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Making Rule 23 Ideal: Using A Multifactor Test To Evaluate The Admissibility Of Evidence At Class Certification, Cianan M. Lesley Oct 2019

Making Rule 23 Ideal: Using A Multifactor Test To Evaluate The Admissibility Of Evidence At Class Certification, Cianan M. Lesley

Michigan Law Review

Circuit courts are split on whether and to what extent the Daubert standard should apply at class certification. Potential plaintiffs believe that application of Daubert would make it nearly impossible to obtain class certification. For potential defendants, the application of the standard is an important way to ensure that the certification process is fair. This Note examines the incentives underlying the push to apply the Daubert standard at class certification and the benefits and drawbacks associated with that proposal. It proposes a solution that balances the concerns of both plaintiffs and defendants by focusing on three factors: the obstacles to ...


Class Actions, Indivisibility, And Rule 23(B)(2), Maureen Carroll Jan 2019

Class Actions, Indivisibility, And Rule 23(B)(2), Maureen Carroll

Articles

The federal class-action rule contains a provision, Rule 23(b)(2), that authorizes class-wide injunctive or declaratory relief for class-wide wrongs. The procedural needs of civil rights litigation motivated the adoption of the provision in 1966, and in the intervening years, it has played an important role in managing efforts to bring about systemic change. At the same time, courts have sometimes struggled to articulate what plaintiffs must show in order to invoke Rule 23(b)(2). A few years ago, the Supreme Court weighed in, stating that the key to this type of class action is the “indivisible” nature ...


Securities Law In The Sixties: The Supreme Court, The Second Circuit, And The Triumph Of Purpose Over Text, Adam C. Pritchard, Robert B. Thompson Nov 2018

Securities Law In The Sixties: The Supreme Court, The Second Circuit, And The Triumph Of Purpose Over Text, Adam C. Pritchard, Robert B. Thompson

Articles

This Article analyzes the Supreme Court’s leading securities cases from 1962 to 1972—SEC v. Capital Gains Research Bureau, Inc.; J.I. Case Co. v. Borak; Mills v. Electric Auto-Lite Co.; Superintendent of Insurance v. Bankers Life & Casualty Co.; and Affiliated Ute of Utah v. United States—relying not just on the published opinions, but also the Justices’ internal letters, memos, and conference notes. The Sixties Court did not simply apply the text as enacted by Congress, but instead invoked the securities laws’ purposes as a guide to interpretation. The Court became a partner of Congress in shaping the securities laws ...


Piling On? An Empirical Study Of Parallel Derivative Suits, Stephen J. Choi, Jessica Erickson, Adam C. Pritchard Nov 2017

Piling On? An Empirical Study Of Parallel Derivative Suits, Stephen J. Choi, Jessica Erickson, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

Using a sample of all companies named as defendants in securities class actions between July 1, 2005 and December 31, 2008, we study parallel suits relying on state corporate law arising out of the same allegations as the securities class actions. We test several ways that parallel suits may add value to a securities class action. Most parallel suits target cases involving obvious indicia of wrongdoing. Moreover, we find that although a modest percentage of parallel suits are filed first, over 80 percent are filed after a securities class action (termed “follow-on” parallel suits). We find that parallel suits and ...


Judge Kozinski Objects, Beth H. Wilensky Sep 2017

Judge Kozinski Objects, Beth H. Wilensky

Articles

Sitting judges don’t get to practice law. So although they often opine on the dos and don’ts of effective advocacy, we rarely get to see them put their advice into practice. But a few years ago, a class-action lawsuit provided the rare opportunity to witness a federal judge acting as an advocate before another federal judge—if not in the role of attorney, then certainly in as close to that role as we are likely to see. Given the chance to employ his own advice about effective advocacy, would the judge—Alex Kozinski—practice what he preaches? Would ...


Carrot Or Stick? The Shift From Voluntary To Mandatory Disclosure Of Risk Factors, Karen K. Nelson, Adam C. Pritchard Jun 2016

Carrot Or Stick? The Shift From Voluntary To Mandatory Disclosure Of Risk Factors, Karen K. Nelson, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

This study investigates risk factor disclosures, examining both the voluntary, incentive-based disclosure regime provided by the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act as well as the SEC's subsequent mandate of these disclosures. Firms subject to greater litigation risk disclose more risk factors, update the language more from year to year, and use more readable language than firms with lower litigation risk. These differences in the quality of disclosure are pronounced in the voluntary disclosure regime, but converge following the SEC mandate as low-risk firms improved the quality of their risk factor disclosures. Consistent with these ...


Sec Investigations And Securities Class Actions: An Empirical Comparison, Stephen J. Choi, Adam C. Pritchard Mar 2016

Sec Investigations And Securities Class Actions: An Empirical Comparison, Stephen J. Choi, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

Using actions with both an SEC investigation and a class action as our baseline, we compare the targeting of SEC-only investigations with class-action-only lawsuits. Looking at measures of information asymmetry, we find that investors in the market perceive greater information asymmetry following the public announcement of the underlying violation for class-action-only lawsuits compared with SEC-only investigations. Turning to sanctions, we find that the incidence of top officer resignation is greater for class-action-only lawsuits relative to SEC-only investigations. Our findings are consistent with the private enforcement targeting disclosure violations at least as precisely as (if not more so than) SEC enforcement.


Rebutting The Fraud On The Market Presumption In Securities Fraud Class Actions: Halliburton Ii Opens The Door, Victor E. Schwartz, Christopher E. Appel Feb 2016

Rebutting The Fraud On The Market Presumption In Securities Fraud Class Actions: Halliburton Ii Opens The Door, Victor E. Schwartz, Christopher E. Appel

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

In Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc. (Halliburton II), the United States Supreme Court reaffirmed the validity of the “fraud on the market” presumption underlying securities fraud class action litigation. This presumption is vital to bringing suits as class actions because it excuses plaintiffs from proving individual reliance on an alleged corporate misstatement on the theory that any public statements made by the company are incorporated into its stock price and consequently relied upon by all investors. Thus, the Court’s decision to uphold the validity of the presumption has been hailed as a significant victory for those ...


Class Action Myopia, Maureen Carroll Feb 2016

Class Action Myopia, Maureen Carroll

Articles

Over the past two decades, courts and commentators have often treated the class action as though it were a monolith, limiting their analysis to the particular class form that joins together a large number of claims for monetary relief This Article argues that the myopic focus on the aggregated-damages class action has led to undertheorization of the other class-action subtypes, which serve far different purposes and have far different effects, and has allowed the ongoing backlash against the aggregated-damages class action to affect the other subtypes in an undifferentiated manner. The failure to confine this backlash to its intended target ...


An Opt-In Option For Class Actions, Scott Dodson Jan 2016

An Opt-In Option For Class Actions, Scott Dodson

Michigan Law Review

Federal class actions today follow an opt-out model: absent an affirmative request to opt out, a class member is in the class. Supporters defend the opt-out model as necessary to ensure the viability of class actions and the efficacy of substantive law. Critics argue the opt-out model is a poor proxy for class-member consent and promotes overbroad and ill-defined classes; these critics favor an opt-in model. This bimodal debate—opt out vs. opt in—has obscured an overlooked middle ground that relies on litigant choice: Why not give the class the option to pursue certification on either an opt-out or ...


Halliburton Ii: A Loser's History, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2015

Halliburton Ii: A Loser's History, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

The Supreme Court was presented with an opportunity to bring fundamental reform to securities class actions last term in Halliburton Co. v. Erica P John Fund, Inc.. The Court ducked that opportunity, passing the buck to Congress to undo the mess that the Court had created a quarter century prior in Basic Inc. v. Levinson. Congress's history in dealing with securities class actions suggests that reform is unlikely to come from the legislature anytime soon. The Securities and Exchange Commission appears to be satisfied with the status quo as well. With these institutional actors resisting reform, corporations and their ...


Enforceability Of Mandatory Arbitration Clauses For Shareholder-Corporation Disputes, Garry D. Hartlieb Dec 2014

Enforceability Of Mandatory Arbitration Clauses For Shareholder-Corporation Disputes, Garry D. Hartlieb

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

Investor litigation is an increasingly vexatious field of law. Nearly every time a significant change of control or corporate ownership occurs, plaintiffs’ attorneys file standardized complaints to set in motion class action suits. Ultimately, the settlements shareholders receive fail to achieve the practical effects that parties on both sides desire. Shareholders may receive pennies on the dollar of what they allege was lost by corporate wrongdoing, and, in some cases, shareholders may not receive monetary recovery as the settlement requires only that the corporation to make changes to its governing documents. These suits distract directors and management from the core ...


A Blended Approach To Reducing The Costs Of Shareholder Litigation, Valian A. Afshar Nov 2014

A Blended Approach To Reducing The Costs Of Shareholder Litigation, Valian A. Afshar

Michigan Law Review

Multiforum litigation and federal securities law class actions impose heavy costs on corporations and their shareholders without producing proportionate benefits. Both are largely the result of the agency problem between shareholders and their attorneys, driven more by the attorneys’ interests in generating fees than by the interests of their clients. In response to each of these problems, commentators have recommended a number of solutions. Chief among them are forum selection and mandatory arbitration provisions in a corporation’s charter or bylaws. This Note recommends that corporations unilaterally adopt both forum selection and mandatory arbitration bylaws to address shareholder lawsuits under ...


Employment Arbitration Reform: Preserving The Right To Class Proceedings In Workplace Disputes, Javier J. Castro Sep 2014

Employment Arbitration Reform: Preserving The Right To Class Proceedings In Workplace Disputes, Javier J. Castro

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The recent judicial enforcement of class waivers in arbitration agreements has generated ample debate over the exact reach of these decisions and their effects on the future of collective action for consumers and employees. In AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court majority held that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempted state laws prohibiting companies from incorporating class action waivers into arbitration agreements. The Court upheld such waivers on the grounds that they are consistent with the language and underlying purpose of the FAA. Most courts across the country have since reinforced the strong federal ...


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission And Structural Reform Of The American Workplace, Margo Schlanger, Pauline T. Kim Jan 2014

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission And Structural Reform Of The American Workplace, Margo Schlanger, Pauline T. Kim

Articles

In one of its most-watched recent cases, the United States Supreme Court struck down a class action alleging that Wal-Mart stores discriminated against female employees in pay and promotion decisions. The plaintiffs alleged that Wal-Mart’s corporate culture and highly discretionary decision-making practices led to sex discrimination on a company-wide basis, and they sought injunctive relief as well as backpay for individual employees. Reversing the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Supreme Court held in Wal-Mart v. Dukes that the proposed class failed to meet the requirements for class action certification under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules ...


The Future Of Classwide Punitive Damages, Catherine M. Sharkey Jun 2013

The Future Of Classwide Punitive Damages, Catherine M. Sharkey

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Conventional wisdom holds that the punitive damages class action is susceptiblenot only to doctrinal restraints imposed on class actions but also to constitutionaldue process limitations placed on punitive damages. Thus, it would seem that theprospects for punitive damages classes are even grimmer than for class actionsgenerally.This conventional picture misunderstands the role of punitive damages and, inparticular, the relationship between class actions and punitive damages. It eitherignores or underestimates the distinctly societal element of punitive damages, whichmakes them especially conducive to aggregate treatment. Furthermore, punitivedamages classes offer a solution to the constitutional due process problem of juriesawarding "classwide" damages in ...


Class Action Litigation After Dukes: In Search Of A Remedy For Gender Discrimination In Employment, Cindy A. Schipani, Terry Morehead Dworkin Jun 2013

Class Action Litigation After Dukes: In Search Of A Remedy For Gender Discrimination In Employment, Cindy A. Schipani, Terry Morehead Dworkin

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In this Article we argue for substantial reforms to our system of combating workplace gender discrimination in light of the Supreme Court's ruling in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes. To help counter discrimination victims' decreasing access to the courts, our proposals call for a narrow construction of the holding of Dukes. At the same time, agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) can better use their regulatory authority to address gender discrimination. Further, regulatory agencies, arbitrators, and courts can mandate mentoring programs ...


To Skin A Cat: Qui Tam Actions As A State Legislative Response To Concepcion, Janet Cooper Alexander Jun 2013

To Skin A Cat: Qui Tam Actions As A State Legislative Response To Concepcion, Janet Cooper Alexander

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The Supreme Court's decision in Concepcion is widely regarded as heralding the demise of small-claims class actions whenever contracts of adhesion are involved in the transaction-which means for virtually all consumer and employment claims. Amending the Federal Arbitration Act to overturn Concepcion would be a relatively simple exercise in legislative drafting, but in the current political climate such efforts are unlikely to succeed. Thus far, proposed federal corrective legislation has failed to pass, and federal agency regulation of class waivers has been lacking. State legislatures might have the political ability to pass corrective legislation, but virtually all state limitations ...


The Future Of Securities Class Actions Against Foreign Companies: China And Comity Concerns, Dana M. Muir, Junhai Liu, Haiyan Xu Jun 2013

The Future Of Securities Class Actions Against Foreign Companies: China And Comity Concerns, Dana M. Muir, Junhai Liu, Haiyan Xu

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In Morrison v. National Australia Bank Ltd., the U.S. Supreme Court limited the application of U.S. securities fraud law in transnational situations. The Supreme Court noted that its decision was influenced by international comity considerations. In this Article, we evaluate the availability of class actions in China in cases involving alleged securities fraud. Because we find that the availability of those actions is too limited to fully protect U.S. shareholders, we argue that U.S. investors should be permitted to bring securities fraud class actions against non-U.S. companies whose securities are traded on a U.S ...


An Experiment In Law Reform: Amchem Products V. Windsor, Patrick M. Hanlon Jun 2013

An Experiment In Law Reform: Amchem Products V. Windsor, Patrick M. Hanlon

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The Supreme Court's 1997 decision in Amchem Products, Inc. v. Windsor struck down the most ambitious settlement class action ever attempted. The settlement was, however, the logical outgrowth of the federal judiciary's efforts in the early 1990s to resolve a "disaster" of "critical proportions." Many factors, not least the Supreme Court's decision in Amchem, turned the tide against this trend. Ironically, however, the post-Amchem world has come to look a lot like Amchem. The settlement's central feature-deferral of unimpaired claims to assure the availability of resources to compensate the sick-was subsequently incorporated (either by statute or ...


Walking The Class Action Maze: Toward A More Functional Rule 23, Robert G. Bone Jun 2013

Walking The Class Action Maze: Toward A More Functional Rule 23, Robert G. Bone

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Over roughly the past fifteen years, the Supreme Court and lower federal courts have limited access to class actions. Many of the more restrictive decisions-such as Amchem Products, Inc. v. Windsor, Ortiz v. Fibreboard Corp., and Wal- Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes-are based on interpretations of Rule 23 and thus fall within the power of the Advisory Committee and rulemaking process to modify. This Article proposes revisions to Rule 23 designed to deal with some of these decisions and to make the class action a more pragmatic and functional device. It focuses on two areas: (1) the constraints imposed by ...


Concepcion's Pro-Defendant Biasing Of The Arbitration Process: The Class Counsel Solution, David Korn, David Rosenberg Jun 2013

Concepcion's Pro-Defendant Biasing Of The Arbitration Process: The Class Counsel Solution, David Korn, David Rosenberg

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

By mandating that numerous plaintiffs litigate their common question claims separately in individual arbitrations rather than jointly in class action arbitrations, the Supreme Court in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion entrenched a potent structural and systemic bias in favor of defendants. The bias arises from the parties' divergent stakes in the outcome of the common question litigation in individual arbitrations: each plaintiff will only invest to maximize the value of his or her own claim, but the defendant has an incentive to protect its entire exposure and thus will have a classwide incentive to invest more in contesting common ...


Securities Class Actions And Bankrupt Companies, James J. Park Feb 2013

Securities Class Actions And Bankrupt Companies, James J. Park

Michigan Law Review

Securities class actions are often criticized as wasteful strike suits that target temporary fluctuations in the stock prices of otherwise healthy companies. The securities class actions brought by investors of Enron and WorldCom, companies that fell into bankruptcy in the wake of fraud, resulted in the recovery of billions of dollars in permanent shareholder losses and provide a powerful counterexample to this critique. An issuer's bankruptcy may affect how judges and parties perceive securities class actions and their merits, yet little is known about the subset of cases where the company is bankrupt. This is the first extensive empirical ...


Protecting The Right Of Citizens To Aggregate Small Claims Against Businesses, Paul D. Carrington Jan 2013

Protecting The Right Of Citizens To Aggregate Small Claims Against Businesses, Paul D. Carrington

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Two years ago I ranted against the Supreme Court's subversion of the Rules Enabling Act and its opposition to the benign aims of the twentieth-century progressive law reformers expressed summarily in Rule 1 of our Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.1 I observed then that the majority of the Justices of the Supreme Court appeared to have joined the Chamber of Commerce, aligning themselves also with Vice President Dan Quayle's 1989 Council on Competitiveness2 that denounced effective civil procedure as an enemy of economic development.3 I was then commenting adversely on what the Court had done to ...


Professor Ed Cooper: Zen Minimalist, Linda S. Mullenix Jan 2013

Professor Ed Cooper: Zen Minimalist, Linda S. Mullenix

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In celebration of his twentieth year as the Reporter for the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, I write to contribute some modest reflections on Professor Cooper's tenure as Advisory Committee Reporter. My comments are those of an academic who had the opportunity to observe the Advisory Committee for nearly a decade, but they are largely the comments of an outsider. Readers might be disappointed to find that there is no dish or inside baseball here.


Professor Edward Cooper: The Quintessential Reporter, Mary Kay Kane Jan 2013

Professor Edward Cooper: The Quintessential Reporter, Mary Kay Kane

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Ed Cooper's twenty-year service as the Chief Reporter for the Civil Rules Advisory Committee deserves special recognition and tribute not only because of its longevity-which is remarkable in and of itself-but more particularly, because of the scope and depth of the rule changes he has helped to shepherd into law.


Iron Man Of The Rules, Patrick E. Higginbotham Jan 2013

Iron Man Of The Rules, Patrick E. Higginbotham

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

To grasp Professor Cooper's contribution to rulemaking, it is helpful to review issues that the Advisory Committee confronted during his tenure. I will focus on the first four of his twenty years of service.


Plata V. Brown And Realignment: Jails, Prisons, Courts, And Politics, Margo Schlanger Jan 2013

Plata V. Brown And Realignment: Jails, Prisons, Courts, And Politics, Margo Schlanger

Articles

The year 2011 marked an important milestone in American institutional reform litigation. That year, a bare majority of the U.S. Supreme Court, in an opinion in Brown v. Plata by Justice Anthony Kennedy, affirmed a district court order requiring California to remedy its longstanding constitutional deficits in prison medical and mental health care by reducing prison crowding. Not since 1978 had the Court ratified a lower court's crowding-related order in a jail or prison case, and the order before the Court in 2011 was fairly aggressive; theoretically, it could have (although this was never a real prospect) induced ...


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.