Summary Judgment in Class Action Litigation: Plaintiff and Defense Strategies for Filing Motions

Leveraging Motions to Dispose of Claims, Establish Liability, or Improve Settlement Posture

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

Conducted on Thursday, June 22, 2017
Recorded event now available

This CLE webinar will provide guidance to class action litigators on strategically pursuing summary judgment motions in class claims. The panel will discuss considerations and best practices for drafting and opposing summary judgment motions to dispose of or limit claims, eliminate putative class members, establish liability on one or more claims, and improve settlement posture.


Because class actions have the potential for costly discovery and exorbitant defense costs, defense counsel often pursue summary judgment motions as a strategy to defeat or limit claims early on, dismiss putative class members, or influence a potential settlement award.

Advantages for plaintiff include establishing liability on one or more claims and improving the value of the settlement, as well as educating the presiding judge about the strength of claims and issues common to class members.

Class action litigators must be strategic about the timing of summary judgment motions—before or after certification. District courts have discretion to allow pre-certification motions for summary judgment, but the benefit of obtaining early resolution must be weighed against the risk that an absent class member will step forward to “pick up the spear.” Counsel must also approach the drafting of summary judgment motions strategically.

Listen as our authoritative panel of class action litigators examines how plaintiffs and defendants strategically use summary judgment motions in class action claims. The panel will discuss factors to consider when weighing whether to file summary judgment motions pre- or post-certification and the pitfalls inherent in summary judgment filings for either party.


  1. Summary judgment motions pre-certification
    1. Purpose/goal
    2. Pitfalls
    3. Strategic considerations
  2. Summary judgment motions post-certification or with certification motion
    1. Purpose/goal
    2. Pitfalls
    3. Strategic considerations


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the pitfalls for plaintiffs of making summary judgment motions pre-certification?
  • Under what circumstances should post-certification summary judgment motions be made?
  • What are some best practices for drafting summary judgment motions in class actions?


David R. King, Partner
Herrick Feinstein, Newark, N.J.

Mr. King concentrates his practice in complex commercial litigation, including real estate, construction, class action and securities litigation. He is also an experienced insurance coverage and reinsurance litigator, having represented both insureds and insurance companies in coverage matters and reinsurance claims. He regularly represents and advises the firm's clients with respect to insurance related issues, including purchasing appropriate coverage, policy interpretation and claims submissions. He practices in state and federal courts before both trial and appellate courts.

Jeremy N. Nash, Counsel
Lite DePalma Greenberg, Newark, N.J.

Mr. Nash is a member of the Firm’s Newark-based class litigation team. He has extensive experience representing individual and institutional clients in complex matters around the United States, including consumer fraud, product liability, data breach, employment, and securities class actions.


CLE On-Demand - Streaming Video

Includes recorded streaming video of full program plus PDF handouts.

On-demand is the only recorded format recognized for CLE credits in DE, IN, KS, LA, MS, NC, OH, OK, SC, TN, VA, WI.

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*Only available for attorneys admitted for more than two years. For OH CLE credits, only programs recorded within the current calendar year are eligible - contact the CLE department for verification.

**NH attendees must self-determine if a program is eligible for credit and self-report their attendance.

CLE On-Demand Video $297.00

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Strafford is an approved provider and self-study CLE credit is available in most states.

AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, KY, ME, MN, MO, MT, ND, NJ, NM, NY, OR, PA, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WY (Note: Some states restrict CLE eligibility based on the age of a program. Refer to our state CLE Map for additional information.)

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Customer Reviews

A focused presentation offering practical information in a concise format.

Una Kang


The subject matter was covered in a very understandable way.

Constance Kotula

CarVal Investors

The speakers spoke in an understandable format with lots of examples.

Bill Zornes

Cimarron Lumber

The seminar covered an important subject with major policy implications and the speakers addressed it completely with professionalism and thorough knowledge.

Allyn Z. Lite

Lite DePalma Greenberg

The program was very thorough, stayed on topic and was well organized.

Thad Wilson

King & Spalding

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Class Action Law Advisory Board

Thomas Allen


Reed Smith

Steve Berman


Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro

Brian Boyle


O'Melveny & Myers

H. Douglas Hinson


Alston & Bird

Daniel R. Karon


Karon LLC

Robert S. Kitchenoff


Weinstein Kitchenoff & Asher

Neal R. Marder


Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Michael McCluggage


Eimer Stahl

W. Ray Persons


King & Spalding

William B. Rubenstein


Harvard Law School

or call 1-800-926-7926

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