Why be a Class Representative?

Government enforcement of antitrust laws, and resulting criminal fines and penalties, tend to put money back in to the Federal Treasury – but often do not actually compensate direct purchasers impacted by cartel activity.  This is where the private sector comes in.  In fact, most antitrust suits are brought by businesses and individuals seeking damages for violations of the Sherman or Clayton Act. Private parties can also seek court orders preventing anticompetitive or fraudulent conduct (injunctive relief) or bring suits under state laws.  Private parties injured by certain violations can bring claims for up to three times their actual damages plus court costs and attorneys’ fees.  These parties are known as Class Representatives.

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What is in it for a Class Representative?

Justice. Standing up for all similarly situated, overcharged or defrauded purchasers.  Recoupment of your loss.  Upon successful resolution of a matter, Class Representatives can receive not only the pro ratapercentage of the loss they incurred, but also often a court awarded cash incentive.

What is a typical percentage of returned overcharge?

It depends on a host of factors including the strength of the case, the strength of counsel, the ability of settling offenders to pay and economic analysis of class-wide impact and damages, among other factors.

What is an incentive award?

An additional cash incentive award determined completely at the discretion of the Court.  These awards have run the range from $5,000 to as much as $200,000 and more.

What are the financial costs associated with being a Class Representative? 

Generally speaking, nothing. When a class action settles, the prosecuting counsel are typically paid as the court determines, either as a percentage of the common settlement fund created on behalf of all class members, or directly by defendants by means of a settlement agreement that provides for attorneys’ fees separate and apart from what is being paid into the common fund.  So, upon successful resolution of a matter, some part or provision of the settlement will be paid to prosecuting counsel.  Why not get the benefit of what that money is already paying for? Why not insure that your claims will be filed properly and maximized? Why not seek an incentive award?

What should a would-be Class Representative do at the out-set when anticipating becoming involved in a matter?

Preserve all documents and data pertaining to purchases of the products in question and relating to interactions with sellers of the products, whether they exist electronically or in hard copy.  As a Class Representative, or an absent class member, you will need these to make sure that your recovery is maximized. You will need to retain records relevant to the class period in order to do so. If anticipating being involved in litigation, it becomes your duty to preserve these documents.  The firm provides data preservation solutions after determining who the custodians of relevant paper and electronic documents are, and we help you make sure this information is properly preserved.

What are the duties of a Class Representative?

To choose good counsel.

To stay abreast of the case by keeping informed via updates from counsel.

To review certain key filings, such as the complaint, prior to filing.

To preserve and produce purchase data and related documents as requested.

To provide testimony as requested, typically regarding your purchases of the price-fixed product, sometimes in the form of a deposition.

To learn more, contact us today!