Class Actions

Class actions developed as a form of litigation in which a group of people claiming similar injuries or damages could band together to sue the same defendant. Nowadays, however, these cases are often pursued with the sole intention to shakedown a defendant—hurting businesses and damaging the American economy. Read More...

The sheer size of some classes is enormous—thousands to sometimes, millions of individual claimants come together in single class actions. The large size of a proposed class could result in huge damage awards, making these cases very risky for businesses despite strong defenses. Consequently, once a court decides that a case can proceed as a class action, most defendants end up settling the case instead of risking a trial—even if they have not done anything wrong.

Unfortunately, plaintiffs’ lawyers have exploited businesses’ caution by filing many meritless class actions—all with the goal of scoring a jackpot settlement where consumers receive minuscule amounts, and lawyers walk away with huge fees. For example, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and our securities laws have sparked enormous class action lawsuits that significantly damage legitimate American businesses all while benefiting plaintiff lawyers. Even more alarming are cy pres cases where some or all of the settlement proceeds go to a charity rather than the class members. The U.S. Department of Justice recently ramped up efforts to review abusive class action practices to curb further exploitation.

The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) helped curb many class action abuses by moving most large, interstate class actions to federal courts, where examination of class actions is generally more rigorous than in state courts. To help address the problems not resolved by CAFA, the Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) believes The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act (FICALA) would help to ensure that class actions are fulfilling their intended purpose. FICALA aims to bring fairness to the current state of class action litigation by closing various loopholes that increase meritless cases, limiting conflicts of interest between these plaintiffs’ attorneys and their class member clients, as well as bringing needed reforms to multidistrict litigation and fraudulent joinder standards.


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All Results for Class Actions

  1. Trial Lawyers Are Already Trying To Cash In On Coronavirus

    April 06, 2020 | News

    Trial lawyers have already sued cruise ship operators, soap manufacturers and insurance companies, but COVID-19 will give them plenty more opportunities to make money, according to a report in Legal Newsline.... Read More

  2. Bayer Challenges 'Novel Theory' Behind $265M Verdict

    March 31, 2020 | News

    Bayer AG asked a federal judge to toss a $265 million verdict because the jury in the case found no evidence that Monsanto Co.'s dicamba herbicide caused economic damages to a peach farmer's orchard, according to a report in The AM Law Litigation Daily. ... Read More

  3. In the News Today -March 23, 2020

    March 23, 2020 | News

    As demand for hand sanitizer surges, producers face another lawsuit... Read More

  4. Potential Australian State Law Could Make Class Actions More Lucrative

    February 27, 2020 | News

    An Australian law firm is taking advantage of legislation that is waiting to be passed by the Victorian upper house.... Read More

  5. Selling More Lawsuits, Buying More Trouble: Third Party Litigation Funding A Decade Later

    January 27, 2020 | Research

    Selling More Lawsuits, Buying More Trouble finds that the third party litigation funding industry has grown massively since ILR's original research on the subject, and that the ethical and practical concerns we identified with TPLF in 2009 were well-founded.... Read More

  6. "The Oxymoron of 'the Conservative Case for Class Actions'"

    January 08, 2020 | News

    The director of the Center for Class Action Fairness at the Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute called a recent book by a Vanderbilt law professor an "oxymoron."... Read More

  7. In the News Today - November 26, 2019

    November 26, 2019 | News

    Conservative Case for Class Actions Doesn't Pass Smell Test... Read More

  8. Ninth Circuit Affirms Principles For CAFA Removals

    October 24, 2019 | News

    According to two BakerHostetler law firm attorneys, the Ninth Circuit "recently affirmed three principles that apply in Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) removal cases."... Read More

  9. In the News Today - September 23, 2019

    September 23, 2019 | News

    Class Members Don't Read Emailed Settlement Notices, Agency Says... Read More

  10. "The Lawyer Enrichment Act"

    September 23, 2019 | News

    The Wall Street Journal editorial board says "trial lawyers lose the most from arbitration" in a new piece on a House-passed bill that would restrict the use of arbitration between businesses and employees.... Read More