Shannon Wheatman, Ph.D., is the president of Kinsella Media. Dr. Wheatman specializes in designing, developing, analyzing, and implementing large-scale legal notification plans as well as direct notice campaigns. She is a court-recognized expert who provides testimony on the best notice practicable and is adept at finding cost-saving methods to satisfy due process.
Dr. Wheatman began her class action career in 2000 as a Research Associate at the Federal Judicial Center, the education and research agency for the Federal Courts. The Research Division performs empirical and explanatory research on federal judicial processes and court management. Dr. Wheatman worked with the Civil Rules Advisory Committee on a number of class action studies and with the Bankruptcy Administration Committee on judicial evaluations. She was instrumental in the development of model notices to satisfy the plain language amendment to Rule 23. Dr. Wheatman was also the Vice President (2006-2009) and Notice Director (2004-2009) at Hilsoft Notifications, a legal notification firm.
Dr. Wheatman has been involved in over 300 class actions and has been recognized as a notice expert in state and federal courts across the U.S. and in Canada. Her plain language expertise was advanced by her education, including her doctoral dissertation on plain language drafting of class action notice and her master’s thesis on comprehension of jury instructions.
Author, Cutting Through the Clutter: Eight Tips for Creatively Engaging Class Members and Increasing Response, Class Action Litigation Report, 15 CLASS 88 (Jan. 24, 2014).
Co-Author, Privacy Policies: How to Communicate Effectively with Consumers, International Association of Privacy Professionals (2014).
Author, Ensuring Procedural Fairness Through Effective Notice, in National Conference on Class Actions: Recent Developments in Québec, in Canada and in the United States 83-99 (Yvon Blais ed., 2013).
Co-Author, Report on Model Jury Instructions in Civil Antitrust Cases, American Antitrust Institute’s 6th Annual Private Antitrust Enforcement Conference, Washington, DC (Dec. 2012).
Co-Author, International Class Action Notice, in World Class Action: A Guide to Group and Representative Actions Around the Globe 673-686 (Paul Karlsgodt ed., 2012).
Co-Author, Class Notice and Claims Administration, in Private Enforcement of Antitrust Law in the United States: A Handbook 338–348 (Albert A. Foer & Randy M. Stutz eds., 2012).
Co-Author, Majority of Publication Class Action Notices Fail to Satisfy Rule 23 Requirements, 30 Rev. Litig. 53 (2011).
Co-Author, Class Notice and Claims Administration, in The International Private Enforcement of Competition Law 264–274 (Albert A. Foer & Jonathan W. Cuneo eds., 2010).
Ph.D., Social Psychology, 2001; The University of Georgia, Athens, GA
- Dissertation Title: The effects of plain language drafting on layperson’s comprehension of class action notices.
M.S., Social Psychology, 1999; The University of Georgia, Athens, GA
- Thesis Title: Effects of verdict choice, dispositional instructions, opportunity to deliberate, and locus of control on juror decisions in an insanity case.
M.L.S., Legal Studies, 1996; The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
B.A., Psychology, 1993; Millersville University of Pennsylvania, Millersville, PA
- Honor’s Thesis Title: The effects of inadmissible evidence and judicial admonishment in individual versus group decisions in a mock jury simulation.
Dr. Wheatman is a member of the American Bar Association and several plain language organizations, including the Center for Plain Language, Clarity, and Scribes.
Other Skills & Experience
Dr. Wheatman is a trained statistician, having completed nine graduate level courses as well as teaching undergraduate statistics at the University of Georgia. She has developed court-approved methodologies to determine direct notice reach and class sizes in cases where comprehensive mailing lists are not available.