THE PURSUIT OF TRUTH: THE BEST STRATEGY IN BUILDING A CLASS ACTION
Many law firms and attorneys have the continuous challenge of finding clients in order to grow their employment law practice. Some of the most lucrative employment law cases are in the area of class and collective actions. Often the biggest challenges of these cases are establishing that violations are occurring on a large scale and that a significant amount of people are experiencing the same violations as the plaintiff (whistleblower).
In an attempt to build a class action some law firms use in-house paralegals, support staff, and may less frequently use case runners as an alternative to hiring a Private Investigation Company. Using in-house staff calling known class members after obtaining class certification is understandable from a cost savings perspective. However, using in-house support staff, case runners and their services to find plaintiffs or class representatives is not. Although the value of finding a plaintiff or a class representative from a few phone calls appears to be a great return from a minimal investment, there is no substitute for using a professionally trained and specialized legal investigation company that knows the intricacies and legal challenges inherent in investigating potential class action matters.
Grabbing information off the internet from google, social media and employment websites may seem like a short cut to finding additional class members, but it doesn’t automatically lead to an aggrieved class of plaintiff ready clients willing to initiate a lawsuit against their current or former employer. Building a successful class action case requires a lot more investigation into class claims than an attempt at plaintiff harvesting. It takes more than just finding names on the internet, calling up unsuspecting people and trying to induce them into a lawsuit that they are not seeking nor interested in pursuing.
The better strategy in building a successful class action case is to pursue the truth when investigating the defendant company. Lawyers and law firms engaged in the practice of searching for class representatives must ask themselves- What if the defendant discovers our tactics? Are the risks worth the reward? Am I getting the right type of client? Have I covered my ethical responsibilities toward the profession? The client? And am I acting legally and ethically? If these questions cannot be adequately answered then the necessary due diligence is not being done to ensure your investigation is ethical, legal and ultimately successful.
Hiring a specialized legal investigation team with a history of test proven results in the area of employment law class action cases with the intended goal aimed at finding the truth, (i.e. there are widespread violations affecting a number of people) will consistently yield better results in the long run. Attorneys trying to cut costs finding Class Representatives by an any means necessary strategy may at best hope for a hollow victory.