Nationally recognized for its class action defense practice, Pierce Atwood helps business clients navigate the perilous waters of class action litigation. Bringing to bear decades of experience defending companies of all sizes faced with class action lawsuits, we work closely with clients to define success and to design and implement strategies to achieve it. Depending on the case and the client’s needs, these strategies may include seeking early dismissal, proposing limitations on pre-certification discovery, challenging class certification, moving for summary judgment, taking the case to trial, negotiating a favorable settlement – and most often some combination of the above. Because the stakes are high and the procedures complex, clients rely on our accomplished class action defense team to evaluate each lawsuit’s risks and chart the optimal course.
Our class action litigators have defended clients from a variety of industries in a wide range of class actions asserting claims under federal and state substantive laws, including consumer class actions, product liability class actions, wage and hour class actions, bank overdraft fee class actions, insurance coverage class actions, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act class actions, and ERISA class actions. Our lawyers also have extensive experience with the Class Action Fairness Act, and handling class actions that are consolidated in Multi-District Litigation (MDL) dockets. In the past several years, we have achieved excellent results for our business clients in class actions filed in federal and state courts in California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and other jurisdictions.
In addition to our vigorous representation of defendants in class action lawsuits, practice co-leader Don Frederico offers class action mediation services to assist parties in resolving class action lawsuits. While most class actions settle, class action settlements are far more complicated and difficult to achieve than settlements of individual actions. Having an experienced class action lawyer serve as mediator can facilitate the resolution of class-wide disputes. Don’s three decades of extensive class action experience, his track record of negotiating and obtaining court approval of class action settlements, and his national and local reputation as a leading class action lawyer who works well with defendants and plaintiffs alike, make him ideally suited to mediate class action disputes.
Pierce Atwood’s Class Action Defense practice has been recognized for excellence beyond our regional New England presence, receiving a National Tier 1 ranking by US News-Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” report (2017-2021). According to Best Lawyers, achieving a tiered ranking signals a “unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.” Additionally, Pierce Atwood is recognized by BTI Litigation Outlook 2019 as a “Standout” in Class Actions Litigation – ranked by corporate counsel as among the top firms in this area.
Our reputation for excellence is also reflected in our attorneys’ participation in national bar activities focused on class actions. For example, practice leader Don Frederico serves on the Planning Committee for, and is a member of the Faculty of, the American Bar Association’s National Institute on Class Actions. Our attorneys have authored chapters of several ABA books on class actions, including the First Circuit chapter in the recently published Survey of Federal Class Action Law, the Maine chapter in Fifty State Survey of Class Action Law, and the Massachusetts chapter in A Practitioner’s Guide to Class Actions.
Pierce Atwood attorneys also maintain a class action blog, First Class Defense, which covers a wide range of national and regional class action developments with an emphasis on decisions of federal and state courts within the geographical boundaries of the First Circuit.