Class Action Litigation
Schiff Hardin has an active and experienced team of litigators who concentrate their practice in defending corporations against class actions and other complex civil litigation. Our attorneys have defended our corporate clients in class action cases in both state and federal courts throughout the United States.
Our experience includes:
- Removing alleged class actions from state to federal courts
- Defending against numerous class certification motions
- Extended evidentiary hearings on class certification motions
- Extensive briefing and oral arguments on class certification issues
- Dispositive motion practice directed against the claims of named plaintiffs and class members
- Extensive discovery
- Negotiation and administration of class action settlements (both statewide and nationwide in scope)
- Trial of class action matters
We also have substantial appellate experience on class certification matters. In litigating these cases, we tailor our role to the needs of the particular client. Generally, we work as lead counsel with local counsel, developing effective and efficient relationships in representing our clients in differing locales. Depending on the jurisdiction, however, local counsel may not be needed. In other instances we assist the client's other retained counsel with such tasks as briefing, witness development and expert development.
Our class action litigation team has handled class action defense cases in a variety of matters, including:
- Automobile Insurance
- Property Insurance
- Civil Rights
- Life, Accident and Health Insurance
- Consumer Products
- Employment Matters
- Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
- Gas Pipelines
- Product Liability
- Telephone Services
- Toxic Torts
Insurance Class Actions
Schiff Hardin has represented major insurers in dozens of class action cases at the state and national level in recent years alone. We currently or recently had cases pending in 18 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, often working as lead counsel with local counsel to assure the efficient and effective representation of our insurer clients no matter where they are located.
The range of substantive issues addressed in these representations has included:
- Civil rights and fair housing laws
- Alleged breach of contract and statutory and common law fraud claims
- Asserted overinsurance claims
- Antitrust allegations
- Claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act
- Various other challenges to insurer marketing, underwriting and claims practices
Our attorneys have a broad base of experience and have handled everything from trials, evidentiary hearings and extensive discovery, to negotiating and administrating statewide and national class action settlements.
Product Liability Class Actions
Schiff Hardin attorneys have represented a wide variety of manufacturers in the defense of class actions challenging the design and safety of an array of products, including:
- Power and hand tools
- Gas barbecue grills
- Commercial printing presses
- Portable camping heaters
- Juvenile products (including child car seats, swings, play yards, and strollers)
- Electric switches
- Pill manufacturing equipment
We assist clients in developing, implementing and coordinating national defense strategies including:
- The vigorous defense of proposed class actions and mass consolidations
- The development of scientific evidence regarding alleged product defects
- Handling appeals involving important principles of product liability law
- Structuring settlements in cases involving multiple parties and complex issues
In addition to trying cases in courtrooms around the country, our attorneys also counsel manufacturers in the product development phase with regard to potential liability considerations. We advise clients on product labeling, instructions, testing and design in order to reduce our clients' product liability exposure.
Schiff Hardin serves as national product liability counsel for two large consumer product manufacturers.
Securities Class Actions
Although very few securities class actions have ever been tried to verdict before a jury, Schiff Hardin has tried three such cases, including one in which we represented more than 30 underwriters of an initial public offering. Such valuable experience in ground-breaking cases distinguishes Schiff Hardin among firms handling securities, commodities and takeover litigation.
Schiff Hardin's extensive experience in this area includes litigation under state and federal securities laws and federal commodities laws in the following venues:
- In federal and state courts across the country
- Before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
- In disciplinary proceedings threatened or commenced by self-regulatory organizations
- In arbitrations and other alternative dispute resolution forums