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Hot Topics on Notice and Claims Administration at the 23rd Annual ABA Class Action Institute

11/18/2019 9:00:00 AM

Notice and Claims Administration Panel at American Bar Association’s (ABA) 23rd Annual National Institute on Class Actions, October 17-18, 2019.

 

JND made the scene in Nashville at the American Bar Association’s (ABA) 23rd Annual National Institute on Class Actions, which took place October 17-18, 2019. One of our resident legal notice experts and Senior Director, Gina Intrepido-Bowden, took the stage with representatives from three other legal notice and administration companies to provide a thought-provoking panel discussion entitled “'Marching to Their Own Drumbeat.' What Lawyers Don’t Understand About Notice and Claims Administration."

Over the hour-long session a variety of topics were contemplated including where notice is heading and common best practices. A couple key points deliberated were the differences between a Due Process Plan versus a Claims Stimulation Effort, as well as the notion of simplifying notices with the emergence of digital communications resulting from the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (Rule 23) amendments.

Due Process Plan versus Claims Stimulation Effort

The panel of experts discussed how a Due Process Plan is driven by reach, whereas a Claims Stimulation effort focuses on frequency of exposure or reminder messages.

Reach is the percentage of a specific population group exposed to a media vehicle or a combination of media vehicles containing a notice at least once over the course of a campaign. Reach factors out duplication, representing the total of different persons. An industry reach standard was set forth by the Federal Judicial Center’s (FJC) Judges’ Class Action Notice and Claims Process Checklist and Plain Language Guide published in 2010 (the “FJC Checklist”). The FJC Checklist advises reaching 70-95% of a given class. To fulfill this reach standard, notice efforts must focus on finding new class members (e.g. a one-time direct notice effort).

A Claims Stimulation effort focuses on multiple notice exposures to the same individuals, that are reminder notices of the approaching claims deadline. With this type of effort, re-noticing a small group repeatedly, whether it be via media or multiple mailings or emails, can motivate class members to act and file a claim.

Simplifying Digital Notice Language

With emerging technology, digital communication has become a standard in class actions. The Rule 23 amendments accept digital communications but do not discuss the actual look or language of digital notice.

Digital banner notices have content restrictions thereby requiring a simpler message, but they also provide a direct link to the case website where additional information about the action is readily available. These notices have been approved by courts, which leads one to question – could other forms of notice be simplified too? Is all required language necessary in an email notice given that the notice also provides a direct link to the case website where detailed information is provided? Would an industry standard simplified message attract more attention?

Our Legal Notice Experts

Applying decades of knowledge and skills, JND’s team of experts will analyze your specific case details, consult with you as necessary, and then utilize reputable advertising industry research tools and methodologies to design a tailored-made notice program, with engaging notices written in plain language.

Our CEO, Jennifer Keough, has the distinction of personally overseeing more large class action settlement programs than any other notice expert. In her 20-year career she has provided expert consultation and directly overseen hundreds of projects from notice through distribution. Jennifer has testified on settlement administration matters in many courts nationally and before the Senate Committee for Indian Affairs.

Gina Intrepido-Bowden is a court recognized legal notice expert who has been involved in the design and implementation of hundreds of legal notice programs reaching class members and claimants in both the U.S. and international markets with notice in over 35 languages. She is also an accomplished author and speaker on settlement administration strategies including effective reach, notice dissemination and trends, advancements in claims filing, and innovations in reporting.

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