amt in controv. of $75k met by all class members, named & unnamed
  2. Class Def. Req's
    1. Def'able / ID'able Class Before Lawsuit
      1. Some basis 2 see who's in class
    2. Rsns 4 Def'able Class
      1. Need 4 notice 4 D/P
      2. Need 4 claim & issue precl. issues
      3. Imp. in damage class 2 dist. recov. 2 class
  3. Rule 23)a Prereq's
    1. Numerosity
      1. Joinder impract'able
      2. Numerous by
        1. Geog'ly disperse indiv's
        2. Geog'ly disperse prop.
        3. Large # of indiv's whose claims R small
        4. Gen'ly 1,000 is good # but 56 is 2 low
    2. Commonality
      1. Quest. of law / fact common 2 class
        1. Substantive law 2 class certif.
        2. Merits
      2. Low threshold
        1. In sec. axns, misrep. 2 lots of people common if written
    3. Typicality
      1. Claim / defense of party rep's typical 2 class
      2. La Mar doc. that P is rt. person / must B eligible 2 sue in his own rts
      3. Def'ed broadly 4 lots of class axn but narrowly 4 less class axns
      4. Factors of typical claims
        1. Same injury
        2. Same D's / dif. D's w/same conduct as orig.'al D
        3. Same legal claim
        4. Trxn'al rel.
        5. Same defenses
        6. Same evid. / types of proof
    4. Adeq. of Rep.
      1. Party
        1. Rt person but not nec'ly best
        2. Ensure D/P not viol'ed otherwise, no res judicata
        3. Must not have int. adverse 2 class
      2. Atty
        1. Qualified & competent

Rule 23)b Class Types (EXAM)

  1. Anti-Prejud. Class: Rule 23)b)1
    1. Focus on D: Rule 23)b)1)a
      1. Prejud. 2 D b/c subj. 2 incompatible dir.'s if indiv. class members prosec.'ed sep'ly
      2. Must B some person w/rts / duties 2 people in class +
      3. In position such that conflicting adjud. might req. inconsistent acts
        1. Narrow view is can't certify if multiple axn only creates inconsistent jgmts but must prod. inconsistent conduct w/respect 2 same P
        2. Broad view ok's certif. if any X there's risk of inconsistent adjud.
    2. Focus on Class Members in Limited Fund Case: Rule 23)b)1)b
      1. Pract'al risk that class members' int. prejud'ed if not proceed as class axn
      2. Prove total net assets of D's +
      3. Claims of class exceed limited fund
  2. Injunction Class: Rule 23)b)2
    1. Make Final Injunctive Relief
      1. D acted / refused 2 act which is gen'ly applicable 2 class
      2. Damages must B incidental
    2. Class Def. Not Very Imp.
  3. Damages Class: Rule 23)b)3
    1. Reqt's
      1. Predom. of common quest. +
        1. Mass fraud gen'ly proper b/c same liab. issues
        2. Mass pers'al inj. not proper b/c dif. liab. 4 indiv's but trend 2 consid. as proper class now
      2. Superiority 2 other methods of adjud.
      3. Factors
        1. Int. of class
        2. Extent & nat. of litig. 4 claims already commenced
        3. Desire of concentrating 2 partic. forum
        4. Difficulty in mgmt of class

Other Consid. of Class Axn

  1. Prejgmt Notice 2 Class: Rule 23)c)2
    1. Reqts
      1. Best notice pract'able under circ's, incl'ing indiv. notices 2 those id'able w/rsbl effort w/option 2 opt out
      2. Mandatory 4 b)3 class axns
    2. Cost of Notice 2 P's
  2. Comm'n Btwn Potential Members & Atty
    1. Limit Comm'n Btwn P's Atty & Potential Members
      1. Consid. truth, pvcy, & legal prof'n ethics
      2. Must order narrowly & show serious prob.
    2. Limit Comm'n Btwn D's Atty & Potential Members
      1. Severity & likelihood of perceived harm
      2. Narrow order
      3. Duration of order
      4. Avail. of less onerous alt.
  3. Settlements
    1. Mandatory Reqt's by Rule 23)e
      1. Need ct's approval +
      2. Notice 2 all members
      3. Stand. of fair, adeq. & rsbl settlement stand. which gives cts discretion
    2. Three Types of Settlement / Vol. Dismissal
      1. Precertif. settlement of class claims + binds absent members
        1. Assume case is class axn 4 Rule 23)e unless contrary det.
      2. Precertif. settlement of indiv. class rep. + not binds absent members
        1. Ct. has discretion 2 use proced. device like notice
        2. Ct has duty 2 conduct rsbl inquiry into terms of settlement
      3. Precertif. settlement of indiv. absent / unnamed members
        1. No limit on settlement
        2. No need 4 ct's approval / notice
    3. Suff. of Info
      1. Not lack of discov. stand. but presence of alt. source of info
      2. Somewhere btwn uned.'ed & full info
    4. Assessing Adeq. Settlement
      1. Likelihood that P will prevail @ trial
      2. Dist. ct. must est. range of possible recov.
      3. Pt. on / range of possible recov. where settlement fair & adeq.

This material is copyrighted by the author. Use of the material for profit is expressly prohibited without the written permission from the author.

Ms. Haeji Hong

May 4, 1998

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