5 Reasons to Consult with a Settlement Administrator Before Filing for Preliminary Approval

Engaging a settlement administrator before filing for preliminary approval of your class action settlement can be one of the best decisions you make to ensure a smooth and efficient administration process for your case.  Early consultation with an experienced claims administrator and a true, legal notice expert, can help to identify problems before they occur, provide critical insight and proven solutions, and hopefully spare return trips to court with an amended settlement agreement. 

Consulting with the right settlement administrator early in the process may shed light on potential obstacles you might not have considered and provide controls you won’t otherwise have. Tasks such as handling and verifying class data or developing a fair plan of allocation are large and should be considered in the early planning stages for a smooth process from start to finish.

It won’t cost more money 

Engaging a settlement administrator early won’t cost any extra money. In fact, bringing administration experts into the mix before filing for preliminary approval may end up saving money over the course of the case. An administrator will anticipate road blocks and other potential problems before they happen. Experienced administrators offer cost-saving solutions, or strategies to avoid the problem all together.

You need realistic timelines 

There’s nothing worse than showing up to court unprepared because timelines became unrealistic. It can be a challenging and long process to get back on a court calendar. If consulted early, a settlement administrator can help review the case and make your projected timeline isn’t too tight prior to filing with the court. 

Overlapping deadlines or compressed timelines don’t leave enough time for an administrator to vet necessary documents, clarify class members, and resolve objections. Compressed timelines often present more problems than anticipated, and ultimately lead to a longer time frame due to mistakes or court rescheduling.

You don’t want to tackle data alone 

Handling class data can be a burdensome task, especially if the data is received late in an already compressed timeline. Consulting with an administrator early in the process can ensure your data is handled in the most efficient, cost-effective, and secure manner. 

A claims administrator should be able to effectively clean up and format the data into several different formats, and review data for missing pieces and errors. 

Additionally, when engaged in the process early a notice media expert can analyze available data and use it to inform a notice strategy that satisfies due process and meets class members where they are.

Your notice should be objection-proof 

Class action settlements are public and can be very visible. Increased scrutiny from class members means an increased risk of objections. A settlement administrator engaged early in the process ensures easy compliance with Rule 23 and the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005.  

You need to be serious about ad fraud 

In a world of digital bots and programmatic media buying, campaign analytics can become easily skewed and misleading. During class action notice, your notice administrator should be making sure your notice is hitting sites that humans would normally visit, and more importantly, a site that potential class members would visit. This includes making sure your ad isn’t being over served on long tail sites, or niche sites most people wouldn’t visit. 

In addition, Class Action Notice Programs frequently serve digital ads in click-bait environments on niche websites, without safeguards for brand safety or protection against fraud. Without a true notice media expert to step in during the planning process, your notice could end up on channels harmful to your client’s brand. In addition, plaintiff’s attorneys looking to reach the correct class members will notice a decline in the effectiveness of the notice plan. 

Having experienced, human eyes on your notice campaign is the safest way to protect yourself from fake impressions and risky ad environments.  

James Prutsman
James (Jim) Prutsman has more than 20 years of experience in the administration of some of the highest profile class action settlements in the United States. He is a recognized expert with extensive experience in the planning, development of systems, process and procedures for the successful administration of hundreds of matters.

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