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Selecting and Protecting Class Representatives: Defending Plaintiff Depositions; Proving Adequacy, Typicality

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, December 15, 2022

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will guide counsel on selecting and protecting the interests of class representatives. The program will cover preparing for and defending class representatives in deposition and ensuring they meet the adequacy and typicality requirements. The panel will also review which claims to assert against which defendants, on behalf of what class members, and the role of counterclaims and affirmative defenses in the selection of the lead plaintiff.


Identifying suitable class representatives and getting them approved is critical to success. Courts are not required to appoint someone as the lead plaintiff.

Class representatives face an onslaught from defense counsel eager to prevent certification or to defeat the substantive claims. Class counsel must thoroughly prepare class representatives and aggressively defend them in depositions to ensure they not only withstand defense scrutiny but also advance the class' claims.

Class counsel must protect the interests of all class members, but the lead plaintiff decides not only what claims should be brought, against which defendants, and on behalf of what class but also which claims will not be brought. These decisions can have significant repercussions not only on absent members but also on the class action if the representative dies, loses standing, or otherwise becomes ineligible. Likewise, the defenses and counterclaims against named plaintiffs affect the proceedings.

Listen as this renowned panel of attorneys offers guidance and the best strategies for selecting and defending class representatives.



  1. Initial selection and evaluation of a named plaintiff
  2. Education and preparation of putative class representatives
  3. Working with the putative class representatives during discovery
  4. Defending depositions
  5. Compensation of lead plaintiff
  6. Class representative standing
  7. Strategic decisions with class representatives


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How do you find a class representative?
  • How does one broach the topic of serving as a class representative?
  • How do you explain the duties, responsibilities and risks of serving as a class representative?
  • How do you maintain your class representative?


Birka-White, David
David M. Birka-White

Birka-White Law Offices

Mr. Birka-White has practiced law for over 43 years. He is nationally recognized for his work in product failure class...  |  Read More

Nguyen, Phong-Chau
Phong-Chau G. Nguyen

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein

Mr. Nguyen is a partner in Lieff Cabraser’s San Francisco office specializing...  |  Read More

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