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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Mismatched Goals Of Bankruptcy And Mass Tort Litigation, Maureen Carroll Mar 2024

The Mismatched Goals Of Bankruptcy And Mass Tort Litigation, Maureen Carroll

Reviews

By the end of this Term, SCOTUS must decide what to do about the mammoth Purdue Pharma bankruptcy settlement. If allowed to go forward, the $10 billion deal will not only resolve claims against the company, it will shield the Sackler family—the company’s former owners—from any further liability for their role in the opioid crisis. The deal has generated a great deal of discussion, much of it focused on the legality and wisdom of that third-party release. The authors of Against Bankruptcy take a broader view, asking a set of critical questions about the proper role of bankruptcy in the …


On Behalf Of All Others Similarly Situated: Class Representation & Equitable Compensation, Alexander J. Noronha Feb 2024

On Behalf Of All Others Similarly Situated: Class Representation & Equitable Compensation, Alexander J. Noronha

Michigan Law Review

Class actions require class representation. In class actions, plaintiffs litigate not only on their own behalf but “on behalf of all others similarly situated.” For almost fifty years, federal courts have routinely exercised their inherent equitable authority to award modest compensation to deserving class representatives who help recover common funds benefiting the plaintiff class. These discretionary “incentive awards” are generally intended to compensate class representatives for shouldering certain costs and risks—which are not borne by absent class members—during the pendency of class litigation.

The ubiquity of permitting class action incentive awards ended in 2020. In an extraordinary ruling, the Eleventh …


The Death Knell And The Wild West: Two Dangers Of Domestic Discovery In Foreign Adjudications, Shay M. Collins Oct 2023

The Death Knell And The Wild West: Two Dangers Of Domestic Discovery In Foreign Adjudications, Shay M. Collins

Michigan Law Review

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1782(a), parties to foreign legal proceedings can obtain discovery orders from United States federal courts. In other words, if a foreign party needs physical evidence located in—or testimony from a person residing in—the United States to support their claim or defense, they can ask a district court to order the production of that evidence. For almost two decades, § 1782(a) practice has operated as a procedural Wild West. Judges routinely consider § 1782(a) applications ex parte—that is, without giving the parties subject to the resulting discovery orders a chance to oppose them—and grant those applications at …


Fee Shifting, Nominal Damages, And The Public Interest, Maureen Carroll Aug 2023

Fee Shifting, Nominal Damages, And The Public Interest, Maureen Carroll

Law & Economics Working Papers

As the Supreme Court recognized in its 2021 decision in Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, nominal damages can redress violations of “important, but not easily quantifiable, nonpecuniary rights.” For some plaintiffs who establish a violation of their constitutional rights, nominal damages will be the only relief available. In its 1992 decision in Farrar v. Hobby, however, the Court disparaged the nominal-damages remedy. The case involved the interpretation of federal fee-shifting statutes, which enable prevailing civil rights plaintiffs to recover a reasonable attorney’s fee from the defendant. According to Farrar, a plaintiff can prevail by obtaining the “technical” remedy of nominal damages, but …


The Business Of Securities Class Action Lawyering, Stephen J. Choi, Jessica Erickson, Adam C. Pritchard May 2023

The Business Of Securities Class Action Lawyering, Stephen J. Choi, Jessica Erickson, Adam C. Pritchard

Law & Economics Working Papers

Plaintiffs’ lawyers in the United States play a key role in combating corporate fraud. Shareholders who lose money as a result of fraud can file securities class actions to recover their losses, but most shareholders do not have enough money at stake to justify overseeing the cases filed on their behalf. As a result, plaintiffs’ lawyers control these cases, deciding which cases to file and how to litigate them. Recognizing the agency costs inherent in this model, the legal system relies on lead plaintiffs and judges to monitor these lawyers and protect the best interests of absent class members. Yet …


Using Odr Platforms To Level The Playing Field: Improving Pro Se Litigation Through Odr Design, J.J. Prescott May 2023

Using Odr Platforms To Level The Playing Field: Improving Pro Se Litigation Through Odr Design, J.J. Prescott

Law & Economics Working Papers

In a few short years, court-connected ODR has shown itself capable of dramatically improving access to justice by reducing or eliminating barriers rooted in the simple fact that courts have traditionally offered dispute resolution services only during certain hours, only in particular physical places, and primarily through traditional face-to-face proceedings. Given the monopoly that courthouses have long had on resolving many legal issues, too many Americans have discovered their rights are simply too difficult or costly to exercise. As court-connected ODR systems spread, offering new types of dispute resolution services everywhere and often at any time, people will soon find …


Armor Or Withdraw? Likely Litigation And Potential Adjudication Of Shoreland Conflicts Along Michigan's Shifting Great Lake Coasts, Richard K. Norton, Guy A. Meadows, Oday Salim, Matthew Piggins, Phillip Washburn, Lauren Ashley Week Apr 2023

Armor Or Withdraw? Likely Litigation And Potential Adjudication Of Shoreland Conflicts Along Michigan's Shifting Great Lake Coasts, Richard K. Norton, Guy A. Meadows, Oday Salim, Matthew Piggins, Phillip Washburn, Lauren Ashley Week

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

Michigan enjoys along its inland seas, the Laurentian Great Lakes, one of the longest coastlines in the U.S. Much of that shoreline is privately owned. Because of a confluence of development pressures and irrepressible physical dynamics, growing numbers of Great Lakes shoreland properties, built on shifting sandy shores, are at heightened risk of loss from coastal storm surge, inundation, erosion, and shoreline recession. In response, property owners are installing extensive hardened shoreline armoring structures like seawalls and revetments to arrest those erosional processes. Those structures, however, will substantially impair, if not ultimately destroy, the state’s natural coastal beaches and other …


The Securities Law Disclosure Conundrum For Publicly Traded Litigation Finance Companies, Robert F. Weber Apr 2023

The Securities Law Disclosure Conundrum For Publicly Traded Litigation Finance Companies, Robert F. Weber

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The Article examines a peculiar legal dilemma—implicating securities law, legal ethics, and evidence law—that arises when litigation finance companies (LFCs) become public companies. LFCs provide funding to litigants and law firms for prosecuting lawsuits in exchange for a share of the lawsuit recoveries. In recent years, LFCs have significantly altered the landscape of the civil justice system in common law jurisdictions. But their assets, which are just rights to proceeds from lawsuits, are notoriously opaque— who really can predict what a jury will do when it comes to liability and damages? When LFCs go public, this opacity frustrates public investors’ …


The Short Unhappy Life Of The Negotiation Class, Linda S. Mullenix Apr 2023

The Short Unhappy Life Of The Negotiation Class, Linda S. Mullenix

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

On September 11, 2019, Judge Dan Aaron Polster of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, approved a novel negotiation class certification in the massive Opiate multidistrict litigation (MDL). Merely one year later on September 24, 2020, the Sixth Circuit reversed Judge Polster’s certification order. While the Opiate MDL has garnered substantial media and academic attention, less consideration has been directed to analyzing the significance of the negotiation class model and the appellate repudiation of this innovative procedural mechanism.

This Article focuses on the development and fate of the negotiation class and considers the …


Love Hertz: Corporate Groups And Insolvency Forum Selection, John A. E. Pottow Mar 2023

Love Hertz: Corporate Groups And Insolvency Forum Selection, John A. E. Pottow

Law & Economics Working Papers

The Hertz bankruptcy got a lot of attention, including for its bizarre equity trading. A less heralded but more significant legal aspect of that insolvency, however, was its complex interaction of cross-border insolvency proceedings.

This article discusses the “centripetal” and “centrifugal” forces in the Hertz case that counselled a U.S.-based centralized solution for an international enterprise comprising over 10,000 branches centripetally but also accommodated centrifugal European resistance to subject directors to the consequences of filing their entities in a foreign jurisdiction. This not uncommon constellation of incentives required not a COMI shift but what this article terms a jurisdiction shift …


Legitimacy And Online Proceedings: Procedural Justice, Access To Justice, And The Role Of Income, Avital Mentovich, J.J. Prescott, Orna Rabinovich-Einy Feb 2023

Legitimacy And Online Proceedings: Procedural Justice, Access To Justice, And The Role Of Income, Avital Mentovich, J.J. Prescott, Orna Rabinovich-Einy

Law & Economics Working Papers

Courts have long struggled to bridge the access-to-justice gap associated with in-person hearings, which makes the recent adoption of online legal proceedings potentially beneficial. Online proceedings hold promise for better access: they occur remotely, can proceed asynchronously, and often rely solely on written communication. Yet these very qualities may also undermine some of the well-established elements of procedural-justice perceptions, a primary predictor of how people view the legal system’s legitimacy. This paper examines the implications of shifting legal proceedings online for both procedural-justice and access-to-justice perceptions. It also investigates the relationship of both types of perceptions with system legitimacy, as …


Using Odr Platforms To Level The Playing Field: Improving Pro Se Litigation Through Odr Design, J.J. Prescott Feb 2023

Using Odr Platforms To Level The Playing Field: Improving Pro Se Litigation Through Odr Design, J.J. Prescott

Book Chapters

Court-connected ODR has already shown itself capable of dramatically improving access to justice by eliminating barriers rooted in the fact that courts traditionally resolve disputes only during certain hours, in particular physical places, and only through face-to-face proceedings. Given the centrality of courthouses to our system of justice, too many Americans have discovered their rights are too difficult or costly to exercise. As court-connected ODR systems spread, offering more inclusive types of dispute resolution services, people will soon find themselves with the law and the courts at their fingertips. But robust access to justice requires more than just raw, low-cost …


Mooting Unilateral Mootness, Scott T. Macguidwin Feb 2023

Mooting Unilateral Mootness, Scott T. Macguidwin

Michigan Law Review

Several situations cause a case to be moot. These include settlement agreements, party collusion, changes in litigant status, and extrinsic circumstances thwarting the court from granting any relief. The final reason is unilateral mootness—when a defendant ends a lawsuit against a plaintiff’s wishes by giving them everything for which they ask. In practice, this allows defendants to strategically stop lawsuits when it is clear they are not going to win. By doing so, they prevent the court from handing down adverse precedent and preserve the opportunity to engage in similar behavior with impunity. Courts have established a series of mootness …


In Search Of The First-Round Knockout A Rule 12(B) Primer, Kate Rogers, Leonard Niehoff Jan 2023

In Search Of The First-Round Knockout A Rule 12(B) Primer, Kate Rogers, Leonard Niehoff

Articles

Boxing enthusiasts define success not just by wins and losses but also by knockouts. Many of the greatest fighters in the history of boxing—Rocky Marciano, Mike Tyson, Jack Dempsey, and Sugar Ray Robinson—were known for their knockout punching power. Within the category of knockouts, the gold standard is the first-round knockout, the moment when stunned fans watch a fighter take the opponent out of the contest before either of them has broken a sweat.


How Not To Lie: A Don't-Do-It-Yourself Guide For Litigators, Leonard Niehoff Jan 2023

How Not To Lie: A Don't-Do-It-Yourself Guide For Litigators, Leonard Niehoff

Articles

Over the past few years, a number of high-profile attorneys have been sanctioned or suspended from the practice of law because they lied. The instance that probably received the greatest media attention came in June of 2021, when the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York ordered the immediate suspension of Rudy Giuliani’s license because he had made demonstrably false statements to the courts, lawmakers, and the public at large concerning the 2020 presidential election. In a 33- page opinion, the court considered the arguments Giuliani raised in his defense but concluded that his pants …


Giving Shareholders The Right To Say No, Albert H. Choi, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2023

Giving Shareholders The Right To Say No, Albert H. Choi, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

When a public company releases misleading information that distorts the market for the company’s stock, investors who purchase at the inflated price lose money when (and if) the misleading information is later corrected. Under Rule 10b‑5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, investors can seek compensation from corporations and their officers who make materially misleading statements that the investors relied on when buying or selling a security. Compensation is the obvious goal, but the threat of lawsuits can also benefit investors by deterring managers from committing fraud.


Abusing Discretion: The Battle For Childhood In Schools, Hannah Dodson Dec 2022

Abusing Discretion: The Battle For Childhood In Schools, Hannah Dodson

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

For too many children the schoolhouse doors become a point of entry into the criminal justice system. Children of color are the most likely to suffer from this phenomenon. The presence of policing in schools is a key contributor to this “school-to-prison pipeline.” This Note argues that broad, discretionary mandates for school resource officers (SROs) promote biased law enforcement that impacts Black girls in different and specific ways. I contend that SRO mandates can be effectively limited by strategically bolstering community organizing efforts with impact litigation.


Catch And Kill Jurisdiction, Zachary D. Clopton Nov 2022

Catch And Kill Jurisdiction, Zachary D. Clopton

Michigan Law Review

In catch and kill journalism, a tabloid buys a story that could be published elsewhere and then deliberately declines to publish it. In catch and kill jurisdiction, a federal court assumes jurisdiction over a case that could be litigated in state court and then declines to hear the merits through a nonmerits dismissal. Catch and kill journalism undermines the free flow of information. Catch and kill jurisdiction undermines the enforcement of substantive rights. And, importantly, because catch and kill jurisdiction relies on jurisdictional and procedural law, it is often able to achieve ends that would be politically unpalatable by other …


Just Say No? Shareholder Voting On Securities Class Actions, Albert H. Choi, Stephen J. Choi, Adam C. Pritchard Oct 2022

Just Say No? Shareholder Voting On Securities Class Actions, Albert H. Choi, Stephen J. Choi, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

The U.S. securities laws allow security-holders to bring a class action suit against a public company and its officers who make materially misleading statements to the market. The class action mechanism allows individual claimants to aggregate their claims. This procedure mitigates the collective action problem among claimants, and also creates potential economies of scale. Despite these efficiencies, the class action mechanism has been criticized for being driven by attorneys and also encouraging nuisance suits. Although various statutory and doctrinal solutions have been proposed and implemented over the years, the concerns over the agency problem and nuisance suits persist. This paper …


Public Client Contingency Fee Contracts As Obligation, Seth Mayer Oct 2022

Public Client Contingency Fee Contracts As Obligation, Seth Mayer

Michigan Law Review

Contingency fee contracts predicate an attorney’s compensation on the outcome of a case. Such contracts are widely accepted when used in civil litigation by private plaintiffs who might not otherwise be able to afford legal representation. However, such arrangements are controversial when government plaintiffs like attorneys general and local governments retain private lawyers to litigate on behalf of the public in return for a percentage of any recovery from the lawsuit. Some commentators praise such public client contingency fee contracts, which have become commonplace, as an efficient way to achieve justice. Critics, however, view them as corrupt, undemocratic, and unethical. …


Officer-Created Jeopardy And Reasonableness Reform: Rebuttable Presumption Of Unreasonableness Within 42 U.S.C. § 1983 Police Use Of Force Claims, Bryan Borodkin Jun 2022

Officer-Created Jeopardy And Reasonableness Reform: Rebuttable Presumption Of Unreasonableness Within 42 U.S.C. § 1983 Police Use Of Force Claims, Bryan Borodkin

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Note analyzes the current state of civil law surrounding police use of excessive force, highlighting the evolution of the “objective reasonableness” test employed in civil police use of force lawsuits brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This Note also discusses the role that social movements and surveillance technologies have played in furthering police accountability and shifting public opinion surrounding police use of force. After detailing this social and technological context, this Note addresses the numerous problems presented by the “objective reasonableness” test employed within civil police use of force cases, analyzing this problematic test from the perspective of both …


Racial Trauma In Civil Rights Representation, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Anthony V. Alfieri Jun 2022

Racial Trauma In Civil Rights Representation, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Anthony V. Alfieri

Michigan Law Review

Narratives of trauma told by clients and communities of color have inspired an increasing number of civil rights and antiracist lawyers and academics to call for more trauma-informed training for law students and lawyers. These advocates have argued not only for greater trauma-sensitive practices and trauma-centered interventions on behalf of adversely impacted individuals and groups but also for greater awareness of the risks of secondary or vicarious trauma for lawyers who represent traumatized clients and communities. In this Article, we join this chorus of attorneys and academics. Harnessing the recent civil rights case of P.P. v. Compton Unified School District …


Prison And Jail Civil Rights/Conditions Cases: Longitudinal Statistics, 1970-2021, Margo Schlanger Apr 2022

Prison And Jail Civil Rights/Conditions Cases: Longitudinal Statistics, 1970-2021, Margo Schlanger

Law & Economics Working Papers

These tables relating to prison and jail civil rights litigation in federal court update prior-published versions, using data available as of April 6, 2022.

The Tables show longitudinal statistics about case filings, features, and outcomes, for jail/prison civil rights and conditions cases and for the entire federal civil docket, grouped by case category.
List of tables:
Table A: Incarcerated Population and Prison/Jail Civil Rights Filings, FY1970–FY2021
Table B: Pro Se Litigation in U.S. District Courts by Case Type, Cases Terminated Fiscal Years 1996–2021
Table C: Outcomes in Prisoner Civil Rights Cases in Federal District Court, Fiscal Years 1988–2021
Table D: …


The Ping-Pong Olympics Of Antisuit Injunction In Frand Litigation, King Fung Tsang, Jyh-An Lee Apr 2022

The Ping-Pong Olympics Of Antisuit Injunction In Frand Litigation, King Fung Tsang, Jyh-An Lee

Michigan Technology Law Review

In the past two years, antisuit injunctions (ASIs) and subsequent legal proceedings associated with standard-essential patents (SEPs) subject to fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) commitments have proliferated in multiple jurisdictions. This phenomenon reveals not only the transnational nature of technical standards and FRAND-encumbered SEPs but also the jurisdictional tension between different national courts. This Article explains the emergence of ASIs in FRAND scenarios and recent developments in six jurisdictions with major interests in standard development and adoption. Countries have developed different approaches to ASIs based on their own domestic rules and interests. We believe that to promote technical compatibility and …


Driving Diverse Representation Of Diverse Classes, Alissa Del Riego Jan 2022

Driving Diverse Representation Of Diverse Classes, Alissa Del Riego

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Why have federal courts overwhelmingly appointed white men to represent diverse consumer classes? Rule 23(g) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires courts to appoint the attorneys “best able to represent the interests of class members” to serve as class counsel. But courts’ recurrent conclusion that white men best fit the federally mandated job description not only gives the appearance of discrimination, but harms class members that suffer from outcomes plagued by groupthink and cognitive biases. This Article sets out to uncover why white male repeat players continue to dominate class counsel appointments and proposes a practical and immediately …


To Participate And Elect: Section 2 Of The Voting Rights Act At 40, Ellen D. Katz, Brian Remlinger, Andrew Dziedzic, Brooke Simone, Jordan Schuler Jan 2022

To Participate And Elect: Section 2 Of The Voting Rights Act At 40, Ellen D. Katz, Brian Remlinger, Andrew Dziedzic, Brooke Simone, Jordan Schuler

Other Publications

This paper provides an overview of cases decided under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act between September 1, 1982 and December 31, 2021. It updates our 2006 study documenting Section 2 litigation through 2005. Of note is the substantial decline in the number of Section 2 cases decided and diminished success for the plaintiffs who bring them. While recent litigation (including Brnovich and Merrill v. Milligan) suggests that Section 2 is likely to occupy, at best, a diminished role in future electoral disputes, this paper shows that Section 2’s reach had already declined significantly prior to recent disputes. …


The Stoic Litigator, Leonard M. Niehoff Jan 2022

The Stoic Litigator, Leonard M. Niehoff

Articles

A variety of events over the past several years have renewed my conversations with some reliable old friends. And I mean very old. I refer here to the Stoic philosophers, most of whom did their thinking and writing around the turn of the Common Era.

The Stoics took their name from the central square of Athens, the Stoa Poikile, where Zeno is generally credited with founding the school in the early part of the third century BCE. Various philosophers over the next five centuries identified themselves as Stoics, so the label takes in lots of personalities and lots of territory. …


Vacatur Pending En Banc Review, Ruby Emberling Dec 2021

Vacatur Pending En Banc Review, Ruby Emberling

Michigan Law Review

When a case becomes moot on appeal, as when the parties settle, two primary Supreme Court cases guide the appellate court’s decision about whether to vacate the lower-court opinion. The Court has said that vacatur, an equitable remedy, promotes fairness to parties who were not responsible for the mootness because it erases adverse legal outcomes the litigants were prevented from appealing. Beyond this, vacatur is inadvisable since it eliminates precedential decisions and harms the judiciary’s efficiency and legitimacy. Yet this doctrinal order has not been uniformly brought to bear on the highly similar question of whether to vacate when a …


Blazing A Path To Wilderness: A Case Study Of Impact Litigation Through The Lens Of Legislative History, Neil Kagan Sep 2021

Blazing A Path To Wilderness: A Case Study Of Impact Litigation Through The Lens Of Legislative History, Neil Kagan

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

Litigation can be a catalyst for legislation. Legislative history can reveal just how influential litigation is. The legislative history of the laws to designate wilderness in the 1980s provides an object lesson. It demonstrates that litigation both pushed Congress to act and shaped the legislation Congress enacted. This is especially true of the watershed year of 1984. That year, Congress enacted more wilderness laws and added more wilderness areas to the National Wilderness Preservation System in more states than in any other year. The legislative history of the 1984 wilderness laws embedded in bills, hearings, committee meetings, committee reports, and …


The World Of Private Terrorism Litigation, Maryam Jamshidi Sep 2021

The World Of Private Terrorism Litigation, Maryam Jamshidi

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Since 9/11, private litigants have been important players in the “fight” against terrorism. Using several federal tort statutes, these plaintiffs have sued foreign states as well as other parties, like non-governmental charities, financial institutions, and social media companies, for terrorism-related activities. While these private suits are meant to address injuries suffered by plaintiffs or their loved ones, they often reinforce and reflect the U.S. government’s terrorism-related policies, including the racial and religious discrimination endemic to them. Indeed, much like the U.S. government’s criminal prosecutions for terrorism-related activities, private terrorism suits disproportionately implicate Muslim and/or Arab individuals and entities while reinforcing …