Consumer class action litigation presents significant company and brand reputational concerns along with traditional litigation and financial risks. With a focus on timely and cost-effective resolution of consumer class action litigation, we closely analyze the asserted claims and their legal foundations and work with our clients to develop an effective defense strategy. Sometimes that involves negotiation at the earliest stages of a dispute, but often it involves aggressive litigation to narrow claims and position the case for optimal resolution.
Our team of former federal prosecutors are skilled at handling class action defense.
Through our representation of clients in diverse industries, we bring battle-tested strategies to a range of potential class action claims, including privacy-related claims; debt collection claims such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA); the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA); the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA); the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA); the California Consumer Privacy Act; California’s Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA); and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
We also represent clients in responding to consumer class action suits relating to product liability, false advertising, and violations of California’s Business and Professions Code and the Unfair Competition Law (UCL).
Class action lawsuits, where one or several plaintiffs seek to represent a class of similarly situated people, have unique procedural features. In the initial complaint, the plaintiff must request class certification for the claim, describe the class attributes, and provide information about the number of potential class members.
Separate from the process of evaluating the merits of the asserted claims, the plaintiff must prove each requirement of class certification by a preponderance of the evidence and affirmatively demonstrate compliance with the rules governing class certification. The plaintiff must be able to define the members of the class precisely and unambiguously.
While identifying individual class members is not required prior to certification, the plaintiff typically must be able to show that there is an objective and available method to identify class members.
Then, the judge must rule on whether certification of the class is appropriate. The judge will not certify the class if the plaintiff has not met its burden of proving all of the required elements: (i) that the class has sufficiently numerous members, (ii) that common questions exist among the class members, (iii) that the claims of the proposed class representative(s) are typical of the claims of other class members, (iv) that the proposed class representative and class counsel are adequate, and (v) proceeding as a class action is appropriate for one of the reasons identified in the rule.
Within this process, defendants have an opportunity to prevent certification of the class by arguing that the plaintiffs have not met one or more of these requirements. Working with a legal team that is skilled and knowledgeable about opposing class certification is crucial because if a large class is certified, defendants often face the possibility of (sometimes staggeringly) large damages awards if any of the claims of the class are even partially successful.
At Delahunty & Edelman, our attorneys aim to resolve our clients’ matters in an efficient and cost-effective manner. From negotiating on your behalf, to fighting class certification when possible, to aggressively defending your legal and financial interests while considering reputational concerns, our team is ready to counsel you in high-risk class action defense matters.