I was collecting market data on how legal departments use early case assessment to manage risk and noticed that the 2013 Carlton Fields Class Action Survey was available for download. Many of you may already be familiar with this report, but for those that are not, the research is derived from a collection of 368 interviews with general counsel, chief legal officers and direct reports to general counsel. The resulting report shares best practices for reducing cost and managing risk in class action litigation. The report is not focused on legal technology, rather it is about the strategy and process employed in class action cases.
This link will take you to the Carlton Fields website where the complete PDF can be downloaded.
Some of the high-level findings:
- Over half of major companies currently face class action suits, and approximately 11% of all litigation spending last year was on class action matters. Legal departments average 10 hours per week and more than 500 hours annually on a single class action matter.
- In-house legal leaders anticipate an onslaught of new consumer fraud class actions in the areas of data security, wireless and other untested technologies, and food safety and labeling, though they expect other areas, such as labor and employment issues, to decline.
- Advice on the top ways to mitigate class action risk includes enforcement of strong compliance, aggressive courtroom strategy and utilization of early case assessment.
- Recommendations on controlling class action costs include managing outside counsel terms and expectations and leveraging alternative fee arrangements to reduce legal spend.