Class Action Settlement Agreement
(Rule 23(b)(3)) (Federal)


This template is a class action settlement agreement under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. It includes practical guidance, drafting notes, and alternate and optional clauses. Class actions settlements must be approved by the court in a multi-stage process. Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(e). After preliminary approval by the court, class members receive notice of the terms of the settlement and are informed of their right to opt-out of the agreement. The court then holds a fairness hearing at which class members may formally object to the settlement. Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(e)(5). The court then decides whether to grant final approval based on whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. Different and additional rules apply if the settlement is of a not-yet certified class action. In essence, the court must, when approving this "settlement class," find that the requirement of the applicable provisions of Rule 23(a) and (b) are satisfied. See Amchem Prods., Inc. v. Windsor, ...