When considering a class action attorney, you need to consider various options and understand what you will be getting into. This is because class actions can be lengthy and time-consuming and can involve stressful situations whereby a claimant might need to recall painful memories in front of not only a courtroom but even sometimes in front of the press with high profile cases. To understand what you could be getting into, you should first understand what one is.
What is a class action lawsuit?
This is a particular type of case that has been brought about by many individuals, aggrieved parties that all have similar complaints. It is generally accepted that this type of lawsuit needs around 50 or more people to become initiated by a judge. However, this is not a hard-fast rule, and some cases will have less and some more. The main benefits of beginning a class action lawsuit have several class members with the same issues and the gravity that it affords the case. Another advantage is the reinforcement of other people involved in the case. To find out more detail and get a consultation if needed, you can click here.
Who should consider this type of lawsuit?
Many situations arise which could warrant similarly wronged individuals coming together to form a class. Some examples include securities fraud, whereby a company has allegedly committed fraud that has affected its shareholder, to medical malpractice. Regarding medical lawsuits, there have been some famous examples in the past, such as one filed against Johnson & Johnson and other manufacturers of talcum powder. It was alleged that it caused ovarian cancer, and women from around the USA began to file lawsuits against the firm. The issue was that the company had known about the cancer-causing problems and went forward with selling it to the public. This particular class action suit only involved women, specifically from California, depending on the jurisdiction.
4 Tips to look for when hiring a class action attorney
When considering either beginning or participating in a lawsuit of this nature, you must first consider four critical points that I will go through here:
Check previous performance
When searching for an attorney to represent you and your class in court, you should be vigilant to check out their previous performance. For example:
- Do they have a track record of winning and receiving an excellent result for the claimants? I.e., did the claimants get an empty victory or came away with a substantial win that they deserved.
- How did their clients react to their victory? If it is a high profile case, you can usually see from interviews if they were satisfied.
- Check what credentials they possess and who will be representing your class action. Are they qualified and experienced in handling these types of lawsuits?
- Do they carry the correct level of expertise to represent you? For example, do they understand the main issues for medical cases, and is this their primary area of competencies?
All of the above points are important, but perhaps the most crucial point is choosing a law firm and attorney experienced in your particular type of case. A securities and fraud lawyer will probably not help with a medical-related suit and vice versa.
Once you have made sure that your chosen law firm can handle your case, you will need to check how they hold consultations.
Do they offer consultations?
This is a crucial tip when starting your case. You will need to make sure that you can contact and set up an appointment with your chosen law firm to discuss the issue more. It is best to physically have a meeting with them, especially for more complicated suits, but as long as you can speak in detail, any method should be sufficient. Some things to consider when in consultations include:
Do you get the feeling that they are either uninterested in your case or whether they are capable of taking on your lawsuit? You should be able to have numerous consultations with them, and if you don’t feel good about them, you should move onto another firm.
Cost of consultations
You should be able to get in touch with your chosen firm for free, but they may charge for subsequent consultations. Having a fee for consultations is common, but you should consider their expense and whether it is affordable.
Before getting started with a class-action lawsuit, all members of the initiating class should be well aware of the costs involved as these types of cases can be drawn out affairs with rapidly rising prices. By having transparent meetings with your chosen attorney, you should get the lay of the land before committing any further. Most lawyers will work on what is known as a contingency basis. This essentially means that if you win the case, they will receive a percentage of the winnings, but you lose, you will only have to pay if to win or lose, and expenses can be costly. However, some courts may set limits, and your attorney may offer a sliding scale arrangement.
Check if all class members grievances align
This is perhaps the most critical point to look out for is whether or not your complaints harmonize. If there are any discrepancies between the suit members, the case could be thrown out and any form of recourse shut down. This should be checked out when in the consultation phase with your attorney, and they will be able to advise the initiating claimants to understand precisely what they are suing for. Once all class members agree with their attorney, proceedings are often presented to a judge who will decide whether or not to proceed.
A class-action lawsuit is a massive and serious undertaking, and all points need to be considered very carefully. Cases can be long drawn out affairs, and if they get sufficiently large, they could end up being covered by the national press. If you follow the tips outlined here, you should be in good stead to carry out your case to its conclusion.