Consumer fraud affects many people in different ways. If you buy something that is supposed to work in a certain way, but it ends up not doing so, or the buying price is too steep, you are a victim. Such are cases of consumer fraud happening. Fraud schemes also exist, in which people pay for certain services, maybe online, but do not receive what they paid for. Identity theft is another example of consumer fraud.
A class action lawsuit is where many plaintiffs who are victims of the same injury choose to have their cases tried together against the same defendant. These cases benefit those who have suffered at the hand of the defendant, but cannot all get their legal representation when you calculate the enormous costs that action would result in. Class action makes it possible for many of you to have a fair trial.
There are certain conditions that make class action lawsuits viable. They usually, ply when a large number of people suffered the same injury through the same entity. In consumer fraud cases, the defendant usually does the same thing to all clients. There has to be a common problem faced by all those harmed. Their legal qualms with the defendant will be the same across the board. The lawyer needs to show that it is best to represent them all this way. The similarities must be clear.
There may be many plaintiffs, but the lawyer needs to pick one to use as representative of the rest. The shall serve as the lead plaintiff. The duties of the lead plaintiff is to appear in court and also to give witness testimonies. Since they shall be doing more, they shall also be rewarded more for it. Part of their duties is to be deposed, where the lawyers representing the defendant will be asking a lot of in-depth questions to the plaintiff.
In your selection of a class action attorney, you have to consider what kind of history they have with such cases. the fact that there are many rules and regulations surrounding such cases means that a lawyer who does not know them will cost your case dearly. You must factor in how successful these lawyers have been in the past. It is important that these attorneys treat you and our case with respect and honesty as long as they are handling it.
Class action attorneys usually get paid when you receive your reward from the case. What they will ask for depends on the number of plaintiffs involved, the risk factor in the case, and the executed financial reward from winning the case. A common figure in most of these cases is 30%.
This kind of arrangement is on a contingency basis. There are plaintiffs that are rarely aware of their position in these cases, until the attorney lets them know. It would take a lot to get everyone involved up to speed.