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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 ...


Toward A Theory Of Motion Practice And Settlement: Comment, Adam C. Pritchard Mar 2017

Toward A Theory Of Motion Practice And Settlement: Comment, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

"Scott Baker (2017) has provided a thought-provoking contribution to this symposium volume, helping us to better understand the strategic game of litigation. In terms of both resources and actual disputes resolved, pretrial practice is vastly more important than actual trials. Trials are a rarity in the American civil justice system, as the overwhelming majority of disputes are resolved via settlement. Indeed, rational-choice scholars have struggled to explain why all disputes are not resolved via settlement, as settlement avoids the expense of a trial, which is a dead-weight loss to both sides of the dispute. The parties’ mutual incentive toward settlement ...


The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Litigation: Proof Of Concept For The Manual For Complex Litigation And The 2015 Amendments To The Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure, John C. Cruden, Steve O'Rourke, Sarah D. Himmelhoch Oct 2016

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Litigation: Proof Of Concept For The Manual For Complex Litigation And The 2015 Amendments To The Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure, John C. Cruden, Steve O'Rourke, Sarah D. Himmelhoch

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

On April 20, 2010, the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven people and injuring seventeen more. Efforts to stop the spill failed. For the next eighty-seven days, hundreds of millions of barrels of oil poured into the Gulf. This catastrophe not only changed the lives of the families of the dead and injured and the communities who experienced the economic and social disruption of the spill – it challenged the survival of the ecosystem of the ninth largest water body in the world. The oil spill extended fifty miles offshore from Louisiana in the Gulf ...


Making A Buck While Making A Difference, Alphonse A. Gerhardstein May 2016

Making A Buck While Making A Difference, Alphonse A. Gerhardstein

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

It is not right for children to die before their parents. It is not right for peaceful, unarmed citizens to die at the hands of the police. In my civil rights practice, I have met many mothers, fathers, and family members who are struggling to recover after a law enforcement officer caused the death of their loved one. Sure, they want fair compensation. But money does little to reduce their loss or make the grief more bearable. They often want to do something that will ensure that their loved one did not die in vain. They want to prevent other ...


A Comprehensive Theory Of Civil Settlement, J. J. Prescott, Kathryn E. Spier Apr 2016

A Comprehensive Theory Of Civil Settlement, J. J. Prescott, Kathryn E. Spier

Articles

A settlement is an agreement between parties to a dispute. In everyday parlance and in academic scholarship, settlement is juxtaposed with trial or some other method of dispute resolution in which a third-party factfinder ultimately picks a winner and announces a score. The “trial versus settlement” trope, however, represents a false choice; viewing settlement solely as a dispute-ending alternative to a costly trial leads to a narrow understanding of how dispute resolution should and often does work. In this Article, we describe and defend a much richer concept of settlement, amounting in effect to a continuum of possible agreements between ...


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 ...


Prisoners' Rights Lawyers' Strategies For Preserving The Role Of The Courts, Margo Schlanger Apr 2015

Prisoners' Rights Lawyers' Strategies For Preserving The Role Of The Courts, Margo Schlanger

Articles

This Article is part of the University of Miami Law Review’s Leading from Below Symposium. It canvasses prisoners’ lawyers’ strategies prompted by the 1996 Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”). The strategies comply with the statute’s limits yet also allow U.S. district courts to remain a forum for the vindication of the constitutional rights of at least some of the nation’s millions of prisoners. After Part I’s introduction, Part II summarizes in several charts the PLRA’s sharp impact on the prevalence and outcomes of prison litigation, but demonstrates that there are still many cases and ...


Admit Or Deny: A Call For Reform Of The Sec's "Neither-Admit-Nor-Deny" Policy, Priyah Kaul Feb 2015

Admit Or Deny: A Call For Reform Of The Sec's "Neither-Admit-Nor-Deny" Policy, Priyah Kaul

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

For four decades, the SEC’s often-invoked policy of settling cases without requiring admissions of wrongdoing, referred to as the “neither-admit-nor-deny” policy, went unchallenged by the courts, the legislature, and the public. Then in 2011, a harshly critical opinion from Judge Jed Rakoff in SEC v. Citigroup incited demands for reform of this policy. In response to Judge Rakoff’s opinion, the SEC announced a modified approach to settlements. Under the modified approach, the Commission may require an admission of wrongdoing if a defendant’s misconduct was egregious or if the public markets would benefit from an admission. Many supporters ...


Patent Punting: How Fda And Antitrust Courts Undermine The Hatch-Waxman Act To Avoid Dealing With Patents, Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2015

Patent Punting: How Fda And Antitrust Courts Undermine The Hatch-Waxman Act To Avoid Dealing With Patents, Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Daniel A. Crane

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Under the Hatch-Waxman Act, patent law and FDA regulation work together to determine the timing of generic entry in the market for drugs. But FDA has sought to avoid any responsibility for reading patents, insisting that its role in administering the patent provisions of the Hatch-Waxman Act is purely ministerial. This gap in regulatory oversight has allowed innovators to use irrelevant patents to defer generic competition. Meanwhile, patent litigation has set the stage for anticompetitive settlements rather than adjudication of the patent issues in the courts. As these settlements have provoked antitrust litigation, antitrust courts have proven no more willing ...


Trial And Settlement: A Study Of High-Low Agreements, J. J. Prescott, Kathryn E. Spier, Albert Yoon Aug 2014

Trial And Settlement: A Study Of High-Low Agreements, J. J. Prescott, Kathryn E. Spier, Albert Yoon

Articles

This article presents the first systematic theoretical and empirical study of highlow agreements in civil litigation. A high-low agreement is a private contract that, if signed by litigants before trial, constrains any plaintiff’s recovery to a specified range. In our theoretical model, trial is both costly and risky. When litigants have divergent subjective beliefs and are mutually optimistic about their trial prospects, cases may fail to settle. In these cases, high-low agreements can be in litigants’ mutual interest because they limit the risk of outlier awards while still allowing mutually beneficial speculation. Using claims data from a national insurance ...


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 ...


Settler's Remorse, Floyd Abrams Apr 2007

Settler's Remorse, Floyd Abrams

Michigan Law Review

Who can quarrel with the notion that settling civil cases is generally a good thing? Litigation is expensive, time-consuming, preoccupying, and often personally destructive. Our courts are overburdened and, in any event, imperfect decision-making entities. It may even be true that, more often than not, "the absolute result of a trial is not as high a quality of justice as is the freely negotiated, give a little, take a little settlement." But not every case should be settled. Many are worthless. The settlement of others could too easily lead to a torrent of unwarranted litigation. Sometimes, as Professor Owen Fiss ...


Illuminating Secrecy: A New Economic Analysis Of Confidential Settlements, Scott A. Moss Mar 2007

Illuminating Secrecy: A New Economic Analysis Of Confidential Settlements, Scott A. Moss

Michigan Law Review

Even the most hotly contested lawsuits typically end in a confidential settlement forbidding the parties from disclosing their allegations, evidence, or settlement amount. Confidentiality draws fierce criticism for harming third parties by concealing serious misdeeds like discrimination, pollution, defective manufacturing, and sexual abuse. Others defend confidentiality as a mutually beneficial pay-for-silence bargain that facilitates settlement, serves judicial economy, and prevents frivolous copycat lawsuits. This debate is based in economic logic, yet most analyses have been surprisingly shallow as to how confidentiality affects incentives to settle. Depicting a more nuanced, complex reality of litigation and settlement, this Article reaches several conclusions ...


Do Institutions Matter? The Impact Of The Lead Plaintiff Provision Of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen J. Choi, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2005

Do Institutions Matter? The Impact Of The Lead Plaintiff Provision Of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen J. Choi, Jill E. Fisch

Articles

When Congress enacted the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act in 1995 ("PSLRA"), the Act's "lead plaintiff' provision was the centerpiece of its efforts to increase investor control over securities fraud class actions. The lead plaintiff provision alters the balance of power between investors and class counsel by creating a presumption that the investor with the largest financial stake in the case will serve as lead plaintiff. The lead plaintiff then chooses class counsel and, at least in theory, negotiates the terms of counsel's compensation. Congress's stated purpose in enacting the lead plaintiff provision was to encourage institutional ...


A Taxing Settlement, Hanoch Dagan, James J. White Jan 2003

A Taxing Settlement, Hanoch Dagan, James J. White

Articles

The following essay is based on the talk "Government, Citizens, and Injurious Industries: A Case Study of the Tobacco Litigation," delivered by Hanoch Dagan last May to the Detroit Chapter of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, and on the article "Governments, Citizens, and Injurious Industries," by Dagan and James J. White, '62, which appeared in 75.2 New York University Law Review 254-428 (May 2000). The authors hold conflicting view on the underlying issue of this topic: tobacco company product liability. Professor Dagan holds the position that tobacco companies are liable for harm done by their products ...


Governments, Citizens, And Injurious Industries, Hanoch Dagan, James J. White Jan 2000

Governments, Citizens, And Injurious Industries, Hanoch Dagan, James J. White

Articles

In this Article, Professors Hanoch Dagan and James White study the most recent challenge raised by mass torts litigation: the interference of governments with the bilateral relationship between citizens and injurious industries. Using the tobacco settlement as their case study, Dagan and White explore the important benefits and the grave dangers of recognizing governments' entitlement to reimbursement for costs they have incurred in preventing or ameliorating their citizens' injuries. They further demonstrate that the current law can help capture these benefits and guard against the entailing risks, showing how subrogation law can serve as the legal foundation of the governments ...


Why Civil Cases Go To Trial: Strategic Bargaining And The Desire For Vindication, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud Jan 1997

Why Civil Cases Go To Trial: Strategic Bargaining And The Desire For Vindication, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud

Articles

When negotiations break down and a dispute cannot be settled, attorneys commonly blame their adversaries, often questioning their ethics or their judgment. After interviewing many attorneys, we have come to believe much of the criticism is directed at strategic moves in negotiation. But strategic ploys are not the only reason dispute resolution fails. Rather, our research also suggest that a genuine desire for vindication through trial or other formal process may be very significant in some types of cases where bargaining breaks down.


Going To Trial: A Rare Throw Of The Die, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud Jan 1997

Going To Trial: A Rare Throw Of The Die, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud

Articles

If it is true, as we often hear, that we are one of the most litigious societies on earth, it is because of our propensity to sue, not our affinity for trials. Of the hundreds of thousands of civil lawsuits that are filed each year in America, the great majority are settled; of those that are not settled, most are ultimately dismissed by the plaintiffs or by the courts; only a few percent are tried to a jury or a judge. This is no accident. We prefer settlements and have designed a system of civil justice that embodies and expresses ...


Turning From Tort To Administration, Richard A. Nagareda Feb 1996

Turning From Tort To Administration, Richard A. Nagareda

Michigan Law Review

My objective here is to challenge the notion that the recent mass tort settlements - for all their novel qualities in the mass tort area - are truly sui generis in the law. Rather, I contend that the rise of such settlements in tort mirrors the development of public administrative agencies earlier in this century - that, in both instances, powerful new institutions emerged outside preexisting channels of control to wield significant power over human lives and resources. I argue that courts usefully may draw upon familiar doctrines of judicial review in administrative law to form a conceptual framework for their analysis of ...


Don't Try: Civil Jury Verdicts In A System Geared To Settlement, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud Jan 1996

Don't Try: Civil Jury Verdicts In A System Geared To Settlement, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud

Articles

If it is true, as we often hear, that we are one of the most litigious societies on earth, it is because of our propensity to sue, not our affinity for trials. Of the hundreds of thousands of civil lawsuits that are filed each year in America, the great majority are settled; of those that are not settled, most are ultimately dismissed by the plaintiffs or by the courts; only a few percent are tried to a jury or a judge. This is no accident. We prefer settlements and have designed a system of civil justice that embodies and expresses ...


Psychological Barriers To Litigation Settlement: An Experimental Approach, Russell Korobkin, Chris Guthrie Oct 1994

Psychological Barriers To Litigation Settlement: An Experimental Approach, Russell Korobkin, Chris Guthrie

Michigan Law Review

In this article, we seek to substantiate "psychological barriers," as illustrated by the constructs described above, as a third explanation for the failure of legal disputants to settle out of court. Although we are not the first to hypothesize that psychological processes can, in theory, affect legal dispute negotiations, we attempt to give more definition to the otherwise vague contours of the psychological barriers hypothesis by bringing empirical data to bear on the question. To achieve this end, we conducted a series of nine laboratory experiments - involving nearly 450 subjects - designed to isolate the effects of the three psychological processes ...


Three Attorney Fee-Shifting Rules And Contingency Fees: Their Impact On Settlement Incentives, Bradley L. Smith Jun 1992

Three Attorney Fee-Shifting Rules And Contingency Fees: Their Impact On Settlement Incentives, Bradley L. Smith

Michigan Law Review

This Note seeks to predict the direction and magnitude of the change in settlement frequency under the three fee-shifting rules: American, British, and the British rule as modified by the PCC. Part I analyzes the proposed rule using the theoretical model of litigation and settlement developed by Hause. Part II examines the impact of fee-shifting when the plaintiff's lawyer receives reimbursement via a contingency fee. Analysis of indemnification in a contingency fee context raises several policy issues which section II.A addresses. Section II.B discusses the terms and assumptions made in adjusting Hause's model to reflect the ...


Getting To No: A Study Of Settlement Negotiations And The Selection Of Cases For Trial, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud Jan 1991

Getting To No: A Study Of Settlement Negotiations And The Selection Of Cases For Trial, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud

Articles

A trial is a failure. Although we celebrate it as the centerpiece of our system of justice, we know that trial is not only an uncommon method of resolving disputes, but a disfavored one. With some notable exceptions, lawyers, judges, and commentators agree that pretrial settlement is almost always cheaper, faster, and better than trial. Much of our civil procedure is justified by the desire to promote settlement and avoid trial. More important, the nature of our civil process drives parties to settle so as to avoid the costs, delays, and uncertainties of trial, and, in many cases, to agree ...


Proposals To Amend Rule 68- Time To Abandon Ship, Stephen B. Burbank Jan 1986

Proposals To Amend Rule 68- Time To Abandon Ship, Stephen B. Burbank

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

It is no surprise that, having included "facilitating the settlement of the case" as one of the objectives of pretrial conferences in the 1983 amendments to Rule 16 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Advisory Committee has turned its attention to Rule 68. The Rule was intended to provide an incentive to settle by requiring that a prevailing claimant who has declined a more favorable offer of judgment pay post-offer "costs." But, in the Advisory Committee's view, Rule 68 has proved ineffective. The concern, apparently, is not that too few civil cases filed in federal court are ...


Abuse In Plaintiff Class Action Settlements: The Need For A Guardian During Pretrial Settlement Negotiations, Sylvia R. Lazos Nov 1985

Abuse In Plaintiff Class Action Settlements: The Need For A Guardian During Pretrial Settlement Negotiations, Sylvia R. Lazos

Michigan Law Review

This Note explores the problem of abuse of the class action device during the pretrial settlement process. Part I analyzes the underlying sources of potential abuse in pretrial settlement negotiations. Part II assesses the adequacy of the standards currently used by courts to detect collusive class action settlements. Part III concludes that the appointment of a neutral third-party guardian to oversee the pretrial negotiation process furthers the judicial policy of encouraging settlements while protecting the interests of the absentee class.


The Applicability Of The Antitrust Procedures And Penalties Act Of 1974 To Voluntary Dismissals, Jon B. Jacobs Oct 1985

The Applicability Of The Antitrust Procedures And Penalties Act Of 1974 To Voluntary Dismissals, Jon B. Jacobs

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Note argues that Congress should amend the APPA to require a judicial public interest determination prior to the entry of a voluntary dismissal in government-initiated civil antitrust actions. Part I of this Note briefly describes the APPA and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1). Part II asserts that APPA procedures do not currently apply to voluntary dismissals under Rule 41(a)(1). Part III concludes that the purposes underlying the APPA and general policy considerations support the legislative extension of the Act to dismissals. Part IV responds to objections to this proposal. Finally, Part V presents a ...


The Scope Of Judicial Review Of Consent Decrees Under The Antitrust Procedures And Penalties Act Of 1974, Michigan Law Review Oct 1983

The Scope Of Judicial Review Of Consent Decrees Under The Antitrust Procedures And Penalties Act Of 1974, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

In the wake of this uncertainty, this Note analyzes the proper scope of judicial review of consent decrees. The Note argues that to further the policies embodied in the APP A, courts should undertake intense review of proposed settlements before entering them as final judgments. Both the congressional intent in enacting the APP A and the public's interest in effective enforcement of the antitrust laws support intense judicial review. The Note then demonstrates that the deferential standard that some courts have applied is derived mainly from a case that is inapplicable to the review of consent decrees. Finally, the ...


The Tentative Settlement Class And Class Action Suits Under Title Vii Of The Civil Rights Act, Michigan Law Review Jun 1974

The Tentative Settlement Class And Class Action Suits Under Title Vii Of The Civil Rights Act, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

This Note will examine the potential utility of a tentative settlement class (TSC) in suits initiated under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The advantages and disadvantages of the TSC will be discussed in the context of analyzing whether the use of a TSC is valid under rules 23(a) and 23(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The discussion of the merits of the TSC in the title VII context will illustrate the problems inherent in the use of a tentative class for encouraging settlements of any class action.