Kerr & Wagstaffe Offers Advice to Companies Facing Class Action

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Large companies that face class action law suits may be able to take corrective action through a “motion to strike” procedure. While the motion has helped several businesses, law firm, Kerr & Wagstaffe explains how to proceed with caution.

When a company is presented with a class action law suit, there are a series of jeopardizing implications that could result if the class wins favor. Defending such claims typically requires a company to endure lengthy and expensive legal procedures. Even if a business does decide to fight the claim, it can lead to several thousand liability cases on behalf of non-class plaintiffs. These factors alone pose enough risk that typically forces a company to settle, even if the class action suit was unwarranted and frivolous in nature. However, a recent article from Thomson Reuters explains how taking a “motion to strike” can improve a company’s chance for a better end result. While these efforts may work in limited cases, the attorneys at Kerr & Wagstaffe, a California-based law firm, explain that it may not always be the best option.

According to the article, a motion to strike can be beneficial regardless of whether the court grants dismissal of the case. The purpose of this motion is explained as a way to determine if the factual evidence of the proposed class is strong enough to warrant a lawsuit. In some cases, the evidence may not be strong enough and end the suit. In other cases, these motions were only granted in part; this means that classes were reduced or restructured in response to presented evidence. Narrowing a class, although not a dismissal, will decrease a company’s financial obligations and show that the defense was not entirely at fault.

However, according to Kerr & Wagstaffe, these results are rare. The law firm has worked on several class action cases, representing both proposed classes and companies. Ivo Labar, partner at Kerr & Wagstaffe, comments, “In our experience, courts are highly reluctant to use the motion to strike process to eliminate class allegations.” While dismissal is highly unlikely, the article notes that even presenting a motion to strike can show a proactive nature to make the judge aware of future situations. It explains, “A major benefit of a motion to strike is getting in the first word before the judge with regard to the validity of plaintiffs’ proposed class and explaining to the court why it should be very skeptical of any future motion for class certification.”

Kerr & Wagstaffe recognizes that each class action case is unique and requires extensive legal observation in order to make sure either party maximizes the chances of an advantageous ruling. For those companies that are considering a motion to strike, Kerr & Wagstaffe advises that they are most successful when substantial discovery has taken place and a great deal of time has passed without the plaintiffs moving for class certification.


Kerr & Wagstaffe is a San Francisco-based law firm that is known for its bold and well-prepared legal representation. The lawyers at Kerr & Wagstaffe are active in a long list of practice areas, including intellectual property rights, patent cases, and constitutional law. Together, the attorneys at Kerr & Wagstaffe have worked on a number of landmark cases, some of which have been controversial and of incredible import within their field. Additionally, Kerr & Wagstaffe helps its clients face more common legal battles with confidence.

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Michael McGarety
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