Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Is A Class Representative In A Securities Fraud Case?
1. What Is A Class Representative In A Securities Fraud Case?
A class representative is a person who sues on behalf of himself, herself or itself -- as well as on behalf of others (the "Class") -- who have been similarly injured or damaged. Class actions allow persons or entities with relatively small losses or injuries to join together to seek compensation when individual actions may be too costly or impractical.
2. Should I Fill Out A Certification? / What Are The Advantages To Being A Class
To participate as a class representative in a securities fraud lawsuit, you must complete a form called a "Certification." Returning a completed certification to us allows the person or entity to actively participate in the lawsuit. It also allows the person or entity to regularly consult with the attorneys in the matter. It allows the person or entity to receive updates and important information about the action, such as whether a class has been certified by the court or whether the case has been resolved. It will also help ensure that the person or entity receives a claim form in the event the case is successful.
Participation also helps to convey the importance of the action. It shows the court that there are many victims of the alleged fraud, and not just one or two individuals.
3. How Do I Complete The Certification Form?
On the certification form, you must list your purchases and sales information about the security at issue. For example, the date of the transactions and the amount of the purchases or sales should be indicated in the appropriate places. You can ordinarily obtain this information from your account statements or from your broker.
By signing the certification form, you verify that you have reviewed the complaint and authorize us to file that complaint or a similar complaint on your behalf. By signing the certification form, you also verify that you did not purchase the security at issue in order to participate in the action, you are willing to serve as a class representative, including providing testimony at deposition and trial, if necessary, and that you have not in the last three years sought to serve nor served as a class representative in another action filed under the federal securities laws. If you have been a class representative, you must list the cases in which you have participated. By signing the certification, you also confirm that you will not accept any payment for serving as a class representative other than your pro rata (fair) share of any recovery or any award granted to you by the court.
If you have any questions about filling out the form, please do not hesitate to call or e-mail us.
4. What Else Do I Need To Do To Get Involved?
After you have signed the certification form, you should fax it to us at (212) 983-0383, and send the original to the Gainey McKenna & Egleston, 440 Park Avenue South, 5th Floor, New York, New York 10016.
5. Do I Need To Retain My Shares?
Selling your shares normally does not prevent you from becoming a class representative or remaining a member of the class in most securities class actions, though it may prevent you from pursuing a derivative case. Please call us in case you are unsure.
6. Should I Sign Up With More Than One Law Firm?
Occasionally you will see notices from other law firms that have brought similar lawsuits on behalf of the same class of persons. It is not unusual for a number of law firms across the country to be involved in a lawsuit. Ordinarily, you should retain only one law firm, as submitting certification forms to multiple firms is unnecessary and may lead to confusion.
Typically, 60-90 days after first publication of the first lawsuit, the various related class actions will be combined into a single action before a single judge. Applications will then be made to the judge for appointment of "Lead Plaintiffs" and "Lead Counsel." Sometimes this will be decided relatively quickly; other times it may take several months.
7. Who Pays Attorneys' Fees And Expenses?
In class actions, we do not generally charge our clients any attorneys' fees or expenses. Instead, the firm typically handles such cases on a "contingent fee" basis. This means that our fees and reimbursement of our expenses will depend on producing a successful outcome for the class. If a fund of money is created for the benefit of a class, we will seek approval from the court of a fee and reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses to be paid out of the recovery or directly by the defendants.
Attorneys' fees and expenses are typically awarded by a court when the case is concluded. The amount of the attorneys' fees requested, and the amount awarded, ordinarily depends on a variety of factors, such as the size of the recovery, the amount of time expended by the attorneys involved in the lawsuit, and the complexity of the litigation.
8. How Much Will I Receive If The Action Is Successful?
If the action is successful, the amount of your recovery will depend on a variety of factors, such as the size of the recovery, the ability of defendants to pay, whether the defendants are insured, and the number of persons who submit claims against the fund. Unfortunately, many of these factors are unknown until much later in the lawsuit. As a result, we are unable to initially estimate the recovery, if any, you can expect from a lawsuit. The settlement proceeds are typically paid by the defendants and/or an insurance company if there is insurance coverage.
You should also be aware that in federal securities actions, as a Lead Plaintiff or Named Plaintiff, you may be reimbursed such reasonable costs and expenses, including lost wages, directly relating to the representation of the class as ordered or approved by the court. In addition, in consumer class actions, we have requested courts to award what are known as "incentive payments" to compensate persons for the time and expense incurred in being a class representative. However, there is no assurance that we will, or can, request such awards (the law varies across the country), or that, if requested, the court will approve the award.
9. How Long Will The Case Take?
Class actions are complicated and lengthy, normally taking between 2 and 3 years from initiation of the case to conclusion, and sometimes taking much longer. If the case is successful, you will be notified and receive a "claim form," which you will send to a claims administrator. After the claims administrator processes all the claim forms received, the court will be asked to approve distribution of the proceeds, and you will receive your pro rata share of the recovery.
This website contains Attorney Advertising.