Class action litigation always involves lawyers, but it is uncommon for the class itself to consist of lawyers.  In One Unnamed Deputy District Attorney v. City of Los Angeles.pdf, Case No. CV-09-7931 (C.D. Cal., Jan. 24, 2011), the court certified a class of Los Angeles deputy district attorneys who had engaged in organizing activity.

The relevant facts were straightforward.  Several hundred Los Angeles deputy district attorneys signed union cards in late 2007 and early 2008.  The plaintiffs contended that their names were improperly disclosed to management in violation of their first amendment rights.  Ultimately, the union, the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, moved the court to certify a class of approximately 540 attorneys.

Apart from the fact that the putative class members were attorneys, the chief issue of note was that of standing.  Specifically, while the union brought the motion, several of the putative class members were non-union employees.  Limiting the class issues to those of liability, the court found that the union possessed the requisite standing.  Once it resolved those issues, it quickly concluded that the class members’ claims were legally and factually identical, satisfying the elements of both Rule 23(a) and (b).

The Bottom Line:  On the right facts, even a class of lawyers can be certified.