February 01, 2016

Don’t Smoke the Exploding Cigar: How to Avoid Classic Class Action Mistakes

John S. Friend

We’ve all seen the old cartoons: a hapless, self-satisfied character is presented with a cigar, and proceeds casually to take a few draws. But before the grin even dissipates, the cigar proceeds to explode all over his face. The treat was a trap.

Class actions, like the cigar, are alluring. The ability to do justice for thousands and thousands at one time, with a potential big pay day at the end, seems like a dream come true. But a class action is not a justice-money piñata waiting for you casually to whack it open. A class action, improperly practiced, or poorly selected, can quickly become a nightmarish money-pit that dominates your working hours and breaks your bank account.

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