“The Nuts and Bolts of Class Action Settlements: Best Practices and Recent Developments” provided an overview of the fundamentals of class action settlements and an update on recent and forthcoming changes in the law. Mike and Kate discussed advantages and disadvantages implicated by common components of classwide settlements, including the claims process, the notice program, and the disposition of unclaimed funds; best practices for addressing opt-outs and objections; essential information for working with notice experts and claims administrators; and how—and when—to decide to retain a mediator to oversee negotiations.
Mike and Kate also presented “The ‘Gotcha’ Game: Identifying and Mitigating the Class Action Exposure You May Not Know You Have.” With an increase of putative class actions stemming from alleged technical violations of obscure statutes, businesses face an increased risk of being exposed to such suits. Mike and Kate identified some of the current growing trends in “gotcha” class actions, including the explosion of litigation under certain federal and state statutes that provide for statutory damages awards. The discussion also covered statutory bases for these actions, common compliance pitfalls, and some best practices for avoiding and, if necessary, defending such actions.