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Illustrative Forms of Class Action Notices: Overview

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At the request of the Subcommittee on Class Actions of the U.S. judicial branch's Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Federal Judicial Center developed illustrative notices of proposed class action certification and settlement. The securities and products liability notices deal with combined notices of class certification and settlement. The employment discrimination notices deal with a class certified for litigation and trial, not settlement. These notices are designed to illustrate how attorneys and judges might comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(c)(2)(B), which says that class action notices "must concisely and clearly state in plain, easily understood language" specific information about the nature and terms of a class action and how it might affect potential class members’ rights.

For each of three hypothetical cases (one dealing with securities law claims, one with products liability claims, and one with employment discrimination claims, we present a long form ("Full Notice") and a one-page form ("Publication Notice"). For the securities and products liability class actions, we also include a summary statement to use on a mailing envelope ("Language for Envelope"). The securities notices presented here include a new cover letter in a format designed to disclose the required Private Securities Litigation Act (PSLRA) information in one short document.