About Class Representatives in Class Actions
In a class-action lawsuit, a class representative plaintiff, or class rep is the plaintiff in the case. Often a wronged or injured person will contact a law firm about a case. The law firm will research the person’s claims and determine whether they are unique to that person’s circumstances (in which case a class action lawsuit would not be appropriate), or instead stem from a uniform practice of proposed defendant that effects many people the same way (in which case a class-action lawsuit is appropriate).
If a decision is made to proceed with a class action, the law firm will then represent the class representative who files a lawsuit and (later in the process) seeks a court order allowing the class representative plaintiff to speak for all the members of the class of persons who were injured in the same way. The class may be national, or statewide, or pertain to a specific form of injury or wrongdoing the plaintiff has experienced, but the individual class rep’s experience stands as an example for each individual who is also an affected class member.
Here are some frequently asked questions about being a class rep for a class-action lawsuit:
WHAT IS A CLASS REPRESENTATIVE?
A class representative serves as a proxy for all similarly situated members of the class they represent. be more than one class representative per state (or other area). A proposed class representative is named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit, and that person’s experience giving rise to the claims would be described in detail within the complaint.
WHAT WOULD I HAVE TO DO AS A CLASS REP?
As a class representative your initial obligation will be to spend some time collecting documents (receipts, emails, forms, etc.) relating to any interactions you have had with the defendant, or regarding the issue at the heart of the lawsuit. We will send you a copy of the lawsuit before we file it so that you can ensure that any information about your interaction with the defendant is correct.
If applicable, class representatives are also advised to keep all affected devices/vehicles/material/products through the duration of the case and to notify their lawyers if, for any reason, they cannot keep a product, for example if the lease is up on a car, or they trade in a car or a consumer product for a new one.
WILL I HAVE TO TRAVEL IF I AM A CLASS REPRESENTATIVE?
Because it is rare for a class-action case to go to trial, it is unlikely that you would have to travel for a case where you are the class representative. However, though also rare, it is possible that a defendant might seek to depose you somewhere other than near your residence and it is possible that you might be called upon to testify at trial. In either event, we’d work with you on any travel arrangements. Please let us know if you have questions.
DOES IT COST ANYTHING TO BE A CLASS REPRESENTATIVE?
There is no cost to you associated with becoming a class representative. Any costs associated with the lawsuit will be paid by our law firm and you will have no obligation at any time to pay anything.
WILL I BE PAID IF I AM SELECTED AS A CLASS REPRESENTATIVE?
Typically, at the end of the case, counsel will ask for a service award relating to the time you put in as a class representatives in recognition of the time and effort involved in being an effective and cooperative class representative. However, we cannot guarantee that the Court will grant the request.
WHY SHOULD I BECOME A CLASS REPRESENTATIVE?
To right a wrong is the simple answer. A great class representative plaintiff is one whose main motivation for becoming class representative is that they want to personally hold the defendant accountable for what has happened. If you feel betrayed, cheated, or victimized by the defendant company in the lawsuit, and want to take an active role in holding the company accountable, or achieving change, or corporate social responsibility, then you would likely be a great class representative. In other words, if you want to make a tangible difference in this case by representing similarly affected consumers/individuals from your area, then you would be a great class representative. The whole idea of a class action is that one strong-minded individual can stand up to a major corporation on behalf of all the victims.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
If you express interest in serving as a class representative plaintiff, you will be send link to the Rights and Responsibilities form that formally sets forth the details of your role in the case. Once you sign the Rights and Responsibilities form, we will contact you to make sure that we know how you have been affected and to ensure that you would be an effective and appropriate class representative.
If you wish to learn more about being a class representative, or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-888-381-2889.