At Kazerouni Law Group, APC, we have experience and knowledge representing clients in a range of class action matters. Serving clients in Costa Mesa and throughout California, our attorneys combine extensive knowledge with an aggressive, results-oriented approach to make sure our clients get the best outcomes possible in their cases.
Types Of Consumer Class Actions
FDCPA Class Actions
One of the class action areas that we concentrate on at Kazerouni Law Group, APC, is cases arising from violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. These are cases where debt collectors and/or third-party creditors violate a section/s of this act as standard part of their practice. An example of this is where the standard initial letter sent to the debtor has one or more violations in it. That would mean that all debtor recipients would be potentially part of a “class” as plaintiffs against that violating creditor.
TCPA Class Actions
If you have received text messages and/or automated calls to your cell phone without prior express consent (i.e. you at NO POINT gave your cell phone number to the calling party), you may have a case against the caller. There are a lot of nuances with this law and it is particularly complex. However, if at any point in the last FOUR YEARS you have received text messages and/or automated calls to your cellphone without prior express consent (i.e. you at NO POINT gave your cellphone number to the calling party), feel free to contact us toll free at 800-400-6808 for a free consultation.
Qui Tam Class Actions
Qui tam is taken from the Latin phrase “Qui tam pro domino rege quam pro si ipso in hac parte sequitur,” which means “Who sues on behalf of the King, as well as for Himself.” The law of qui tam is based upon the False Claims Act. The qui tam law was created to incentivize individuals to fight fraud and corruption against the government by acting as a whistleblower (against companies that are defrauding governmental entities). This means that via qui tam lawsuits, whistleblowers may recover the government’s losses on the government’s behalf against the individuals and/or entities that are defrauding the government. Whistleblowers who file successful claims against companies or persons who are defrauding the government are awarded between 15 percent and 25 percent of the recovery if the government intervenes; up to 30 percent if the government does not intervene and they pursue the case alone or with their lawyer.
Other Class Actions
At Kazerouni Law Group, APC, we bring an array of class actions based around the protection of consumers. We often bring class actions where consumers are being mislead and/or defrauded and/or being sold substandard products. If you believe that you fall into this category, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to discuss your case in a free evaluation.
What Is A Class Action?
Generally, a class action involves a number of plaintiffs who join together to form a unified lawsuit against a single person or corporate entity.
In the United States federal courts, class actions are governed by Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 23 and 28 U.S.C.A. § 1332 (d).
Class action lawsuits may be brought in federal court if the claim arises under federal law, or if the claim falls under 28 USCA § 1332 (d). Under § 1332 (d) (2) the federal district courts have original jurisdiction over any civil action where the amount in controversy exceeds $5,000,000 and either 1. any member of a class of plaintiffs is a citizen of a state different from any defendant 2. any member of a class of plaintiffs is a foreign state or a citizen or subject of a foreign state and any defendant is a citizen of a state or 3. any member of a class of plaintiffs is a citizen of a state and any defendant is a foreign state or a citizen or subject of a foreign state. Nationwide plaintiff classes are possible, but such suits must have a commonality of issues across state lines. This may be difficult if the civil law in the various states lack significant commonalities.
Large class actions brought in federal court frequently are consolidated for pretrial purposes through the device of multidistrict litigation (MDL). It is also possible to bring class action lawsuits under state law, and in some cases the court may extend its jurisdiction to all the members of the class, including out of state (or even internationally) as the key element is the jurisdiction that the court has over the defendant.
The procedure for filing a class action is to file suit with one or several named plaintiffs on behalf of a proposed class. The proposed class must consist of a group of individuals or business entities that have suffered a common injury or injuries. Typically these cases result from an action on the part of a business or a particular product defect or policy that applied to all proposed class members in a typical manner. After the complaint is filed, the plaintiff must file a motion to have the class certified. In some cases, class certification may require discovery in order to determine its size and if the proposed class meets the standard for class certification.
Upon the motion to certify the class, the defendants may object to whether the issues are appropriately handled as a class action, to whether the named plaintiffs are sufficiently representative of the class, and to their relationship with the law firm or firms handling the case. The court will also examine the ability of the firm to prosecute the claim for the plaintiffs, and their resources for dealing with class actions.
Due process requires in most cases that notice describing the class action be sent, published, or broadcast to class members. As part of this notice procedure, there may have to be several notices, first a notice giving class members the opportunity to opt out of the class, i.e. if individuals wish to proceed with their own litigation they are entitled to do so, only to the extent that they give timely notice to the class counsel or the court that they are opting out. Second, if there is a settlement proposal, the court will usually direct the class counsel to send a settlement notice to all the members of the certified class, informing them of the details of the proposed settlement.
In federal civil procedure law, which has also been accepted by approximately 35 states (through adoption of state civil procedure rules similar to the federal rules), the class action must have certain definite characteristics:
(1) The class must be so large as to make individual suits impractical.
(2) There must be legal or factual claims in common.
(3) The claims or defenses must be typical of the plaintiffs or defendants.
(4) The representative parties must adequately protect the interests of the class.
These four requirements are often summarized as CANT: commonality, adequacy, numerosity, and typicality. In many cases, the party seeking certification must also show:
(5) That common issues between the class and the defendants will predominate the proceedings, as opposed to individual fact-specific conflicts between class members and the defendants.
(6) That the class action, instead of individual litigation, is a superior vehicle for resolution of the disputes at hand.
Contact Kazerouni Law Group, APC
If you have been injured or suffered other damages, the lawyers from our firm can discuss your case and help you determine whether you might be part of a class action or other lawsuit. Call us at 800-400-6808 or email us to schedule a free case evaluation with an attorney from our firm.