Class Action: A Class Representative’s Role

Posted on Friday, February 9th, 2018 at 9:08 am    

Class Action: A Class Representative’s Role

It is important to note that a class action lawsuit must fulfill certain requirements in order to be certified as a class action, these requirements are laid out in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and are:

  1. Numerosity
  2. Commonality
  3. Typicality, and
  4. Adequacy

To fulfill the third and fourth factors of typicality and adequacy it is necessary for there to be someone who speaks for the class. This person is referred to as the class representative, lead plaintiff or named plaintiff.

Typicality and Adequacy

Typicality requires that the claims of the class representative be the same as of those of the class. Therefore, the class representative must have a similar or same claim as the rest of the class. Adequacy requires that the class representative fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class. So when deciding who is a suitable class representative, the representative’s claims must be the same as the class’ addition the representative must be able and willing to act in the best interests of the class. This basically means that the representative should:

  • Have interests that are sufficiently intertwined and interrelated with those of the class
  • Familiar with the basics of the case
  • Willing to devote the necessary time and energy in order to fully resolve the class action
  • Free of conflict of interest
  • Have no history of fraudulent behavior, however, he or she may have a criminal record.

The role of has a lot of responsibilities that come with it. S/he works very closely with the attorneys handling the case and is often there in the court room or at key points of litigation. Therefore, a class representative must committed to the case.

While the role has a higher profile position when it comes to attorney fees there is no special treatment.




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