Legal Question in Civil Litigation in California

Can a person be compelled to join a class action suit if they have similar grounds and causes of action as an existing class action? I want to sue on my own even though there is already a class action with similar although not identical bases. Thank you.

Asked on 6/27/12, 9:24 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Justin Sobodash The Law Office of Justin Sobodash

From your question, there is a lot that I don't know, but I can give you some general information.

Your ability to sue on your own depends on the procedural position of the class action. Often potential class members become aware of the class action when they receive a notice of a proposed settlement.

Generally speaking, you can choose not to settle on the terms of settlement proposed for a class action. If a proposed settlement has been reached (often after class certification), class members are often identified and contacted so that they may have the chance to "opt in" or "opt out." This often means you will receive a notice approved by the court which allows you to review the terms of the settlement and the benefit you may receive if in fact you are a class member. If the settlement is an "opt in," you have to confirm that you accept the settlement as it applies to your interest in the class settlement. If you have to "opt out," that means it will be presumed that you accept the settlement unless you provide notice otherwise.

You may be able to pursue an individual action, or in some instances represent a class in a separate, possibly related action if there are many whose factual situation is similar to yours.

(The foregoing does not constitute legal advice and is provided for informational purposes only. Legal advice must take into account facts and circumstances which are not identified in your question, and should be the result of a give-and-take conversation with an attorney. No attorney-client or other relationship is created by the undersigned responding to the above question.)

Justin Sobodash

The Law Office of Justin Sobodash

9107 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 450

Beverly Hills, California 90210

Telephone: 310.461.3577

Facsimile: 310.461.1901

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Answered on 6/27/12, 9:45 am

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