Much of the debate over class actions has focused on anecdotes and theory rather than data. In an effort to bring objective evidence to the discussion, Mayer Brown recently conducted an empirical study of 148 consumer and employment class actions filed in or removed to federal court in 2009. We found that most class actions are dismissed and that those that settle typically provide few, if any, benefits to class members.
On December 24, 2013, the Wall Street Journal discussed our study in a Review & Outlook piece titled “Trial Lawyer Protection Act.” As the Journal put it:
“Trial lawyers market themselves as champions of the little guy against corporate America. So how's that working out for the little guy? Not so well, according to a new study by the Mayer Brown law firm for the Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, which shows that in the vast majority of class actions, the class members end up empty-handed. In two-thirds of the resolved class actions studied, the class members didn't see a penny.”
Clients or friends of the firm who have questions about the study or other class action issues should feel free to contact Andrew J. Pincus or Archis A. Parasharami, the Mayer Brown lawyers who spearheaded the study.