The class representative, sometimes called a lead plaintiff, is the voice of the group. He or she is appointed by the court and plays a far more active role than other members, who simply wait to see the outcome of the case.
The class representative is the named party in the claim and has significant responsibilities including:
- Hiring an attorney.
- Consulting with the attorney throughout the process.
- Deciding whether to take a settlement.
- Serving as the public face of the class action.
- Fairly representing the class.
In return, the class representative is the only member of the class who may be additionally compensated upon conclusion of trial. The court determines what additional compensation he or she receives.