Class Action and Multidistrict Litigation

Reed Smith has one of the strongest and most experienced teams of class action defense lawyers in the United States. We have a deep and diverse team of trial and appellate lawyers who have built a successful track record that places us among the preeminent class action defense practices. We have defended thousands of putative class actions in state and federal courts across the country, including many filed by top national plaintiffs’ class action firms.

Class actions are the favored vehicle of the plaintiffs’ bar to aggressively attack business products, services and practices on a statewide or national scale. In today’s interconnected and global marketplace, the litigation risks that class actions, federal multidistrict litigations and state coordinated proceedings present can seriously impact a company’s brand and commercial objectives. Heightened government, media, shareholder, employee and consumer scrutiny can create an atmosphere that causes the direct and indirect costs of such litigation to potentially be magnified.

We regularly represent leading companies of all sizes in the defense of such litigation, and in connection with the development and execution of litigation and strategic resolution options in some of their largest, most complex class action cases.

Our lawyers also provide strategic advice to clients in non-U.S. class actions, including those brought in Canada. We have been active in federal and state class action reform, including the Civil Justice Reform Group’s Class Action Subcommittee, and the ABA Business Law Section’s Ad Hoc Committee on FRCP Rule 23 Amendments. Additionally, Reed Smith’s lawyers have defended clients in federal multidistrict litigation and state coordinated proceedings, using a variety of strategies and approaches.

Reed Smith has deep experience in handling all aspects of class action and multidistrict litigation and disputes, including in the following areas:

  • Dispositive motions
  • Opposing class certification
  • Venue changes
  • Daubert and Frye challenges
  • Class trials
  • Class settlements
  • Appeals
  • Multidistrict litigation/parallel state actions
  • Companion government investigations
  • Electronic discovery
  • Insurance recovery
  • Media issues
  • Brand management issues

Many other firms have defended class action lawsuits and multidistrict litigation, but very few have consistently taken these cases to trial. Reed Smith clients regularly rely on us to manage, prepare and drive cases toward trial, and then try those cases when necessary. We try these cases and win, and the plaintiffs’ bar is well aware of our trial skills and capabilities.

In addition to trial experience, Reed Smith has one of the premier appellate practices in the country, led by four members of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, which has handled thousands of matters in most state appellate courts, every federal circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

At the same time, our in-depth understanding of the business realities that clients face when their market presence and reputation are at stake allows us to create innovative settlement procedures and approaches to help clients resolve matters at the earliest advantageous opportunity. While a trial win can certainly change the impact of litigation, knocking a case out on a motion to dismiss, or a Daubert or Frye motion, class certification, or summary judgment, can bring the dispute to an end without the risk that a jury brings to the equation. When appropriate, we may utilize a client-favorable litigation strategy as the best way to achieve an advantageous settlement or other resolution. This may include a tailored venue strategy that compels claims into arbitration or places them in federal court.

Areas of Focus

Our broad class action and multidistrict litigation defense experience is complemented and enhanced by our keen focus on particular industries and subject areas. These include:

  • Antitrust
  • Consumer/retail
  • Employment
  • ERISA
  • Environmental
  • False advertising
  • Financial services
  • Food labeling
  • Health care/managed care
  • Insurance
  • Manufacturing
  • Privacy and data security
  • Product liability/mass toxic tort
  • Securities
  • Unfair competition/consumer protection

We routinely leverage our deep knowledge in these subjects to deliver superior advice and results for clients.

The Reed Smith Difference

Understanding Your Business and Advocating Based on Your Business Objectives. Our litigation skills, combined with our deep industry knowledge, enable us to deliver practical advice regarding our clients’ most contentious disputes. We help make the judgment calls necessary to mitigate risk efficiently, and preserve the stability and reputation of your business. We have partnered with clients to develop and implement integrated strategies to address governmental, regulatory, investigative, litigation and media issues in the United States and globally.

Adding Value Through Seamless Teamwork. Reed Smith handles cases by working with clients to determine how best to cost-effectively manage and litigate disputes to obtain successful results. Matters we handle receive a tailored plan for efficient complex case management, financial control and ultimate resolution.

Our legal project management program is rooted in a disciplined approach to budgeting and work plan development, and a commitment to actively monitor and manage each matter using real-time financial reporting. We also leverage our extensive, in-house e-discovery capabilities, along with this project management and cutting-edge technology, to reduce discovery costs, and enhance our value by being both effective and cost-conscious about the legal services we provide.

We also have one of the largest and most effective insurance recovery practice groups in the country that can help fully assess our clients’ insurance coverage, and can develop strategies that optimize their ability to recover defense fees and indemnity costs.

What Our Clients and Peers Say about Reed Smith

Legal ranking referral guides have selected Reed Smith as a leading firm for class and mass actions. Chambers USA 2015 selects the firm for its “key strengths resolving class action and complex tort lawsuits,” “a particularly strong reputation in wage and hour class action litigation,” its “class action defense work and cases in entertainment, employment and insurance,” and “deep expertise in handling healthcare litigation such as government investigations and class actions in the managed care sphere.”

The Legal 500 U.S. 2015 recognizes Reed Smith as an “excellent value in strategic and complicated matters,” “‘excellent’ in antitrust law and good ‘bang for the buck’,” and “well equipped to tackle high-profile matters,” and recommends the firm for its “impressive recent experience in putative nationwide FLSA collective class actions and in California state law wage-and-hour class actions as well as age discrimination and retaliation cases.”

Benchmark Litigation hails Reed Smith in its top tier for its national Product Liability firm rankings, and Best Lawyers/U.S. News’ “Best Law Firms” 2016 Survey also ranks Reed Smith in Tier 1 for its nationwide Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions category.

Additionally, Reed Smith’s Product Liability practice has been recognized by The American Lawyer several times, including being named “Product Liability Litigation Department of the Year” in 2010, and a finalist in 2016, 2008 and 2006.