How do I join a class action?

Generally, before a court certifies a class action, it must conclude that there are too many class members for them all to be named as parties in the lawsuit. Technically, class members do not "join" into the litigation, but decide to participate by not "opting­out." It is only in rare instances when a suit is filed as an "opt­in" class action. In those rare instances, a claim form or request to join form may be necessary. Ordinarily, the notice issued to class members in the usual suit for compensatory damages will tell the class if they need to take any action to participate. In a suit for compensatory damages, any class member who does not "opt­out" may be bound by the results of the litigation if it proceeds as a class action. If a class member should determine, however, that he wants to participate in the suit as a named party, he may hire his own lawyer and seek to intervene (participate) in the lawsuit.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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