Class action cases require a tremendous amount of social media and online research, not just of the potential class members, but also of the arbitrators themselves. In large class action cases, there are often dozens, if not hundreds of arbitrators that are proposed by the various parties. Are the arbitrators in your cases biased against your client’s position?
Social Media Investigations in Arbitrations
Most attorneys know that we need to conduct social media and online investigations on our potential class members to limit the class size only to qualified members. But many attorneys don’t know that this same type of comprehensive social media and online investigation also needs to be done for arbitrators. In many arbitration cases, there’s a mandatory arbitration clause, which requires the parties to propose different arbitrators to help resolve the case. But while we expect the arbitrator that we select to be fair, impartial, and balanced, that’s not always the case.
Arbitrators themselves may have a track record that goes against your client’s position or may have certain biases that need to be uncovered by searching their online profiles, social media, blogs, interviews, and their past decisions. In doing so, you can determine whether or not a potential arbitrator is biased against your client, or one of their positions, and therefore provide your client with a competitive advantage based upon what you learn. But conducting these searches on potential class members and potential arbitrators can often be time consuming and expensive, especially if done by your attorneys and your paralegals. But never fear. SMI Aware is here to help.
Social Media Investigations in Class Action Arbitrations
In a recent class action defense case, SMI was hired to conduct two types of online and social media investigations. The first investigation was for potential class members to determine whether or not they belonged to be certified in the class. SMI Aware reviewed the potential class members’ social media profiles to determine where they worked, when they work, their job title and their occupation to determine whether or not these potential class members actually belonged in the class. By weeding out those potential class members that belonged in the class, and those that didn’t, SMI was able to shrink the potential class size to a manageable number of only those people that actually qualified for the class. In doing so, it helped to save the client time, energy, effort, and most importantly money by limiting the potential exposure or payout in the event that there would be a settlement in this case.
SMI was also hired to do the same type of social media investigation on the potential arbitrators. In this large class action case, the parties initially recommended over 500 arbitrators. Once this list was narrowed down to between 100 and 200 arbitrators, SMI Aware investigated all of them. SMI Aware reviewed their social media profiles, blogs, and online interviews to determine whether any of these arbitrators had ruled against a similar type of client or ruled against the client’s position in a particular case. They also were able to review social media posts and blogs to see if an arbitrator took a viewpoint that may have been hurtful to our client in this particular action. By conducting that type of online research, SMI Aware empowered the class action defense law firm to remove certain arbitrators that would either not be fair or impartial, or who would have been potentially ruling against their client on those various positions based upon what they found online. As a result, the class action defense law firm had peace of mind knowing that only the arbitrators that would have been fair, impartial, and balanced, or who would provide their client with a competitive advantage were selected to be the arbitrator in that case.
SMI Aware Helps You Defend Class Action Cases
If you are a class action defense law firm, you owe it to yourself to work with SMI Aware. Their independent social media expects can handle the social media and online investigations for you. SMI Aware will save your attorneys and paralegals time and helps to save your client money. And most importantly, it can give your client the competitive advantage they deserve. Contact SMI Aware today to learn how they can help you with your social media and online investigations in your next class action defense case.