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Rule 23(c)(5) Subclasses: Certification, Due Process, Adequate Representation, and Settlement

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video 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 Thursday, February 23, 2023

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will discuss when Rule 23 permits the creation and certification of subclasses, their strategic advantages to both plaintiffs and defendants, and the potential pitfalls that await those who fail to understand them. The panel will discuss the types of problems that subclasses can and cannot resolve, the types of cases and issues where they most often appear, how to define them, and the unique questions and issues subclasses raise with respect to predominance, due process, certification, and settlement.


Plaintiffs can define and propose subclasses to address unique issues or to resolve potential intra-class conflicts of interest. Counsel opposing certification will want to emphasize the intra-class conflict as reason to deny certification and show how subclasses render class treatment unmanageable.

Due process requires adequacy of representation for all class members, including subclasses. Circuit courts have overturned settlements if they see conflicts of interest among subclasses and the failure of class counsel to ensure independent representation of subclasses.

Listen as this experienced panel of class action litigators guides both plaintiff and defense counsel through the effective use of subclasses to resolve the case.



  1. Statutory basis of subclasses
  2. Distinguishing issues that do and do not require subclasses
  3. Practical issues with subclasses
    1. Notice
    2. Claim forms, attestation, documentation, etc.
    3. Fraudulent claims
    4. Subclass representative adequacy
    5. Uncashed checks
    6. Objections and objectors
  4. Defense strategies and due process concerns


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the tell-tale signs that a subclass is needed or required?
  • When can subclasses be created?
  • Can there be subclasses within subclasses or is predominance destroyed?
  • What are the due process concerns with subclasses and subclass representation?
  • What should defense counsel consider when deciding whether to oppose certification of subclasses?


Ackerman, Wystan
Wystan M. Ackerman

Robinson & Cole

Mr. Ackerman chairs the firm's Class Action Team and has a national class action defense practice. He has been...  |  Read More

Francis, James
James A. Francis

Francis Mailman Soumilas

Since 1998, Mr. Francis has focused his practice in consumer protection litigation, with a particular concentration in...  |  Read More

Simplicio, Kristen
Kristen G. Simplicio

Tycko & Zavareei

Ms. Simplicio is a Partner at Tycko & Zavareei LLP and has devoted her career to representing victims of illegal...  |  Read More

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