The adequacy requirement tends to be much-analyzed, but–at least from a defense perspective–wildly under-enforced. As Dean Robert Klonoff recently wrote, one reason for this may be that it is so difficult for class counsel to actually identify plaintiffs that can serve as adequate class representatives. But, as a result, there are numerous cases that challenge class actions where the named plaintiffs serve as little more than stand-ins for their counsel, rather than exercising any independent judgment. Adequacy is a particularly important doctrine because it has due process implications, and because it comes up in class settlements and in later fights over the preclusive effects of previous class actions. So don’t expect the debate to stop any time soon.

Ten Cases to Educate You


Further Reading:

Questions to Consider:

  • What conflicts will courts hold are signs of inadequate representation?
  • What degree of independence should a plaintiff be able to display? Is there any way to test that without invading the attorney-client privilege?
  • If courts are unwilling to enforce the adequacy requirement stringently, what other methods exist for ensuring that class actions are adequately governed?