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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Case Against Combating Bittorrent Piracy Through Mass John Doe Copyright Infringement Lawsuits, Sean B. Karunaratne Nov 2012

The Case Against Combating Bittorrent Piracy Through Mass John Doe Copyright Infringement Lawsuits, Sean B. Karunaratne

Michigan Law Review

Today, the most popular peer-to-peer file-sharing medium is the BitTorrent protocol. While BitTorrent itself is not illegal, many of its users unlawfully distribute copyrighted works. Some copyright holders enforce their rights by suing numerous infringing BitTorrent users in a single mass lawsuit. Because the copyright holder initially knows the putative defendants only by their IP addresses, it identifies the defendants anonymously in the complaint as John Does. The copyright holder then seeks a federal court's permission to engage in early discovery for the purpose of learning the identities behind the IP addresses. Once the plaintiff knows the identities of ...


De-Frauding The System: Sham Plaintiffs And The Fraudulent Joinder Doctrine, Matthew C. Monahan May 2012

De-Frauding The System: Sham Plaintiffs And The Fraudulent Joinder Doctrine, Matthew C. Monahan

Michigan Law Review

Playing off the strict requirements of federal diversity jurisdiction, plaintiffs can structure their suits to prevent removal to federal court. A common way to preclude removability is to join a nondiverse party. Although plaintiffs have a great deal of flexibility, they may include only those parties that have a stake in the lawsuit. Put another way, a court will not permit a plaintiff to join a party to a lawsuit when that party is being joined solely to prevent removal. The most useful tool federal courts employ to prevent this form of jurisdictional manipulation is Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ...


Federal Discovery Stays, Gideon Mark Feb 2012

Federal Discovery Stays, Gideon Mark

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In federal civil litigation, unless a discretionary stay is granted, discovery often proceeds while motions to dismiss are pending. Plaintiffs with non-meritorious cases can compel defendants to spend massively on electronic discovery before courts ever rule on such motions. Defendants who are unable or unwilling to incur the huge up-front expense of electronic discovery may be forced to settle non-meritorious claims. To address multiple electronic discovery issues, Congress amended the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in 2006 and the Federal Rules of Evidence in 2008. However, the amendments failed to significantly reduce costs and failed to address the critical issue ...


Judges! Stop Deferring To Class-Action Lawyers, Brian Wolfman Jan 2012

Judges! Stop Deferring To Class-Action Lawyers, Brian Wolfman

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

I represent a national non-profit consumer rights organization, as an amicus, in a federal appeal challenging a district court’s approval of a class-action settlement of claims under the federal Credit Repair Organization Act (CROA). My client maintains that the district court erred in finding that the settlement was “fair, reasonable, and adequate,” which is the standard for class-action settlement approval under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In particular, we argue that the district court committed a reversible legal error when it deferred to the class-action lawyers’ recommendation to approve the settlement because, in those lawyers’ view, it was ...


Cruises, Class Actions, And The Court, David Korn, David Rosenberg Jan 2012

Cruises, Class Actions, And The Court, David Korn, David Rosenberg

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

As the Carnival Triumph debacle splashed across the national consciousness, lawyers shook their heads. Sensationalist news coverage exposed common knowledge in the legal community: cruise passengers have little recourse against carriers, and, as a result, they often bear the brunt of serious physical and financial injuries. Cruise lines, escaping legal accountability for their negligence, sail off undeterred from neglecting passenger safety on future voyages. While its previous decisions helped entrench this problem, a recently argued case presents the Supreme Court with another opportunity to address it.


Why American Express V. Italian Colors Does Not Matter And Coordinated Pursuit Of Aggregate Claims May Be A Viable Option After Concepcion, Gregory C. Cook Jan 2012

Why American Express V. Italian Colors Does Not Matter And Coordinated Pursuit Of Aggregate Claims May Be A Viable Option After Concepcion, Gregory C. Cook

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

This Comment suggests that the upcoming decision by the Supreme Court in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant will not change the class action landscape. While the plaintiff bar contends that certain public policy goals will be lost as a result of American Express and AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, this Comment argues that, in the correct circumstances, coordinated individual arbitrations can address at least some of these public policy goals and plaintiff counsel should focus on such coordination efforts (including, for instance, ethically recruiting actually-injured plaintiffs, the use of common plaintiff counsel, the use of common experts ...


Party's Over: Admissibility Of Post-Trial Juror Testimony Should Depend On The Nature Of The Conduct, Justin Gillett Jan 2012

Party's Over: Admissibility Of Post-Trial Juror Testimony Should Depend On The Nature Of The Conduct, Justin Gillett

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

What do you call a weeklong period in which you and a handful of acquaintances drink alcohol every day at lunch, sleep though the afternoons, smoke marijuana and ingest a couple lines of cocaine on occasion? You call it the time when a jury convicted Anthony Tanner and William Conover of conspiracy to defraud the United States and commit various acts of mail fraud. Under a current rule of evidence, which precludes juror testimony to impeach a verdict except on extraneous prejudicial information, juror intoxication is not an external influence about which jurors may testify. A new test for the ...