Friday, March 28, 2008

ABA Teleconference on Communicating with Class Members

On May 20, the ABA Class Action and Derivative Suits Committee will host a teleconference CLE program on communicating with class members. I’ll be on the panel along with Lisa Rodriguez and Chris Murphy. Here’s the pertinent information from the ABA:

Upcoming Class Actions and Derivative Suits Committee CLE Program: Are You Talking To Me? Communicating with Class Members Before, During and After Class Certification Click here to register:

Date: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 Duration: 90 Minutes Time: 12:00PM-1:30pm Central Program Description: Confusion abounds among class counsel, defense counsel, courts, and putative class members as to the scope and appropriateness of communications with putative class members before, during, and after class certification. Our teleconference and audio webcast will provide guidance on who can talk to whom, when, and about what.

This program will discuss everything relating to communications with class members, including:

Pre-filing communications, seeking plaintiffs via websites, and the effect of any website advertising to obtain plaintiffs What communications are permissible between filing the complaint and class certification, i.e., are the class members considered represented or not?

Can discovery be propounded to the putative class members? What about questionnaires?

Is there a different standard where the non-named plaintiffs have called plaintiffs' counsel directly and asked to be a part of the case but are not named plaintiffs?

What if a defendant has an ongoing business or employment relationship with the putative class? What's allowed and when? Must any communications be approved by the court or plaintiffs' counsel?

If communications are made, can questionnaires obtained by class or defense counsel be used as evidence? What if they are unsigned or redacted?

What about post-certification before any opt-out period expires? What effect does the ABA’s recent Ethics Opinion (No. 07-445) have on such communications? Post-certification and opt-out period expiration: what's the scope of discovery from absent class members? Is it allowed? When? How?

Program Moderator Fred B. Burnside, Davis, Wright, Tremaine, LLP, Seattle, WA

Program Faculty Beth Burch, Assistant Professor of Law, Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, Birmingham, AL Lisa Rodriguez, Trujillo, Rodriguez & Richards, LLC, Haddonfield, NJ Chris Murphy, McDermott, Will, & Emery, Chicago, IL


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