Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog

Elizabeth Cabraser and Jonathan Selbin on Class Action Settlements

Achieving Justice In Class Action Settlements - article by Elizabeth Cabraser and Jonathan Selbin

Class actions enable consumers, small businesses, and employees to hold powerful corporations accountable for their misconduct. Class action settlements can provide meaningful relief to thousands or millions of people who would receive none otherwise.

Our attorneys Elizabeth J. Cabraser and Jonathan D. Selbin, two of the foremost class action practitioners in the nation, offer model guidelines for settling class actions in the September issue of Trial magazine, a publication of the American Association for Justice.

Settling class actions “involves advance planning and knowing what to avoid to get a court’s final approval,” Cabraser and Selbin state. This is essential because, as Cabraser and Selbin observe, “[courts] are taking a closer and more skeptical look at class action settlements than ever before. Some bad settlements have made bad law, bad headlines, and bad policy. In the right circumstances, and handled properly, class actions serve a critical function.”

Read the article on the American Association for Justice website (subscription required).

On the AAJ website, Cabraser and Selbin also address topics common to class action practice today. “The merits matter,” Cabraser advises attorneys new to the field. “The worth of the case must be communicated to the court early on. This is necessary, though not sufficient, for class certification. There is no such thing as a bad case that is a good class action.”

Selbin adds: “Class actions are a specialized field with detailed rules governing the case and class counsel. Because everything you do ultimately is subject to public disclosure and rigorous review by a court, you better do it right. We are held to a higher standard, and we should be. The best way to get started is to partner with an experienced firm, which enables you to avoid common pitfalls.”

Read the interview with Cabraser and Selbin.