Plaintiffs’ Practice: Vetting and Preparing Putative Class Representatives for Challenges to Their Adequacy

By Robert Neary

A prerequisite for bringing a class action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a)(4) is that the class representative “will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.” Defendants often raise challenges to the adequacy of a putative class representative in an effort to defeat certification. Plaintiffs’ counsel should be aware of these possible challenges and take steps to head them off, starting from the initiation of the case through class certification. Being prepared to respond to any attacks on the putative class representative’s adequacy begins with the proper vetting of a potential representative and should continue through discovery and ultimately certification.

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