Deposing Named Plaintiffs in Employment Class and Collective Actions: Plaintiff and Defense Strategies

Uncovering and Leveraging Issues of Adequacy and Commonality During Certification, Settlement and Trial

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

Conducted on Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will prepare litigators representing putative class members or employers in employment class or collective actions to depose or defend depositions of named plaintiffs. The panel will outline techniques for effectively preparing or questioning named plaintiffs and offer strategies to leverage deposition testimony during certification, settlement and trial.


When deposing named plaintiffs in employment class or collective actions, the goal of employers' counsel is to uncover evidence showing that the plaintiff is unable to represent the interests of the entire class of employees adequately and to identify differences between the named plaintiff and absent class members that demonstrate a lack of commonality within the class.

Counsel for the putative class of employees must ensure that the named plaintiff can represent the defined class and can demonstrate his/her understanding of specific facts of the case and the class represented.

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

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

Listen as our authoritative panel of employment class litigators discusses effective techniques for taking and defending depositions of named plaintiffs in employment class or collective actions, 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 questions
  4. Using exhibits
  5. Using information obtained from social media


The panel will review these and other principal issues:

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


Cripps, Jesse
Jesse A. Cripps

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Mr. Cripps handles the full range of labor and employment matters under federal and state law, specializing in the...  |  Read More

Specht, Brock
Brock J. Specht

Nichols Kaster

Mr. Specht is an experienced litigator dedicated to representing plaintiffs in a variety of disputes. His practice is...  |  Read More

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