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Ira Richards Discussed “Defining or Challenging Class Membership: Evaluating Ascertainability, Overbreadth and Failsafe Class Issues”

On January 5, 2016 by Schnader

Class Action chair Ira Richards was a panelist for the Strafford CLE webinar, “Defining or Challenging Class Membership: Evaluating Ascertainability, Overbreadth and Failsafe Class Issues,” on Tuesday, January 5, 2016.

Defining the class and the class claims, issues, or defenses is a prerequisite to obtaining certification and an area of ongoing difficulty for class action practitioners. Pre-certification challenges are often made based on the adequacy of the proposed class definition. Ascertainability requires that a class representative can show that class membership can be objectively determined. Impermissible failsafe classes require a merits issue determination for a person to be included in a class. Defendants can raise challenges to the scope of the class definition, including challenges to whether the class is overbroad. A panel of class action litigators will examine the issues that arise in defining class membership, including the evolving requirement that class membership be ascertainable, the concepts of overbroad and failsafe classes, and the approaches for courts to scrutinize these elements in assessing class certification motions.