There was a time, not even long ago, when the class action lawsuit was thought to be on the decline. With Texas and Statman
other conservative states leading the way, lawmakers seemed set on making it harder for aggrieved people to join together in actions that collectively represented their interests. In fact, a number of state-level laws were passed over the course of the last decade that were aimed at just that, with the rate of class-action suits dropping, as a result, in many of those venues.
That momentum has not carried across the rest of the country, however. In fact, class-action activity has mostly migrated to the north and to the west, with litigators simply seeking out friendlier places from which to petition for class status. Judges in more moderate and liberal states have been as accommodating as before, as have the juries that are typically responsible for handing out judgments.
That has left firms like Statman Harris and Eyrich
LLC doing more class-action work than ever. With medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers increasingly coming under fire for taking shortcuts and deceiving regulators and patients, the sums to be won in suits against them are more impressive than ever before. Multi-million dollar awards to class representatives have increasingly become the norm, with lawyers on the beat taking home their standard thirty percent of the overall judgments.
Given such awards, it is not surprising to see that firms that have a particular level of experience with class action are planning to grow even larger. A Top Cincinnati Law Firm Looks to Expand to take advantage of the favorable climate in Ohio while several more do the same in nearby states, a recent article noted. With their ranks of litigators swelling, firms that are willing to put in the work it takes to pursue a successful class action have plenty of reason to believe that the effort will be worth it, in the end.
How long this situation will prevail is anyone's guess, but the signs seem to be positive. Even while some of the most attention-grabbing settlements and judgments attractive negative attention in the press, the average member of the public remains willing to believe that multinational corporations should pay for their negligence when it results in harm to others. Even if award levels
were to drop significantly, it is likely that class action work would remain a vital part of the American legal industry, barring federal legislation that would make it much less attractive.