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What to Consider When Considering Issue Certification

Sept. 1, 2016, 8:38 PM

Friendly advice to class plaintiffs’ attorneys: Tell the court early if you want to certify an issue for classwide treatment, and be precise about what you want certified.

Issue certification, allowed by Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(c)(4), involves carving up a class suit so that some, but not all, common issues are decided on a classwide basis.

Often that means a bifurcated proceeding: a court will be tasked with ruling on the defendant’s liability, or parts of that liability. Individual damages questions will be left for a later phase of the trial, or subsequent individual actions.

Courts commonly...

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