Shaping the Legal Landscape: Class Action in South Florida


In the dizzying legal landscape of South Florida, a notable shift is taking place regarding the handling of class actions. Historically, these sprawling cases were rarely brought to trial, often settling before reaching the courtroom.

However, there has been a notable uptick in the number of these matters going to trial, with South Florida growing its standing as a hub for class action matters. This trend suggests a more robust and assertive stance by legal professionals, possibly driven by the desire for clearer legal precedents and the desire to secure justice for affected parties.

In a recent Daily Business Review article, Peter Prieto, a partner at Podhurst Orseck, reflects on this transformation, stating, “In the old days, class actions were never tried. They are being tried more and more often these days,” indicating a changing strategy among legal practitioners in the region. This shift also aligns with broader national trends, as courts and practitioners recognize the importance of addressing class actions in a courtroom setting. As these cases become more prevalent in courtrooms, legal professionals are gaining valuable insights into effective trial strategies and the nuanced complexities of class action litigation. 
Advancing the Legal Community 
Each year, the University of Miami’s Class Action and Complex Litigation Forum brings together practitioners from across the country to share ideas, explore the latest trends, and advance discourse on complex litigation. 

Panel discussions covering mass torts, insurance disputes and consumer litigation provide opportunities for seasoned professionals to share insights, actively contributing to the evolution and progress of the legal community. As a result, the forum has been noted for its keen advancement of these practice areas, allowing participants to contribute to a nuanced understanding of the legal landscape.  

The forum also serves as a mentorship hub, enabling experienced lawyers to guide the next generation in areas like mass torts and consumer litigation. The insights shared during these discussions not only enhance individual practitioners’ knowledge but collectively elevate the legal profession and the next generation. 

History of Podhurst Orseck’s Involvement 

Miami-based law firm Podhurst Orseck has been an integral part of the Class Action and Complex Litigation Forum throughout its eight-year history, helping to create the event and grow it over time. Firm partners Aaron Podhurst, Peter Prieto and Steven Marks have a longstanding relationship with UM and have shaped the forum’s trajectory alongside colleagues from Kozyak Tropin and Harke PA.

This support is part of a collective effort among various law firms and legal organizations dedicated to addressing current challenges and future trends in class action and complex litigation, providing professional development opportunities and advancing the practice area through collaboration.