There are many ways to choose a lawyer, but the ideal way is to identify a lawyer that puts the client’s interest first. The same holds true for selecting a class action lawyer, except the “client” is the class and its members. In these types of cases, the goal should be to find the firm with the kind of experience, resources and track record best suited for getting the best possible result for the class.
When searching for a class action lawyer, consider the following:
- Experience – Class actions are very complicated. They can take years and cost considerable money to litigate. They involve a wide range of industries, legal issues and procedural complications. Finding a lawyer that has experience with all of these variables, is knowledgeable about the industry and the law, and has the versatility to navigate factual and legal cross-currents is critical.
- Rescources – A lawyer needs to have the resources necessary to properly research, prosecute and resolve a class action. These expenses – for travel, electronic discovery, investigators, expert witnesses, etc. – can be enormous. And because class actions are handled on a contingency basis, the lawyer must front all the expenses, forgo any fee until the case is resolved and be prepared to lose money if the case is not successful. As a result, the firm’s financially stability is key, as are the number of class action lawsuits the firm is a pursuing at any given time. If the firm is understaffed, its lawyers spread too thin, or its finances not properly managed, its cases may suffer.
- Track Record – Results matter. It’s important to know how well your lawyer has done litigating other class actions; what percentage of class actions has the firm successfully resolved; what kinds of settlements were reached, etc. A client should feel free to ask the attorney to provide more information about the firm’s history or ask former clients what it was like to work with the class action lawyer.