How to Manage 4,000+ Individual Cases after Class De-certification: A Listicle

How to Manage 4,000+ Individual Cases after Class De-certification: A Listicle
Posted on: Mon, 08/21/2023

The Problem

A class-action litigation against a major corporation with multiple restaurant franchises was de-certified, resulting in thousands of current and former employees ordered to pursue their claims for off-the-clock overtime and side work individually by mediation and/or arbitration. 

How should an ADR organization’s case-administration staff manage such a widespread caseload in a timely, efficient manner?

Steps to Solution

  1. Obtain party agreement to utilize a Special Master in order to determine threshold issues and to create a streamlined protocol process for all counsel and parties to follow.
  2. Appoint the Special Master.
  3. The Special Master determines the protocol; in this case, for parties to attempt to reach a mediated settlement and go to arbitration if that fails.
  4. Organize the caseload into manageable groups.
  5. Meet any contract stipulations; in this case, a locale provision called for arbitrators to reside in geographically suitable areas, although most of these hearings and conferences likely would be held by phone.
  6. Identify acceptable mediators and arbitrators.
  7. Facilitate mediator and arbitrator selection.
  8. If cases do not settle or are not withdrawn, assign mediators multiple cases. 
  9. Cases that do not settle in mediation proceed to arbitration.
  10. At the conclusion of the arbitrations, appoint settlement judges in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The Result

100% of the 4,019 cases were administered to resolutions achieved via multiple tracks.

NOTE: In this real-life scenario, the American Arbitration Association® streamlined and facilitated resolution of 100% of the multi-case, multi-location mediations and arbitrations. To read the entire case study, please click