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When a person suffers some kind of financial loss as the result of another party's wrongdoing, it may not always be for significant enough of a figure to justify taking legal action. Class action lawsuits (also referred to as class suits or representative actions) allow groups of people who have individually experience similar types of financial harm to collectively pursue legal action against the wrongdoer.
Generally, the person who files a class action lawsuit is called the class representative (also known as a lead, named, or representative plaintiff). A court needs to certify a class action lawsuit and ensure that the class representative will adequately represent the best interests of all class members.
If you think that you were the victim of a financial scheme or other unlawful practices that may have affected other people, you will want to seek legal representation for assistance filing a class action lawsuit. Ciccarelli Law Offices represents clients in communities all over Chester County, Montgomery County, Lancaster County, Delaware County, and the greater Philadelphia area.
Our West Chester class action lawyers handle these cases on a contingency fee basis, so our firm does not charge you any fee unless you receive a financial award. Call (610) 719-3190 today to have our attorneys provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.
Rule 23(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure establishes that one or more members of a class may sue or be sued as representative parties on behalf of all members only if:
Similarly, Rule 1702 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure establishes one or more members of a class may sue or be sued as representative parties on behalf of all members in a class action only if:
Class action lawsuits may be filed in state or federal courts, but 28 U.S. Code § 1332(d)(2) states that federal courts have original jurisdiction of any civil action in which the matter in controversy exceeds $5 million, exclusive of interest and costs, and is a class action in which:
After a complaint is filed and the judge certifies the class action, all members of the class need to be notified. Class members are automatically included in class action cases, but notification allows them the opportunity to opt out of the lawsuits if they want to pursue individual legal actions.
The class action case will then move toward a trial if attorneys cannot get the defendants to agree to a satisfactory settlement. Judgments in such cases may be appealed.
Both state and federal law in Pennsylvania require plaintiffs in class action lawsuits to have questions of law or fact common to the class, and several different kinds of issues may be grounds for class action litigation. In general, many different kinds of harm that may have similarly affected a large group of people could be the basis for a class action lawsuit.
Some of the most common subjects of class action complaints in Pennsylvania include, but are not limited to:
Chapter 1700. Class Actions | Pennsylvania Code — View the full text of Pennsylvania state laws relating to class action lawsuits. You can read about prerequisites to a class action, commencement of action and assignment to a judge, and the form of the complaint. Also find information about judgment, compromise, settlement, and discontinuance.
Rule 23. Class Actions | Federal Rules of Civil Procedure — View the full text of the section of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule governing class action lawsuits. Learn more about types of class actions, notice to class members, and issues classes. The notes section also includes several changes made to this section of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as part of amendments made over the years.
Do you think you were the victim of an unlawful activity that may have affected other victims? You should speak to Ciccarelli Law Offices as soon as possible about possibly filing a class action lawsuit.
Our experienced class action attorneys in West Chester have office locations in Radnor, Kennett Square, Philadelphia, Springfield, Malvern, King of Prussia, Plymouth Square, and Lancaster. You can have our lawyers review your case and discuss all of your legal options as soon as you call (610) 719-3190 or complete an online contact form to receive a free, no obligation consultation.