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Fact or Fiction: Class-action Lawsuits
by Staff
Class-action lawsuits can efficiently deliver justice to a large group of people. Critics deride them as nothing but nuisances dreamed up by greedy attorneys. See if you can separate the fact and fiction of class actions by taking our quiz.

A class-action lawsuit is a civil lawsuit involving a large group of plaintiffs.

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You need to have suffered a serious physical or financial injury to join a class-action lawsuit.

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To join a class-action lawsuit, you almost always have to "opt in."

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Class-action lawsuits are a mass litigation device for both civil law and criminal law.

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A judge must certify that a case meets the requirements of a class action.

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The judge does not require the plaintiffs' attorney to make a reasonable attempt to notify all potential members of the defined class.

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The plaintiffs collectively choose their legal counsel. The judge has nothing to do with it.

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All class-action lawsuits are tried in federal court.

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A class-action lawsuit with total claims greater than $5 million must be tried in a federal court.

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Written records dating back to 12th-century England show a tradition of "representative actions."

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In modern class-action lawsuits, all plaintiffs are named on the suit.

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Almost 90 percent of class-action lawsuits are settled before they go to trial.

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The judge in a class action has no say in the terms of the settlement.

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The proposed class action of the sex descrimination case Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores includes 1.5 million current and former female employees of the retail giant.

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Despite many class-action lawsuits, the tobacco industry never lost or settled a case in the U.S.

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Drug companies cannot be sued by class actions if their product has unintended side effects.

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There are no federal product liability laws.

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If the plaintiffs win a class-action lawsuit, their attorneys' fees are paid by the defendant.

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Equity courts, aka Courts of Chancery, no longer exist in the United States.

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Under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, "coupon" class action settlements were made illegal.

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