Ascertainability Requirement for Class Certification

Leveraging the Latest Court Decisions to Challenge Class Membership and Defeat Certification

Recording of a 70-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

This CLE webinar will provide class counsel with a review of federal circuit court decisions addressing the ascertainability requirement for class certification. The panel will examine the scope and impact of differing circuit rulings on certification proceedings and provide insight into how defense counsel are faring with challenging certification on the grounds that the proposed class is insufficiently ascertainable.


Ascertainability requires that class membership be objectively determined at the onset of class litigation. The federal circuit split on ascertainability standards continues.

Recent rulings by the First, Third, Fourth and Eleventh Circuits indicate a heightened standard of ascertainability and a tough road for certification, while the Second, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Circuits demonstrate an easier path for plaintiffs to obtain class certification.

While the Fifth, Tenth and D.C. Circuits have thus far maintained their silence on the issue, the circuit split and decisions requiring more rigorous proof of ascertainability create strategic opportunities for defense counsel opposing certification. Class counsel challenging certification on ascertainability grounds must understand the elements of ascertainability and circumstances in which a class is or is not likely to be found to be ascertainable.

Listen as our authoritative panel discusses recent developments in the application of the ascertainability requirement and the anticipated impact of the latest case law trends for counsel opposing certification.



  1. Overview of ascertainability requirement in class certification
  2. Court rulings on the ascertainability requirement and impact on future class litigation
  3. Best practices for challenging class membership and defeating certification due to insufficient ascertainability


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Court rulings in cases involving the ascertainability requirement for class certification
  • Recent court opinions on ascertainability that may be leveraged by class counsel at a certification hearing
  • Criteria articulated by courts that make class membership more difficult to ascertain


Iannucci, Michael
Michael A. Iannucci

Blank Rome

Mr. Iannucci concentrates his practice in complex commercial and class action litigation matters, serving both...  |  Read More

Kouba, David
David Kouba

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer

Mr. Kouba’s practice focuses on class action litigation and other complex commercial matters, and he has defended...  |  Read More

Rose, Nina
Nina R. Rose

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Ms. Rose has extensive experience defending consumer fraud and false advertising class actions and product liability...  |  Read More

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