Defeating Class Claims by Attacking the Pleadings and Leveraging Other Early Dispositive Motions

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 Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This CLE course will provide guidance to class action defense counsel for defeating class claims by strategically attacking the pleadings or leveraging other dispositive motions, including summary judgment motions and motions to deny certification. The panelists will provide their perspectives on whether the pleading stage is too early to challenge class claims; when it is appropriate to use other early dispositive motions; how early in a case plaintiffs have a right to discovery; and which arguments are appropriate early in the case.


Since class litigation has the potential for costly discovery and exorbitant defense costs, defense counsel often attempt to defeat claims early on by making a motion to strike or dismiss the case based on the allegations in the pleadings. There is a multiple-district split on whether motions to strike or dismiss are premature. For courts that allow them, there are big divisions over the appropriate vehicle to challenge the pleadings, and the best arguments for doing so.

In addition to attacking the pleadings, there are a number of other early dispositive motions practitioners can pursue, including summary judgment motions and motions to deny certification. Defense counsel must carefully weigh which strategy has the greatest chance of success given the particular facts of the case, how courts in their jurisdiction view each type of motion, and the potential implications for settlement and trial if the motion is denied.

Listen as our authoritative panel of class action attorneys discusses the latest case law developments and court positions on defeating class claims by attacking the pleadings or using other dispositive motions. The panelists will explain their experiences and perspectives on whether defendants should challenge claims at the pleading stage or consider a different dispositive motion, and effective arguments for counsel.



  1. Evaluating whether to move to strike or dismiss based on the pleadings
  2. Effective arguments at pleading stage
    1. State law variations will predominate
    2. Definition of class
  3. Pros and cons of other types of dispositive motions
    1. Summary judgment
    2. Motions to deny certification
  4. Differing court opinions on whether plaintiffs have right to discovery


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Is the pleading stage too early to challenge class claims?
  • Do plaintiffs have a right to discovery early in the case?
  • Is the appropriate vehicle to attack the pleadings a motion to strike, a motion to dismiss, or some other motion?
  • What impact do early dispositive motions have on individual and class claims?
  • What standards of review do the various circuits apply when deciding whether to grant each of the various types of early dispositive motions?
  • What are some best practices for defense counsel for leveraging dispositive motions early on to defeat class claims?


Levine, Ronald
Ronald J. Levine

General Counsel
Herrick Feinstein

Mr. Levine concentrates his practice on complex corporate litigation, especially multi-party actions. With more than 40...  |  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

Andrew J. Trask
Andrew J. Trask

McGuire Woods

Mr. Trask has defended more than 100 class actions, involving all stages of the litigation process. While his work has...  |  Read More

Access Anytime, Anywhere

Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

To find out which recorded format will provide the best CLE option, select your state:

CLE On-Demand Video