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What is a class action?

A class action is a type of lawsuit in which one person, usually the lead or named plaintiff, represents everyone who suffered similar harm from the defendant’s unlawful conduct.  Class action lawsuits are often filed when it would be impractical or prohibitively expensive for each person who was harmed to file an individual lawsuit.  This procedural device enables shareholders or consumers who have suffered relatively small losses or injury to seek recovery from large corporations possessing much greater legal and financial resources without having to bear the financial risk.

What is a class period?

A class period is a specific time period during which the unlawful conduct is alleged to have occurred.  For example, in a securities class action, anyone who acquired the securities of the defendant company while the unlawful conduct was continuing (the class period) is potentially a member of the class.  Similarly, in a consumer class action, anyone who purchased goods or services from a company that is accused of improper conduct during the relevant time period (the class period) would be a member of the consumer class action.  

What is a securities class action?

 Securities class actions are generally filed in federal district court and allege that the defendant(s) violated the Securities Act of 1933 and/or the anti-fraud provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The typical class action takes at least 2-3 years to litigate, although the actual time it takes to resolve a case varies, depending on the complexity of the case, the issues involved and other factors. 

How do I know if I have a securities fraud claim?

If you purchased a publicly traded security which has declined in value following a significant negative disclosure about the company, you may have a claim.  The attorneys at Glancy Prongay & Murray can quickly investigate the facts and advise you as to whether you have a viable securities fraud claim.  If you wish to discuss your claim or have any questions concerning your rights in a securities fraud action, please call (310) 201-9150 or send an e-mail to  To learn more about our securities fraud practice and different types of securities fraud, please click here.

Who is eligible to participate in a securities class action?

To participate in a securities class action, you must have purchased the security at issue during the class period.  You do not need to continue to own the security. 

What is a lead plaintiff in a securities class action?

Near the beginning of a securities fraud case, the court appoints a lead plaintiff to prosecute the lawsuit on behalf of the members of the class.  An individual plaintiff, a group of individuals or other entity – an investment fund, for example – can serve as lead plaintiff.  The court usually appoints the class member with the largest financial interest in the recovery to serve as the lead plaintiff.

What are the responsibilities of a lead plaintiff in a securities class action?

Once the lead plaintiff is appointed by the court, the lead plaintiff selects and retains attorneys to represent the class. The lead plaintiff maintains oversight of, and gives input into, the litigation of a class action beyond that of other class members.

What is a lead counsel?

The federal securities laws require public notice to be published within 20 days after a securities fraud class action lawsuit is filed, alerting investors that the lawsuit has been filed and that class members have 60 days to request the court for appointment as lead plaintiff. In addition to representing the class, the lead plaintiff plays a crucial role in selecting the court-appointed lead counsel, and is encouraged to consult with lead counsel concerning the course of the litigation.  By seeking lead plaintiff status and choosing skilled, experienced counsel to represent the class, an individual class member may significantly affect the likelihood of the lawsuit’s success and the size of any eventual recovery.

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

Glancy Prongay & Murray prosecutes nearly all its class action cases on a contingency fee basis.  This means we only get paid if we win the case at trial or if there is a settlement. We do not receive any form of monetary compensation from a client at the outset of litigation or if we lose.  Instead, we are paid out of the recovery if there is a successful resolution in the case and a settlement or judgment is achieved. Glancy Prongay & Murray also generally advances all out-of-pocket costs on behalf of its clients, and we will only seek reimbursement of these expenses if we are successful in obtaining a recovery for the class.  In almost all class action situations, the court in which the case is pending will review and decide the attorneys’ fees and expenses that will be awarded to the lawyers from the recovery.  In securities class actions, attorneys’ fees typically are awarded as a percentage of the recovery achieved by the attorneys for the class. These percentages vary based on the size of the recovery for the class, the duration and complexity of the litigation, and several other factors.  (In the rare case that your litigation is not contingent, we will discuss how we are paid, and who pays costs and expenses, and your retainer agreement will set forth all of those provisions.)

How do I sign up to be a potential lead plaintiff?

The requirement to participate as a potential lead plaintiff is simple: Either complete a certification form on our website, or contact us via email at or at (310) 201-9150 to acquire a Certification Form, which you can return to Glancy Prongay & Murray LLP by email at or by mail at 1925 Century Park East, Suite 2100, Los Angeles, CA 90067.

What is a Certification Form?

The purpose of a Certification Form is for shareholders to officially certify that they purchased X number of shares on X date(s), and that they are not fabricating the information. Moreover, it certifies that the shareholder is willing to serve as a lead plaintiff if appointed.

I noticed there are several law firms announcing similar lawsuits. What is the difference among all these lawsuits?

It is likely that the other law firms are simply announcing the same lawsuit in order to attract shareholders as they prepare to move for lead plaintiff.  The court will appoint lead counsel, and once chosen the lead counsel will represent all shareholders automatically.

Should I sign up to be appointed lead plaintiff in a securities class action if an action has already been started?

Securities holders who have suffered meaningful losses are strongly encouraged to exercise their right to choose the best available lawyers to pursue their claims.  Selecting experienced counsel ensures that your claims will be pursued quickly and diligently and that the highest possible recovery is achieved for you and the class.  

Why should I choose Glancy Prongay & Murray?

Glancy Prongay & Murray has a long and impressive track record.  We have been representing shareholders for more than 25 years and we have recovered in excess of $1 billion for parties wronged by corporate fraud and malfeasance.  Moreover, because we litigate nearly all our cases on a contingency fee basis, we assume all the risk.  If we don’t win or achieve a recovery, we do not get paid or recover the expenses we incurred in prosecuting the case.

What is the benefit of being a lead plaintiff?

The primary benefit of being a lead plaintiff is that you control the litigation. You are fully informed about how the case is progressing, and work with your attorneys to determine how the suit is litigated. Furthermore, the court will oftentimes compensate the lead plaintiff with an additional monetary award for their time in overseeing the case.