class actions; class definition; civil litigation; civil procedure


Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is home to the class action device. It is well-documented that this rule significantly impacts our legal system. As a result, the need for its effective utilization has been apparent since its introduction. Despite this, federal courts have inconsistently applied the rule during their analyses of overbroad class definitions at the class certification stage. Consequently, parties involved in such litigation have been exposed to unnecessary costs and the potential for forum shopping. Nonetheless, this judicial inconsistency has gone largely unrecognized because it does not implicate the results of class certification. Hence, courts here must first recognize the general need for uniformity before a precise standard for overbreadth analysis may be chosen. Only then, this Note argues, may the aforementioned detrimental consequences be avoided.