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Class Action Analysis Components
Class action must:
a. Satisfy two common law requirements
b. The 4 requirements of 23(a)
c. Fit into a category in 23(b)
Common Law Requirements of a Class Action
- 1. Class Rep must be a member of the class
- 2. Class must be capable of definition
The 23(a) Requirements for a Class Action
All must be satisfied:
- 1. Numerosity
- 2. Commonality
- 3. Typicality
- 4. Adequacy of Representation:
- Met if
- - there are common issues of fact or law
- - among class members that are
- - relevant to the matter being litigated.
Met even if only a few common issues among class members.
Adequacy of Representation
Must be adequate to represent class members
Counsel must be qualified and competent to represent the class.
Satisfied when members of class so numerous that joinder is impracticable.
- claim being asserted by class representative be the same in it's essential characteristics
- as the claims of the class members
- such that the class rep "stands in the shoes" of the class members.
Like commonality, not a demanding standard to meet.
Requirements of 23(b)
Class must fall into a category listed under 23(b):
Rule 23(b)(1) Requirements of Class Actions
- 23(b) Has Two Categories:
- 23(b)(1)(a) If Failure to certify class would create risk of incompatible standards of conduct for the class opponent.
- Typically where complex injunctive relief being sought which could result in:
- - multiple injunctive orders requiring different, inconsistent behavior.
- 23(b)(1)(b) If failure to certify class would create a risk of adjudications with respect to individual class members that would impair or impede the ability of other class members to protect their interests.
- Typically when litigation is over money in a limited fund that is not enough to satisfy claims of all class members.
Rule 23(b)(2) Requirements of Class Action
Certification of class permitted where class opponent has acted or refused to act
on grounds that apply generally to the class,
so that final injunctive relief is appropriate respecting the class as a whole.
Requirements of 23(b)(3) of Class Action
Permits certification of class where:
1. Common issues predominate over individual issues
2. AND, the class action device is the superior means of adjudicating the controversy.
This is when class is seeking money damages.