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Surveys and Certification in Consumer-Finance Class Action: Supporting, Attacking Predominance and Superiority

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, August 26, 2021

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will review the uses and limits of survey responses to prove liability (or damages) on a classwide basis focusing on consumer finance class actions, but offer insights and examples from and applicable to other types of class actions. The program will discuss how to assess if a survey asks the right questions-and only the right ones-to the right respondents under the relevant conditions, and offer best strategies for those seeking to introduce the survey data and those seeking to exclude it.


A familiar hurdle to achieving class certification is the requirement that a plaintiff must prove liability and damages on a classwide basis under Federal Rule 23(b)(3) as well as that a class action is the superior procedure. Courts will compare the issues subject to common proof with those subject to individualized proof to determine which predominates and whether class action is the best choice for resolving them. Above all courts are cautious about admitting survey data.

When the issues are a consumer’s buying decision, understanding of products, and comprehension of disclosures, a carefully designed survey may be invaluable to show liability or provide evidence on key issues. Survey results even on matters indirectly related to the core issues may also be useful if they provide insight into the ultimate issue. But surveys can be prone to bias given the wide array of designs, dizzying selection of sample selection and size, phrasing of questions, survey conditions. Not only is the choice of survey important but also the choice of expert to design them and explain them to a court.

Surveys can be a sword or shield but they must be reliable. They must focus on the relevant inquiry at the relevant state of decision making during the relevant time frame. Counsel need to identify the most outcome determinative facts and focus their surveys there. These techniques are often complicated and attorneys must be able to explain methodology in a coherent way.

Listen as this experienced panel of experts and class action counsel review best practices and strategies for using surveys in consumer class actions and their limits.



  1. Use of surveys on issue of predominance
  2. Use of surveys on issue of superiority
  3. Survey reliability and admissibility
    1. Overview of survey types, methods, and standards
    2. Types of experts needed to conduct surveys
    3. Discoverability of survey results


The panel will review these and other critical issues:

  • How to determine if existing survey research is useful
  • What makes good survey research in litigation?
  • How to evaluate prospective survey research experts
  • What are best strategies when deposing or cross-examining survey experts proffered by the opposing party?


Nylen, Gregory
Gregory A. Nylen

Of Counsel
Greenberg Traurig

Mr. Nylen has more than 29 years of experience in litigating complex commercial cases across many industries. He...  |  Read More

Simonetti, Lisa
Lisa M. Simonetti

Greenberg Traurig

Ms. Simonetti focuses on the defense of complex litigation, with broad experience representing clients in the financial...  |  Read More

Boedeker, Stefan
Stefan Boedeker

Managing Director
Berkeley Research Group

Mr. Boedeker is a managing director with BRG’s Economics and Damages practice, where he specializes in...  |  Read More

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