Deposing Named Plaintiffs in Class Litigation

Strafford Webinars

12/06/2016 01:00 p.m. - 02:30 p.m. EDT

Class Actions and Litigation

Purvi G. Patel


In deposing named plaintiffs, defense counsel’s goal is to uncover evidence showing that the plaintiff is unable to adequately represent the interests of the entire class, and to identify differences between the named plaintiff and absent class members that demonstrate a lack of commonality within the class.

Plaintiffs’ counsel must ensure that the named plaintiff has the ability to represent the defined class and can demonstrate his/her understanding of the facts of the case, the class represented, and the amount of damages sought.

During the deposition, defense counsel will seek to learn about communication between the class representative and the plaintiffs’ attorney as well as the extent of the named plaintiff’s involvement in the case up to the time of the deposition.

The named plaintiff’s answers to the deposition questions will allow both plaintiff and defense counsel to better prepare for next steps in the case, depending on counsels’ assessment of whether the information obtained strengthens or weakens the adequacy, typicality and commonality showing.

Our panel will prepare class counsel to depose or defend depositions of named plaintiffs in class litigation. The panel will outline techniques for effectively preparing or questioning named plaintiffs and offer strategies to leverage deposition testimony during certification, settlement and trial.

We will review these and other key issues:

  • What types of questions and questioning techniques will maximize the information obtained from named plaintiffs during depositions?
  • What strategies are effective when responding to objections during depositions?
  • What are the most effective ways for class counsel to raise objections to questions during the deposition?
  • How are class litigators incorporating social media into the deposition process?
  • How can deposition testimony be most effectively used during class certification, settlement and trial?


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