Pleading, Defending and Settling Class Actions: Emerging Trends

New Strategies for Multi-State Litigation Post-CAFA

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

Conducted on Tuesday, December 9, 2008

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Program Materials


Since the enactment of the Class Action Fairness Act, plaintiffs’ attorneys have developed innovative ways to plead multi-state class action cases to increase the likelihood of certification and global resolution in federal court.

Defense attorneys have responded to the new pleading techniques with novel strategies of their own to defend against federal certification and the suits.

New settlement strategies have also emerged that provide worthwhile results for plaintiffs and broad relief for defendants that are mindful of due process concerns.

Listen as our panel of class action plaintiff and defense counsel examines emerging pleading themes in multi-state class actions after CAFA, strategies for defending against these new claims, and methods for reaching fair settlements that comply with due process.



  1. New pleading strategies
    1. Suing in fifty (or multiple) states under fifty (or multiple) state’s substantive laws
    2. Suing for multiple states in one court under a single state’s substantive law
    3. Exemplar-state class actions
    4. Certifying exemplar-state claims when involving similar or different substantive laws
    5. Respecting class-membership, standing, subject-matter-jurisdiction, and adequacy concerns as these concerns relate to needing class representatives for every state and claim alleged
    6. Avoiding CAFA by pleading damages and/or injunctive relief less than $5 million
  2. Defense strategies
    1. Dealing with multiple complaints in MDL - opposing or accepting consolidation and transfer
    2. Challenging the application of a single state’s substantive law under Shutts and the original or eventual forum jurisdiction’s choice-of-law jurisprudence
    3. Accepting the exemplar approach by proposing test jurisdictions for class certification 
    4. Attacking the exemplar approach by challenging class certification of every exemplar state
    5. Opposing class certification by arguing predominance of individual legal issues where plaintiffs allege multiple state-law subclasses whether under exemplar approach or not
  3. Mutually beneficial settlement strategies
    1. Settling globally when plaintiffs sue exemplar states
    2. The appropriateness of a single or comparable states’ laws substantive, class-wide application under Shutts while not offending due process
    3. Broadening the class definition when alleging exemplar states to provide the required global coverage
    4. Attorney general notice concerns under CAFA


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What are the new pleading strategies plaintiffs' counsel have employed to embrace or avoid CAFA?
  • What are the prevailing defense counsel perspectives on the continued viability of multistate class actions post-CAFA?
  • What settlement strategies have proven successful since CAFA's passage?


Daniel R. Karon
Daniel R. Karon

Goldman Scarlato & Karon

He manages the firm's Cleveland office and specializes in plaintiffs’ consumer fraud and antitrust class...  |  Read More

Gregory C. Cook
Gregory C. Cook
Balch & Bingham

He is Co-Chair of the firm's Business Litigation Practice Group. He focuses on business and financial services...  |  Read More

Jeffrey S. Russell
Jeffrey S. Russell
Bryan Cave

He has a commercial litigation practice, with a focus on federal class actions and shareholder derivative claims. He...  |  Read More

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