Class Certification


Historically, economic analysis has seldom been used at the class certification stage, being left instead for the examination of the merits of the case. That pattern has changed, however, as sophisticated economic analyses have become increasingly accepted by the courts for class certification purposes. These analyses have been shown to contribute to the courts’ understanding of the issues and have affected class certification outcomes. Economic analysis of transactions data may reveal whether the proposed classes meet the requirements for being certified. Some of these same economic analyses also can help to educate the court about the issues likely to come before it in the liability phase of the case.

Often, the databases at issue in class certification matters have millions of records covering many parties and spanning multiple time periods. An important element in the successful use of these data at the class certification stage is to frame the economic issues properly. In addition, it is important to have the technical competence and capabilities to handle large, often unwieldy, databases.


Secretariat Economists has both the analytical skills and the computer resources to read, process, and analyze large, complex databases. Secretariat Economists has been involved in economic analysis for class certification in a number of cases, including the following:

  • American Seed Co., Inc. v. Monsanto Company
  • Butt v. Allegheny Pepsi-Cola Bottling and Mid-Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling
  • MacDunnah’s Inc. d/b/a The Fiddlehead Restaurant and the State of Alaska v. Amerigas Propane, Inc
  • In Re: Baby Food Antitrust Litigation