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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

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, June 22, 2017

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course 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
David R. King

Herrick Feinstein

Mr. King concentrates his practice in complex commercial litigation, including real estate, construction, class...  |  Read More

Jeremy N. Nash
Jeremy N. Nash

Lite DePalma Greenberg & Afanador

Mr. Nash is a member of the Firm’s Newark-based class litigation team. He has extensive experience representing...  |  Read More

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