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Class action lawsuits continue to pose substantial risks to corporate America, notwithstanding the passage of the Class Action Fairness Act and recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, which should be reigning in these types of cases. In particular, there has been an explosion of consumer protection actions filed in the past few years. These will continue to grow since they have now begun to attract some of the more reputable members of the plaintiffs’ class action bar. While plaintiffs’ lawyers are seemingly quick to navigate around legal obstacles companies may place in their way, companies can implement a number of pre-litigation strategies, discussed below, to try to curtail the class action process. If and when a company does decide to settle, though, it has a vested interest in ensuring the settlement receives judicial approval. Given the recent trend of courts being critical of and rejecting class action settlement agreements, companies should consider retooling their approach to the settlement process to better protect their hard-fought negotiated agreements.

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