Class Action – FAQ

What is a class action?

A class-action lawsuit is filed when a large number of people combine their lawsuits because they have been affected or injured by a company’s course of conduct or action.

What is a class period?

A class period is a range of dates within which a company is alleged to have been involved in improper behavior. The attorneys investigating and prosecuting a case will review the facts of the case, along with the court-appointed lead plaintiff, determine the correct beginning and end of a class period. Sometimes, after an initial complaint is filed, a class period will be lengthened or shortened as an investigation continues. If you purchased the securities of a company during a class period, you are automatically a class member, regardless of whether you specifically retain a law firm to prosecute claims on our behalf. This “class membership” concept is also true with respect to consumer fraud class actions and antitrust cases.

How long does it take to prosecute a class action?

The time to prosecute each class action varies based on the facts, parties and jurisdiction of a particular case. It is not unusual for a class action to take up to 3 years to complete.

What will it cost to be involved in a class action?

Because Zagrans Law Firm prosecutes class actions on a contingency fee basis, there are not out-of-pocket fees or expenses paid by the client, regardless of the outcome of the case. If we are successful in obtaining a recovery for the class, we will apply to the court for a fee that fairly represents the work performed and risk assumed by Zagrans Law Firm. In securities class actions, attorneys’ fees typically are awarded as a percentage of the relief achieved by the attorneys for the class. These percentages vary depending on many factors, including the size of the recovery for the class and the length and complexity of the litigation.

Do I have to keep my stock to participate in a securities class action?

No. As long as you purchased during the class period, you are eligible to participate in any recovery that the class enjoys regardless of your current holdings.

Business Litigation – FAQ

What should I do if I want to change attorneys and have Zagrans Law Firm represent me?

Zagrans Law Firm will not interfere with the attorney-client contractual relationship between you and your current attorney. We will only be able to ethically discuss your case once you notify your current attorney in writing that you no longer want him or her to represent you on your case.

Another company has harmed us. Is filing a lawsuit our only option?

Because lawsuits can be expensive, the economic viability of a case depends on having both a good claim and solvent defendant who can pay a judgment. Moreover, litigation diverts the energy of executives away from potentially more productive activity, which is a hidden cost of litigation. Nevertheless, in some situations, filing a lawsuit is not merely an option, it is the right thing to do.

What are the chances we will be able to settle the case without a trial?

Statistically, relatively few lawsuits result in a full-blown contested trial. Thus, odds are that a case will settle at some point. Yet, the best way to obtain a favorable settlement is to be fully prepared for trial. Accordingly, it can be in a client’s best interest to engage counsel with a reputation for the ability to try cases to a verdict. Unfortunately, because the vast majority of business lawsuits do not result in trials, many litigators have the experience in pretrial procedures, but far fewer have substantial experience completing trials. At Zagrans Law Firm, we have that experience. However, if you do not want a court trial, your attorney will negotiate the best possible settlement of your case and recommend that you accept it.

What are the costs of a business lawsuit?

A client can expect to incur attorneys’ fees, charges for expert witnesses, court reporter’s fees, and various costs and expenses necessary to prosecute the case such as filing fees, investigative expenses, travel expenses, long-distance telephone charges, postage and copying costs. The total of the costs depends on many factors, including the type of case, the forum, the unique facts of the specific case, court rulings, the tactics employed by the opposition, and the point at which the case is resolved.

What is a deposition and what is involved?

Generally, the plaintiff can expect to have his or her deposition taken by the defense. This means that opposing counsel will have the opportunity to ask you questions under oath before the case goes to trial. Zagrans Law Firm attorneys make sure that you are fully prepared and familiar with the process before it begins. An attorney will be with you for your entire deposition to ensure that the depositions are conducted in a fair and proper manner.

What are interrogatories and shy do I need to complete them?

Interrogatories are usually the first discovery tool used in a case. They are questions prepared by one side to the other which must be answered under oath within a period specified by the court’s procedural rules. Complete and accurate answers are very important in response to any discovery question, and the attorneys at Zagrans Law Firm will work with you to make sure everything is handled properly.

Corporate, Finance and Business Transactions – FAQ

Is it possible to dissolve a partnership without serious financial losses?

The dissolution of a business partnership or relationship must be handled by a skilled and creative business litigation attorney, seeking to avoid a costly dispute through negotiating reasonable terms. Although the parties involved are often unwilling to negotiate initially, creative intervention early in the process can assist in avoiding litigation. In some cases, taking the case to court is unavoidable, and ensuring that you have the full support of an attorney at Zagrans Law Firm can allow you to proceed into court with confidence that your interests will be represented professionally.

What types of business or commercial matters can Zagrans help with?

Zagrans Law Firm is a full-service law firm with offices throughout the United States and our legal team has achieved tremendous success for our clients in a wide variety of business legal matters, including:

  • Litigation
  • Business torts
  • General contract disputes
  • Business law
  • Change of ownership or corporate structure
  • Business dissolution
  • Construction law
  • Construction litigation
  • Commercial landlord tenant litigation
  • Commercial land rights and responsibilities
  • General corporate counsel
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Employment and consulting agreements
  • Corporate reorganizations
  • Appeals
  • Business, corporate and partnership disputes
  • Breach of contract
  • Tortious interference with contract
  • Protecting trade secrets
  • Real estate litigation
  • Contract negotiation and disputes

Alternative Dispute Resolutions – FAQ

What is arbitration?

Some contractual disputes arise from agreements that contain arbitration provisions which require that the parties resolve their dispute out of court before a specific individual or panel. If the arbitration provision is enforceable, then the case cannot be filed in court and will not have a jury trial. Even without an arbitration clause, the parties to some disputes agree to submit their case to arbitration. Absent a binding arbitration provision or agreement, the case must be handled in the court system.

Do I need a lawyer for an arbitration proceeding?

The usual arbitration proceeding is supposed to be less formal than litigation. Nevertheless, it is still a contested proceeding in which a party presents both legal and factual arguments to the person or panel deciding the case. Parties are usually represented by counsel in significant arbitration proceedings.

What exactly is mediation?

It is a dialogue facilitated by a trained, knowledgeable, skillful and neutral third party designed to help the parties in resolving their legal dispute and in satisfying their needs, interests and goals. Mediation may be court-ordered or voluntary. In either instance, any resolution of the parties’ conflict through mediation is entirely voluntary.

Does mediation apply only to legal disputes?

No, mediation can be, and is used to resolve conflicts between family members, business owners, landlords and tenants, neighbors, and employers and employees. Often, those conflicts revolve around personal differences and miscommunications rather than legal issues. The negotiation orientation of mediation makes that process ideal for resolving those and other nonlegal disputes.

Who determines the outcome of mediation?

The parties determine their own solutions with the guidance of the mediator. Through mediation, the parties are able to communicate directly with one another and to gain understanding.