Plaintiffs who are willing to serve as a Class Representative for the duration of the case usually are entitled to receive an incentive award from the Court, a Class Representative Award. These Awards are at the complete discretion of the Court and generally range from $1000 to $25,000.
In class actions, the class usually consists of all the employees similarly affected and damaged by the employer or defendants' actions. However, only a single case is filed in Court, not one by each of the hundreds or thousands of affected employees. That case is filed by one or more Class Representatives. This way, the court system is not clogged up by hundreds or thousands of similar cases. Class Representatives work closely with the attorneys to help the case move quickly through the court process. For this, the attorneys request that the Court usually give Class Representatives an Award for their time and effort in moving the case along. Court's do so in part to incentivize American citizens to serve as Class Representatives.
Class Representative Duties
- Class action suits allow “class representatives” to seek relief for themselves and many other people in a single class action. A class representative seeks to vindicate not only his or her own legal rights but also the legal rights of the entire class. Class actions are beneficial because they allow all class members to vindicate their legal rights, and class actions usually provide “economies of scale” that save time, money, and effort for plaintiffs, defendants, and the judicial system.
- A class representative has claims that are typical of those of the class, and thus involve common issues of law or of fact.
- A class representative always considers the interests of the class just as he/she would consider his/her own interests.
- A class representative participates in the class action by keeping aware of the status and progress of the class action, providing any information/documents he/she may have relevant to their 401(k) account and the class action claims, and, if necessary, by testifying at deposition and trial; all with the assistance of his/her lawyers.
- A class representative recognizes and accepts that any resolution of the class action, such as by settlement or dismissal, is subject to court approval and must be designed in the best interests of the class as a whole.
- A class representative is not required to be particularly sophisticated or knowledgeable with respect to the subject of the class action. However, he/she should be interested, on a continuous basis, in the progress of the class action, and must make every effort to provide his/her lawyers and the Court with all relevant facts of which he/she is aware.
- Courts and this law firm disfavor individuals who bring class claims for any other reason other than to vindicate their own legal rights and that of the class. Therefore, you should not ask this law firm to assert your legal rights in this case on your behalf and on behalf of the class unless you doing so for any other reason other than to vindicate your own legal rights and those of the entire class.
- There is no cost or charge to class representatives. This class action will be handled on a contingency fee basis and all legal fees and costs are approved by the Court in the event that there is a successful recovery.
- You are under no obligation and may withdraw, with advance notice to attorneys, from the class action at any time if your circumstances change.
- As a class representative, you may recover a portion of your losses and may be entitled to an incentive award (usually not to exceed $25,000) for your time and effort in serving as a class representative. Such an incentive award is at the sole discretion of the Court.
There is no guarantee of a successful recovery and/or an incentive award.