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The burdens placed by a State upon an absent class action plaintiff are not of the same order or magnitude as those it places upon an absent defendant. An out-of-state defendant summoned by a plaintiff is faced with the full powers of the forum State to render judgment against it. The defendant must generally hire counsel and travel to the forum to defend itself from the plaintiff's claim, or suffer a default judgment. The defendant may be forced to participate in extended and often costly discovery, and will be forced to respond in damages or to comply with some other form of remedy imposed by the court should it lose the suit. The defendant may also face liability for court costs and attorney's fees. These burdens are substantial, and the minimum contacts requirement of the Due Process Clause prevents the forum State from unfairly imposing them upon the defendant.


A class action plaintiff, however, is in quite a different posture. The Court noted this difference in Hansberry v. Lee, 311 U. S. 32, 311 U. S. 40-41 (1940), which explained that a 'class' or 'representative' suit was an exception to the rule that one could not be ...

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