Consumer Class Action Settlements: Evaluating, Negotiating and Structuring Settlements Pre- and Post-Certification

Weighing Settlement Options, Negotiating the Agreement, Obtaining Court Approval

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will provide guidance to class action counsel for evaluating whether, when and how to settle consumer class actions. The panel will discuss the challenges plaintiff and defense counsel face when settling cases and tactics for increasing the likelihood of obtaining court approval of the settlement.


Consumer class actions related to fraud, data breach, false advertising, antitrust violations and product liability have more than doubled in the past five years, and businesses have faced millions of dollars in potential liability. The substantial costs and negative publicity risks of class action litigation incent companies to settle the cases as quickly as possible.

When evaluating whether to settle consumer class actions, class action counsel must consider a number of strategic issues. Defense counsel must weigh whether to settle with the named plaintiff versus the entire class and the impact of the decision. Counsel for both sides must ensure that the proposed settlement will survive heightened court scrutiny. Courts are increasingly tossing out settlements that include conditional incentive awards, excessive attorneys’ fees or cy pres distributions, finding that they do not provide sufficient benefits to the affected class.

Class counsel must understand the current legal landscape regarding settling consumer class actions, including lessons from the recent Target data breach settlement, in order to devise effective settlement strategies for their cases.

Listen as our authoritative panel of class action attorneys discusses best practices for weighing a settlement decision in a consumer class action, determining the structure of the settlement and calculating attorney fees, and ensuring court approval of the settlement award.



  1. Weighing the settlement options
    1. Individual settlements with named plaintiff
    2. Class-wide settlements
  2. Assessing risk of exposure and calculating potential damages
  3. Obtaining enforceable settlement agreements
    1. Fair, reasonable and adequate requirement
    2. Notice requirements and use of alternative media
    3. Conditional incentive awards
    4. Cy pres awards
    5. Attorneys’ fees
    6. Defending a settlement and maximizing its advantages


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What current trends in consumer class action settlements are instructive for class action plaintiff and defense counsel evaluating whether and how to settle cases?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages to the defense of settling with the named plaintiff versus a class-wide settlement?
  • How are courts currently dealing with cy pres awards, attorneys’ fees and conditional incentive awards in proposed class settlements?


Donald R. Frederico
Donald R. Frederico

Pierce Atwood

Mr. Frederico focuses his practice on representing defendants in class actions and has represented clients in a wide...  |  Read More

Neal R. Marder
Neal R. Marder

Winston & Strawn

Mr. Marder is chair of the firm's national consumer class action practice. He concentrates on class and mass...  |  Read More

Adam M. Moskowitz
Adam M. Moskowitz

Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton

Mr. Moskowitz concentrates his practice primarily on class action matters and the trial of complex litigation. Mr....  |  Read More

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