Consumer Class Actions
The attorneys at Teske Katz have decades of collective experience in class action litigation. Our firm acts as lead counsel in class actions on behalf of consumers in both federal and state courts across the country.
We are members of the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA), a non-profit organization of attorneys and other consumer advocates committed to protecting and representing consumers. As NACA members, we ensure that the class actions we litigate are conducted in a manner reflective of the standards set forth in NACA’s Class Action Guidelines. That means that Teske Katz focuses on professional, ethical representation of our class action clients.
What is a Class Action?
A class action is a type of litigation where one or more persons, with the Court’s permission, represent other unnamed persons who are similarly situated. A class action ensures that a defendant who engages in widespread harm, but does so minimally as against each individual plaintiff, must compensate those individuals for their injuries as a group. Perhaps even more important than compensation is that class treatment of claims may be the only way to impose the costs of wrongdoing on the defendant and, therefore, change corporate culture and deterring future wrongdoing.
In consumer class actions, in particular, the damage borne by the consumer is usually in the form of overpayments made as a result of a deceptive and/or fraudulent business practice. Without class actions, a consumer might be left feeling there is no way of recovering what has been taken. But if many similar claims are grouped together, the cost of litigation compared to the group’s total recovery makes bringing the case possible. The spirit behind consumer class action litigation is that a person or business that steals one dollar each from a million people is just as culpable as a person or business that steals a million dollars from just one person.
What does a Representative Plaintiff do?
The person bringing the action is called the “class representative” or the “named plaintiff.” Because the named plaintiff represents many unnamed class members, and because class action litigation can be complex and last several years, he or she is required to make a commitment to help all the other class members. These responsibilities to the class members must be honored throughout the lawsuit.
Such responsibilities include keeping in touch with class counsel, answering questions under oath in a deposition, and attending court hearings. Class counsel has corresponding duties to the class representative, as well: a duty to work hard on the case, keep the class representative informed of the status of the lawsuit, and to answer all questions the class representative may have about the case. Teske Katz has acted as class counsel in myriad cases around the country and is routinely approved by courts to act as representatives for class members.