What to do with investment related class action notices you receive



— Chris Vernon is an attorney with Vernon Litigation Group who represents investors in financial disputes throughout the United States. He is also licensed as a Registered Investment Advisor. Courts have accepted Mr. Vernon as an expert on investment related issues as both a lawyer and an investment professional.

— Chris Vernon is an attorney with Vernon Litigation Group who represents investors in financial disputes throughout the United States. He is also licensed as a Registered Investment Advisor. Courts have accepted Mr. Vernon as an expert on investment related issues as both a lawyer and an investment professional.

Investors regularly call our office seeking to file an investment related class action. After discussing the pros and cons, most investors are no longer interested in filing a class action.

Class actions differ from other lawsuits in that they assert that a large group of investors have been misled or mistreated in virtually the same way. This approach allows investors to pursue claims in a single lawsuit through an investor representative, rather than each investor filing separate claims. Conceptually this makes sense, but there are pros and cons to consider.

From our perspective, the amount of your claim is an important (though not the only) factor in deciding whether or not you should be part of a class action. The smaller your claim, the more likely it is that being part of a class action is your best option. This is because it is typically not practical to hire your own attorney to pursue a small dollar claim. Also, if you do not want to go through the stress or time commitment of pursuing your claim individually, participation in the class action may be your only option. In contrast, if your claim is large and you are willing to individually pursue it, filing your claim separate from the class may be a better option. While convenient for class members, class actions often result in individual investors recovering a small portion of their damages in comparison to what they recover by individually pursuing their claim.

If you receive a class action notice relating to one or more of your investments, do not set the notice aside to deal with at a later time. This is because there may be a deadline for you to take action. Instead, promptly consider the general amount of money you have lost from the investment. If your losses or damages are not significant, then remaining a part of the class action may be your best option. However, if you have suffered six figure or other substantial investment damages, you may be better off timely opting out of the class action and separately pursuing your claim.

Remember, whatever it is, let’s make sure our money is working for us and not for somebody else. ¦

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