Releases in Class Action Settlements: Strategies for Defining, Negotiating, and Drafting Enforceable Relief

A live 90-minute CLE video webinar with interactive Q&A

Thursday, January 13, 2022

1:00pm-2:30pm EST, 10:00am-11:30am PST

Early Registration Discount Deadline, Friday, December 17, 2021

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will discuss what class action lawyers should consider when negotiating and drafting releases in class settlement agreements. The program will review various examples of acceptable and unacceptable releases.


Defense counsel, in particular, must think strategically about the scope and language of a proposed release. This exercise should not be an afterthought. Only released conduct arising out of the "identical factual predicate" as the claims in the underlying class litigation can and will be precluded, regardless of the words on the paper.

Kitchen sink releases of "including without limitation" "any and every kind" of claim can destroy a settlement that may have taken months or years to negotiate, and/or draw objections, in some cases, even from the Department of Justice.

The scope of the release is tied to the nature and scope of the relief granted and the opt-out risks. Trial courts usually permit a class settlement to release a broader set of claims than those asserted in the class complaint. Counsel must identify and document the right balance.

Listen as the panel guides class action counsel through the best strategies for setting the scope of the release, negotiating it, and drafting it.



  1. Defining the goal of the releases
  2. Defining the scope of claims released
    1. Claims in the litigation
    2. Claims "arising from" or "related to" event, subject
    3. Unknown claims
    4. Future claims
  3. Defining the class or classes
  4. Identical factual predicate


The panel will discuss these and other vital issues:

  • What is the relationship between the scope of the release and the relief to the class?
  • How can counsel stay focused on the core issues of the settlement?
  • What is the "identical factual predicate" of the relevant claims?
  • Can releases ever be conditional?
  • Should different parties get or give different releases?
  • Can all claims be released?


Harder, Abby
Abby Harder

Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie

Ms. Harder is an associate in the firm's Litigation Practice Group and associate co-lead of the firm’s Class...  |  Read More

Aphrodite Kokolis

Schiff Hardin

Ms. Kokolis has a special practice emphasis on complex and appellate litigation, particularly the defense and...  |  Read More

Maatman, Gerald
Gerald L. Maatman, Jr.

Seyfarth Shaw

Mr. Maatman has a primary emphasis in his practice on defending employers sued in employment discrimination class...  |  Read More

Attend on January 13

Early Discount (through 12/17/21)

Cannot Attend January 13?

Early Discount (through 12/17/21)

You may pre-order a recording to listen at your convenience. Recordings are available 48 hours after the webinar. 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