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Understanding Bias In Civil Procedure: Towards An Empirical Analysis Of Procedural Rule-Making's Role In Continuing Inequality, Masai Mcdougall Jan 2023

Understanding Bias In Civil Procedure: Towards An Empirical Analysis Of Procedural Rule-Making's Role In Continuing Inequality, Masai Mcdougall

Journal Articles

This Article uses the history of procedural rules governing “freedom suits” to elucidate the collection of rights that constitute the Western idea of “individual liberty,” and to make a prima facie case that our current Rules of Civil Procedure are biased against the enforcement of those rights by American minorities. This history reveals a systemic inequality in procedural rights that both pre-dates race and favors the consolidation of economic and political power over the enjoyment of the rights that supply the foundation for classical liberalism. I argue that collecting demographic data on litigants’ interaction with our Rules of Civil Procedure …


Good Representatives, Bad Objectors, And Restitution In Class Settlements, Jay Tidmarsh, Tladi Marumo Jan 2023

Good Representatives, Bad Objectors, And Restitution In Class Settlements, Jay Tidmarsh, Tladi Marumo

Journal Articles

his Article uses two recent decisions -one prohibiting incentive awards to class representatives and one permitting disgorgement of side payments to class objectors - to explore deeper connections between class­action settlements and the law of restitution. The failure to correctly apply the law of restitution led both courts astray. First, courts can approve incentive awards, as long as an award properly reflects the benefit that the representative's efforts bestowed on the class. Second, restitution provides a basis to disgorge improper side payments to objectors, but only under conditions different from those that the court described. More broadly, attention to the …


Federal Courts’ Recalcitrance In Refusing To Certify State Law Covid-19 Business Interruption Insurance Issues, Christopher French Jan 2022

Federal Courts’ Recalcitrance In Refusing To Certify State Law Covid-19 Business Interruption Insurance Issues, Christopher French

Journal Articles

Over 2,000 COVID-19 business interruption insurance cases have been filed in state and federal courts the past two years with most of the cases filed in or removed to federal courts. The cases are governed by state law. Rather than certify the novel state law issues presented in the cases to the respective state supreme courts that ultimately will determine the law applicable in the cases, each of the eight federal circuit courts to issue decisions on the merits in such cases to date has done so by making an Erie guess regarding how the controlling state supreme courts would …


The Venue Shuffle: Forum Selection Clauses & Erisa, Christine P. Bartholomew, James A. Wooten Sep 2019

The Venue Shuffle: Forum Selection Clauses & Erisa, Christine P. Bartholomew, James A. Wooten

Journal Articles

Forum selection clauses are ubiquitous. Historically, the judiciary was hostile to contracts limiting a plaintiff’s venue options. The tide has since turned. Today, lower courts routinely enforce such clauses. This Article challenges this reflexive response in the special context of ERISA cases. It mines ERISA’s statutory text, rich legislative history, and historical context to supply an in-depth exploration of ERISA’s unique policy goal of providing employees “ready access to the Federal courts.” The Article then explains how forum selection clauses undermine this goal and thus should be invalid under controlling Supreme Court jurisprudence.


The Parable Of The Forms, Samuel L. Bray Jan 2019

The Parable Of The Forms, Samuel L. Bray

Journal Articles

This is a parable about the forms of action, code pleading, and the "civil action" of the Federal Rules.


E-Notice, Christine P. Bartholomew Nov 2018

E-Notice, Christine P. Bartholomew

Journal Articles

Social media platforms and smartphone manufacturers face class action lawsuits, but how open are federal courts to using these very technologies to notify members of a class action? This Article details the results from an empirical analysis of over 2700 federal class notice decisions. It finds class notice changing, but very slowly. Supreme Court precedent demands a dynamic standard for class action notice. However, fears of change, technology, and imprecision keep courts tethered to twentieth-century modes of communication. This judicial fear encumbers E-Notice—at a cost to the utility of class action procedures.


Opting Out Of Discovery, Jay Tidmarsh Jan 2018

Opting Out Of Discovery, Jay Tidmarsh

Journal Articles

This Article proposes a system in which both parties are provided an opportunity to opt out of discovery. A party who opts out is immunized from dispositive motions, including a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim or a motion for summary judgment. If neither party opts out of discovery, the parties waive jury-trial rights, thus giving judges the ability to use stronger case-management powers to focus the issues and narrow discovery. If one party opts out of discovery but an opponent does not, the cost of discovery shifts to the opponent. This Article justifies this proposal in …


Teaching And Learning Personal Jurisdiction After The Stealth Revolution, Deborah Challener Jan 2018

Teaching And Learning Personal Jurisdiction After The Stealth Revolution, Deborah Challener

Journal Articles

In this Response [to Professor Michael Hoffheimer’s article The Stealth Revolution in Personal Jurisdiction], Professor Challener points out one additional cost of the stealth revolution: the substantially increased difficulty of teaching and learning the law of personal jurisdiction which, in turn, erodes law students’ confidence in the Supreme Court as an institution.


The Failed Superiority Experiment, Christine P. Bartholomew Oct 2016

The Failed Superiority Experiment, Christine P. Bartholomew

Journal Articles

Federal law requires a class action be “superior to alternative methods for fairly and efficiently adjudicating the controversy.” This superiority requirement has gone unstudied, despite existing for half a century. This Article undertakes a comprehensive review of the superiority case law. It reveals a jurisprudence riddled with inconsistency as courts adopt diametrically opposed interpretations of the requirement. Originally crafted to encourage predictable, consistent class action decisions, superiority has mutated over the years into a dangerous wild card—subjectively used to stymie aggregate litigation. The solution is not adding a new requirement to the already onerous rules for class certification. Instead, judges …


The English Fire Courts And The American Right To Civil Jury Trial, Jay Tidmarsh Oct 2016

The English Fire Courts And The American Right To Civil Jury Trial, Jay Tidmarsh

Journal Articles

This Article uncovers the history of a long-forgotten English court system, the “fire courts,” which Parliament established to resolve dispute between landlords and tenants in urban areas destroyed in catastrophic fires. One of the fire courts’ remarkable features was the delegation of authority to judges to adjudicate disputes without juries. Because the Seventh Amendment’s right to a federal civil jury trial depends in part on the historical practice of English courts in 1791, this delegation bears directly on the present power of Congress to abrogate the use of juries in federal civil litigation.

Parliament enacted fire-courts legislation on eight occasions …


Twiqbal In Context, Christine P. Bartholomew Jan 2016

Twiqbal In Context, Christine P. Bartholomew

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


The Future Of Oral Arguments, Jay Tidmarsh Jan 2016

The Future Of Oral Arguments, Jay Tidmarsh

Journal Articles

The civil-justice literature is replete with discussions of two phenomena: case management and the vanishing trial. These two phenomena are not unrelated. One commonly state goal of case management is to find ways, other than trial, to resolve civil disputes that find their way into court. Some observers find the movements toward case management and away from trial to be salutary; others find them disquieting. Regardless of the merits of this debate, the delivery of civil justice is undeniably evolving.

This evolution affects and changes many of the traditional attributes of American-style civil justice. The Essay examines one of these …


Diagnosis And Treatment Of The "Superiority Problem", Jay Tidmarsh Jan 2016

Diagnosis And Treatment Of The "Superiority Problem", Jay Tidmarsh

Journal Articles

Christine Bartholomew has provided a brilliant diagnosis of the "superiority problem" in class-action law, although I am not convinced that her plan to treat the will cure the patient. If superiority is to be eliminated, predominance must also be abandoned. Some new formula must replace Rule 23(b)(3) in its entirety. The problem of Rule 23(b)(3) is that the factors (especially superiority) give too much power to courts to get the results they want. Unless the ills that Professor Bartholomew documents are to be repeated in a new form, any replacement for Rule 23(b)(3) must be far more specific and concrete …


Saving Charitable Settlements, Christine P. Bartholomew May 2015

Saving Charitable Settlements, Christine P. Bartholomew

Journal Articles

This Article defies the conventional wisdom that all charitable distributions from a class action settlement fund are types of cy pres. Instead, it proposes a radical delineation between “cy pres remainders” (meaning settlement funds left over after individual monetary distributions) and “charitable settlements” (meaning money initially distributed to charities as part of class action settlements). While both have cy pres roots, these two settlement structures have been conflated, jeopardizing the potential utility of charitable settlements. After articulating more precise nomenclature for these distinct distribution methods, this Article justifies why we must preserve charitable settlements. This defense is particularly timely, as …


Resurrecting Trial By Statistics, Jay Tidmarsh Apr 2015

Resurrecting Trial By Statistics, Jay Tidmarsh

Journal Articles

“Trial by statistics” was a means by which a court could resolve a large number of aggregated claims: a court could try a random sample of claim, and extrapolate the average result to the remainder. In Wal-Mart, Inc. v. Dukes, the Supreme Court seemingly ended the practice at the federal level, thus removing from judges a tool that made mass aggregation more feasible. After examining the benefits and drawbacks of trial by statistics, this Article suggests an alternative that harnesses many of the positive features of the technique while avoiding its major difficulties. The technique is the “presumptive judgment”: a …


More Uncertainty After Daimler Ag V. Bauman: A Response To Professors Cornett And Hoffheimer, Deborah Challener Jan 2015

More Uncertainty After Daimler Ag V. Bauman: A Response To Professors Cornett And Hoffheimer, Deborah Challener

Journal Articles

In Good-Bye Significant Contacts: General Personal Jurisdiction After Daimler AG v. Bauman, Professors Judy M. Cornett and Michael H. Hoffheimer identify a number of legal issues that will become the focus of litigation after Daimler. This Response identifies an additional, perhaps surprising issue that is currently being litigated in the wake of Daimler AG v. Bauman. In the lower federal courts, defendants who have litigated cases on the merits without raising lack of personal jurisdiction as a defense are filing motions to dismiss and arguing that they are not subject to general jurisdiction in the forum under Daimler’s “at home” …


Auctioning Class Settlements, Jay Tidmarsh Oct 2014

Auctioning Class Settlements, Jay Tidmarsh

Journal Articles

Although they promise better deterrence at a lower cost, class actions are infected with problems that can keep them from delivering on this promise. One of these problems occurs when the agents for the class (the class representative and class counsel) advance their own interests at the expense of the class. Controlling agency cost, which often manifests itself at the time of settlement, has been the impetus behind a number of class-action reform proposals. This Article develops a proposal that, in conjunction with reforms in fee structure and opt-out rights, controls agency costs at the time of settlement. The idea …


The Story Of Prudential Standing, S. Todd Brown Jan 2014

The Story Of Prudential Standing, S. Todd Brown

Journal Articles

Prudential standing, it seems, is the latest target in the Roberts Court’s effort to “bring some discipline” to jurisdictional and pseudo-jurisdictional concepts. During the Court’s last two terms, it issued a unanimous opinion that excised the zone of interests test from prudential standing doctrine (Lexmark), two unanimous opinions that questioned federal courts’ prudential discretion to decline jurisdiction (Lexmark and Driehaus), and a bitterly divided opinion in which the classification of a standing principle as prudential or constitutional was decisive (Windsor). Moreover, in Lexmark, the Court suggested that the third party standing principle may not be properly classified as prudential standing …


Cy Pres And The Optimal Class Action, Jay Tidmarsh Jan 2014

Cy Pres And The Optimal Class Action, Jay Tidmarsh

Journal Articles

This Article, prepared for a symposium on class actions, examines the problem of cy pres relief through the lens of ensuring that class actions have an optimal claim structure and class membership. It finds that the present cy pres doctrine does little to advance the creation of optimal class actions, and may do some harm to achieving that goal. The Article then proposes an alternative “nudge” to induce putative class counsel to structure class actions in an optimal way: set attorneys’ fees so that counsel is compensated through a combination of an hourly market rate and a percentage of the …


When Bad Guys Are Wearing White Hats, Catherine A. Rogers Jan 2013

When Bad Guys Are Wearing White Hats, Catherine A. Rogers

Journal Articles

Allegations of ethical misconduct by lawyers have all but completely overshadowed the substantive claims in the Chevron case. While both sides have been accused of flagrant wrongdoing, the charges against plaintiffs’ counsel appear to have captured more headlines and garnered more attention. The primary reason why the focus seems lopsided is that plaintiffs’ counsel were presumed to be the ones wearing white hats in this epic drama. This essay postulates that this seeming irony is not simply an example of personal ethical lapse, but in part tied to larger reasons why ethical violations are an occupational hazard for plaintiffs’ counsel …


Superiority As Unity, Jay Tidmarsh Jan 2013

Superiority As Unity, Jay Tidmarsh

Journal Articles

One of Professor Redish’s many important contributions to legal scholarship is his recent work on class actions. Grounding his argument in the theory of democratic accountability that has been at the centerpiece of all his work, Professor Redish suggests that, in nearly all instances, class actions violate the individual autonomy of litigants and should not be used by courts. This Essay, prepared for a festschrift in honor of Professor Redish, begins from the opposite premise: that class actions should be grounded in the notion of social utility rather than autonomy so that class actions should be used whenever they achieve …


Plaintiff Control And Domination In Multidistrict Mass Torts, S. Todd Brown Jan 2013

Plaintiff Control And Domination In Multidistrict Mass Torts, S. Todd Brown

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Constitutional Gaps In Bankruptcy, S. Todd Brown Jan 2012

Constitutional Gaps In Bankruptcy, S. Todd Brown

Journal Articles

Federal bankruptcy law incorporates a broad range of commercial and related matters that are otherwise left to the States under the Constitution, follows an efficiency-centered process model that may implicate due process, and relies upon a judicial structure that appears to be inconsistent with Article III. In spite of the crushing volume of bankruptcy cases and proceedings each year in which the resolution of one or more of these questions may be relevant, the Supreme Court has had few opportunities to tackle them directly. Indeed, after more than two centuries, the Court has provided precious few insights into the limits …


Procedure, Substance, And Erie, Jay Tidmarsh Apr 2011

Procedure, Substance, And Erie, Jay Tidmarsh

Journal Articles

This Article examines the relationship between procedure and substance, and the way in which that relationship affects Erie questions. It first suggests that "procedure" should be understood in terms of process-in other words, in terms of the way that it changes the substance of the law and the value of legal claims. It then argues that the traditional view that the definitions of "procedure" and "substance" change with the context-a pillar on which present Erie analysis is based-is wrong. Finally, it suggests a single process based principle that reconciles all of the Supreme Court's "procedural Erie" cases: that federal courts …


Optimal Class Size, Opt-Out Rights, And "Indivisible" Remedies, Jay Tidmarsh, David Betson Jan 2011

Optimal Class Size, Opt-Out Rights, And "Indivisible" Remedies, Jay Tidmarsh, David Betson

Journal Articles

Prepared for a Symposium on the ALI’s Aggregate Litigation Project, this paper examines the ALI’s proposal to permit opt-out rights when remedies and “divisible,” but not to permit them when remedies are “indivisible.” Starting from the ground up, the paper employs economic analysis to determine what the optimal size of a class action should be. We demonstrate that, in some circumstances, the optimal size of a class is a class composed of all victims, while in other cases, the optimal size is smaller. We further argue that courts should consider optimal class size in determining whether to certify a class, …


Shedding Light On Shady Grove: Further Reflections On The Erie Doctrine From A Conflicts Perspective, Joseph P. Bauer Jan 2011

Shedding Light On Shady Grove: Further Reflections On The Erie Doctrine From A Conflicts Perspective, Joseph P. Bauer

Journal Articles

This Article, a contribution to the Notre Dame Law Review symposium issue on the Supreme Court’s recent Shady Grove decision, is a follow-up to an article published in the same journal eleven years ago, in which I suggested that the Erie doctrine could be usefully informed by drawing on caselaw and jurisprudence from the horizontal choice of law setting. Shady Grove addressed the question of whether a New York state law, barring the assertion of claims for statutory damages, was binding in an action brought in the federal courts, or whether Federal Rule 23, which does not contain a similar …


I Could Have Been A Contender: Summary Jury Trial As A Means To Overcome Iqbal's Negative Effects Upon Pre-Litigation Communication, Negotiation And Early, Consensual Dispute Resolution, Nancy A. Welsh Jan 2010

I Could Have Been A Contender: Summary Jury Trial As A Means To Overcome Iqbal's Negative Effects Upon Pre-Litigation Communication, Negotiation And Early, Consensual Dispute Resolution, Nancy A. Welsh

Journal Articles

With its recent decisions in Ashcroft v. Iqbal and Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, the Supreme Court may be intentionally or unintentionally “throwing the fight,” at least in the legal contests between many civil rights claimants and institutional defendants. The most obvious feared effect is reduction of civil rights claimants’ access to the expressive and coercive power of the courts. Less obviously, the Supreme Court may be effectively undermining institutions’ motivation to negotiate, mediate - or even communicate with and listen to - such claimants before they initiate legal action. Thus, the Supreme Court’s recent decisions have the potential to deprive …


The Supreme Court's Legislative Agenda To Free Government From Accountability For Constitutional Deprivations, Gary S. Gildin Jan 2010

The Supreme Court's Legislative Agenda To Free Government From Accountability For Constitutional Deprivations, Gary S. Gildin

Journal Articles

In Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, the Supreme Court adopted a new standard of factual particularity a plaintiff must meet to satisfy the requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) that a complaint plead a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” In Ashcroft v. Iqbal, the Court made clear that the Twombly pleading standard extended to civil actions seeking redress for deprivation of constitutional rights in particular, and universally to all Complaints filed in federal court. Commentators have debated whether after Iqbal, victims of constitutional wrongdoing will be able to …


Exiting Litigation, Jay Tidmarsh Jan 2010

Exiting Litigation, Jay Tidmarsh

Journal Articles

The American judicial system will face significant challenges in the twenty-first century. One of its immediate challenges is adapting the rules of civil procedure to the stresses under which the civil-justice system operates. Some of the most notable pressures arise from transnational litigation, mass litigation, proliferation of claims against governmental and corporate institutions, and competition from methods of alternative dispute resolution that promise to dispense cheaper, faster, and more satisfying justice.


Resolving Cases On The Merits, Jay Tidmarsh Jan 2010

Resolving Cases On The Merits, Jay Tidmarsh

Journal Articles

Prepared for a Symposium on Civil Justice Reform, this essay examines the role of the “on the merits” principle in modern American procedure. After surveying the possible meanings of the phrase, the essay critiques its most common understanding due to its economic inefficiency and its lack of strong philosophical support. Relying on the recent work of Amartya Sen, the essay proposes that the principle be replaced with a “fair outcome” principle that melds both “procedural” and “substantive” concerns.