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Defeating Class Certification Through Enhanced Discovery Strategies

Rigorous Analysis Standard, Rule 23(a)(1) Numerosity, Rule 23(a)(2) Commonality, Rule 23(a)(3) Typicality, Rule 23(a)(4) Adequacy

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

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, September 19, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will discuss using evidence obtained during discovery to defeat class actions pre-certification. The panel will identify the latest trends and developments in Rule 23 case law and offer practical advice and strategies for successfully narrowing the class, limiting the scope of liability, and ultimately defeating class certification.


In many class actions, strategic use of discovery determines the outcome. While even a medium-sized corporate client may have thousands of potentially relevant documents, a putative class representative may have only a few. What's more, defendants are generally highly vulnerable to efforts by plaintiffs to make broad and inappropriately burdensome discovery requests.

But it is critical to take focused and tailored discovery early--including taking targeted depositions--to expose the weakness of a plaintiff's case and oppose class certification. By incorporating defensive and offensive elements into their discovery strategy, savvy counsel can lay the foundation for timely, fair, and cost-efficient resolution of a putative class action.

Sometimes--where threshold factual or legal issues on the merits of the underlying claims may determine the viability of a class claim--defense counsel should reverse the order of class action discovery and seek discovery on the merits issues.

Listen as our authoritative panel of class action practitioners identifies the latest trends and developments in class action discovery and offers practical advice and strategies for successfully narrowing the class, limiting liability, and ultimately defeating class certification.



  1. Overview
  2. Evaluating what discovery should be sought
  3. When to request discovery
  4. Type of discovery to request
  5. Best practices and innovative strategies for leveraging evidence during certification


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the latest trends in using targeted discovery to defeat class certification?
  • What factors should defense counsel weigh when evaluating whether and when to conduct discovery?
  • How can evidence obtained be used for optimal impact during class certification?
  • What strategies have been effective in class actions for obtaining essential information with the least expense?
  • What is the scope of evidence that is discoverable before certification of the putative class, and how can you best target discovery?
  • When drafting discovery requests in class actions, what considerations should counsel take into account to ensure that the requests are in line with the proportionality standard?
  • How can defense counsel use the rigorous analysis standard to significant effect?


Ackerman, Wystan
Wystan M. Ackerman

Robinson & Cole

Mr. Ackerman chairs the firm's Class Action Team and has a national class action defense practice. He has been...  |  Read More

George, Jamie
Jamie S. George

Alston & Bird

Mr. George focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation, consumer class actions, and high-profile...  |  Read More

Handschumacher, Kelly
Kelly Handschumacher

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Ms. Handschumacher provides counsel in consumer class action defense, securities fraud class action defense and other...  |  Read More

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