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Class Actions

Overview

At Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C., an important focus of the firm’s practice is on class action litigation on behalf of investors, shareholders, and consumers who have suffered an economic injury due to the unlawful, deceptive or negligent conduct of a financial services institution or corporation.

A formidable legal remedy, class action litigation serves to empower a group of injured plaintiffs and hold a defendant accountable for its wrongful conduct in cases where no single plaintiff’s losses are enough to warrant an individual lawsuit. In recognizing the importance of class actions to enable individuals to seek legal redress against large and powerful corporations and institutions, former United States Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas stated that “the class action is one of the few legal remedies the small claimant has against those who command the status quo.”

The Public Policy Goals Furthered by Class Action Lawsuits

A class action is a legal device that allows one person, or several persons, commonly referred to as the named plaintiff(s) or representative plaintiff(s), to bring a lawsuit on behalf of a much larger group of persons, referred to as “the class.” Class actions serve to promote several important public policy goals:

  • Firstly, class actions provide a mechanism through which the smaller claims of many parties who have suffered some injury (typically small monetary damages) are combined together in a manner that justifies bringing litigation against what is typically a large and sophisticated corporation or institution;

  • Secondly, class actions promote judicial economy and efficiency by preventing the clogging of the courts with numerous similar claims related to hundreds, or in some cases, thousands of injured individuals;

  • Finally, class actions serve to promote predictability and fairness by helping eliminate the risk of numerous lawsuits brought by many injured parties resulting in potentially inconsistent judicial decisions.

Class Action Subject Matter & Basic Legal Requirements for Class Certification

The subject matter of a class action matter can vary widely. The attorneys at Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C. have successfully handled class actions and complex litigation including under the Commodity Exchange Act, the federal securities laws, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the antitrust laws, and state law governing shareholder rights.

In order to proceed as a class action lawsuit, the court must first certify the proposed class. Class certification is a complex area unto itself and is governed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”). Specifically, pursuant to FRCP 23(a), in order to certify a class, the court will closely examine the following factors:

  • FRCP 23(a)(1) – Numerosity: essentially, the size of the proposed class must be large enough that joining all plaintiffs as individual parties would not be practical;

  • FRCP 23(a)(2) – Commonality: the claims of the class members must present common legal and factual issues;

  • FRCP 23(a)(3) – Typicality: the claims of the named or representative plaintiff (or plaintiffs) must be typical of the claims of the class as a whole;

  • FRCP 23(a)(4) – Adequacy: the named or representative plaintiff must be able to “fairly and adequately” represent the class members and seek to advocate on their behalf.

The plaintiff must also satisfy additional criteria under FRCP 23(b) to obtain class certification in a given case.

Our Firm’s Long-Standing Commitment to Class Action Litigation

The attorneys at Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C. possess considerable experience in successfully representing aggrieved investors in a variety of forums who have lost money due to financial fraud and related misconduct. As part of the firm’s commitment to this undertaking, our attorneys frequently represent plaintiffs in class action litigation matters, with a focus on claims related to the financial services industry and securities fraud.

For example, during the 2006-2007 time frame, Christopher Gray served as court-appointed Lead Counsel on a class action proceeding certified in New York Supreme Court concerning claims against a former Nasdaq-listed corporation. Under a settlement of the case, shareholders who had been cashed out at $8.47 a share (where management later sold the company at $16 per share) ultimately received $10 per share in consideration per the terms of the settlement. Spring Partners, LLC v. Scharf, New York Supreme Court, New York County Docket No. 601004/05.

Mr. Gray has also served during 2016-17 as court-appointed Co-Lead Counsel in a class action involving a North Dakota Ponzi scheme, in which Plaintiff recovered $5.1 million for the class members. Aleem, et al., v. Pearce & Durick, No. 1:15-cv-00085 (U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota). Mr. Gray also served as co-counsel for plaintiffs in a class action against a hedge fund in which investors achieved a gross recovery of over $76 million. See In re Amaranth Natural Gas Commodities Litig., U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York Case. No. 07-CV-6377 (SAS). Finally, Mr. Gray served as co-counsel for plaintiffs in another case in which investors recovered over $13.5 million from the seller of interests in a hedge fund. Beach v. Citigroup Alternative Investments, LLC, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York Case No. 12-CV-7717 (PKC).

Investors who wish to inquire about the possibility of commencing a class action case may contact us via the contact form on this website, at (866) 966-9598 or newcases@investorlawyers.net for a no-cost, confidential consultation.