Before a court certifies a class action, the court typically determines and concludes that there are too many class members for all the people to be named as parties in the lawsuit. Technically, class members do not join in the litigation and, instead, are considered to have decided to participate by not opting out. Rarely is a class action lawsuit filed as an opt-in class action. When an opt-in class action is filed, however, a claim form or request to join form may be necessary. Ordinarily, the notice issued to class members in the usual lawsuit for money damages informs the class members if they need to take any action in order to participate. In a lawsuit for money damages, any class member who does not opt out may be bound by the results of the litigation, that is, if it proceeds as a class action. Only when a class member determines that he or she wants to participate in the lawsuit as a named party is a separate lawyer hired in order to intervene or participate in the lawsuit.

Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law