Deposing Named Plaintiffs in Class Litigation: Leveraging Issues of Adequacy and Commonality

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

Conducted on Thursday, July 25, 2019

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will prepare class counsel to depose or defend depositions of named plaintiffs in class litigation. The panel will outline techniques for effectively preparing or questioning named plaintiffs and offer tactics to leverage deposition testimony during certification, settlement and trial.


In deposing named plaintiffs, defense counsel's goal is to uncover evidence showing that the plaintiff cannot adequately represent the interests of the entire class and to identify differences among the named plaintiff and absent class members that demonstrate a lack of commonality within the class.

Plaintiffs' counsel must ensure that the named plaintiff can represent the defined class and can demonstrate his or her understanding of the facts and the class.

During the deposition, defense counsel will seek to learn about communication between the class representative and the plaintiffs' attorney and the extent of the named plaintiff's involvement up to the time of the deposition.

The named plaintiff's answers to the deposition questions will allow both plaintiff and defense counsel to better prepare for next steps, depending on counsels' assessment of whether the information obtained strengthens or weakens the adequacy, typicality and commonality showing.

Listen as our authoritative panel of class litigators discusses effective techniques for taking and defending depositions of named plaintiffs and strategies for using deposition testimony during certification, settlement and trial.



  1. Timing of deposition
  2. Questioning named plaintiffs and responding to objections
  3. Preparing named plaintiff for deposition and objecting to deposition questions
  4. Using exhibits
  5. Using information obtained from social media
  6. Post-deposition strategies--class certification, settlement, trial


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What types of questions and questioning techniques will maximize the information obtained from named plaintiffs during depositions?
  • What tactics are effective when responding to objections during depositions?
  • What are the best ways for class counsel to raise objections to questions during the deposition?
  • How are class litigators incorporating social media into the deposition process?
  • How can deposition testimony be used during class certification, settlement and trial?


Desai, Reena
Reena I. Desai

Nichols Kaster

Ms. Desai is a litigator who has represented employees in class and collective actions as well as individual...  |  Read More

Mayo, Maggie
Maggie Mayo

Morrison & Foerster

Ms. Mayo’s practice focuses on consumer class actions and commercial litigation. She has represented and advised...  |  Read More

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