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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 …


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’ …


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 …


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 …


Waiving Federal Sovereign Immunity In Original Actions Between States, Sandra B. Zellmer Apr 2020

Waiving Federal Sovereign Immunity In Original Actions Between States, Sandra B. Zellmer

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

There are tremendous disparities between high stakes original actions between states before the U.S. Supreme Court, where there is no waiver of federal sovereign immunity, and other types of cases in the lower courts, where a plethora of immunity waivers allow states and other parties to seek relief from the federal government for Fifth Amendment takings, unlawful agency action, and tort claims. Federal actions or omissions are often at the heart of the dispute, and federal involvement may be crucial for purposes of providing an equitable remedy to the state parties, but there is no reliable mechanism for bringing the …


States Empowering Plaintiff Cities, Eli Savit Apr 2019

States Empowering Plaintiff Cities, Eli Savit

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Across the country, cities are becoming major players in plaintiff’s-side litigation. With increasing frequency, cities, counties, and other municipalities are filing lawsuits to vindicate the public interest. Cities’ aggressive use of lawsuits, however, has been met with some skepticism from both scholars and states. At times, states have taken action—both legislative and via litigation—to preempt city-initiated suits.

This Article contends that states should welcome city-initiated public-interest lawsuits. Such litigation, this Article demonstrates, vindicates the principles of local control that cities exist to facilitate. What is more, a motivated plaintiff city can accomplish public-policy goals that are important not just to …


Books And Olive Oil: Why Antitrust Must Deal With Consolidated Corporate Power, Carl T. Bogus Jan 2019

Books And Olive Oil: Why Antitrust Must Deal With Consolidated Corporate Power, Carl T. Bogus

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Following an epic battle in the marketplace between Apple and major book publishers, on one side, and Amazon, on the other side, the United States Department of Justice and thirty-three states filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and the publishers, alleging that they had conspired to fix the prices of ebooks. Both the district court and a divided panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided the case in the government’s favor. This Article argues that government regulators and the courts took the wrong side in the dispute and did so because of fundamental flaws …


Between The Ceiling And The Floor: Making The Case For Required Disclosure Of High-Low Agreements To Juries, Richard Lorren Jolly Apr 2015

Between The Ceiling And The Floor: Making The Case For Required Disclosure Of High-Low Agreements To Juries, Richard Lorren Jolly

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Parties are increasingly using high-low agreements to limit the risks of litigation. High-low agreements are contracts in which defendants agree to pay plaintiffs a minimum recovery in return for plaintiffs’ agreement not to execute on a jury award above a maximum amount. Currently no jurisdiction requires high-low agreements to be disclosed to the jury. This Note argues that disclosure should be required. It contends that non-disclosed high-low agreements are a type of procedural contract modifying the jury’s core adjudicative function. Drawing on theories of procedural justice, it suggests that by usurping the jury’s role these agreements undermine the legitimacy of …


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 of the neither-admit-nor-deny …


The Two Faces Of Janus: The Jurisprudential Past And New Beginning Of Rule 10b-5, John Patrick Clayton Apr 2014

The Two Faces Of Janus: The Jurisprudential Past And New Beginning Of Rule 10b-5, John Patrick Clayton

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act and its implementing Rule 10b-5 are the primary antifraud provisions for both private and public enforcement of the federal securities laws. Neither the statute nor the rule expressly provides for a private right of action, but federal courts have long recognized such an implied right, and the Securities and Exchange Commission has supported the implied private right of action as a “necessary supplement” to its own efforts. However, after a decade of applying an expansive interpretation to Section 10(b), in the early 1970s the U.S. Supreme Court began to narrowly interpret this implied …


Parallel Justice: Creating Causes Of Action For Mandatory Mediation, Marie A. Failinger Jan 2014

Parallel Justice: Creating Causes Of Action For Mandatory Mediation, Marie A. Failinger

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The American common law system should adopt court-connected mandatory mediation as a parallel system of justice for some cases that are currently not justiciable, such as wrongs caused by constitutionally protected behavior. As evidence that such a system is practical, this Article describes systemic and ethical parallels between court-connected mediation and the rise of the equity courts in medieval England, demonstrating that there are no insurmountable practical objections to the creation of “mediation-only” causes of action. The Article then explores the constitutional concerns surrounding the idea of “mandatory mediation-only” causes of action, using constitutional hate speech and invasion of privacy …


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 …


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 a …


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. exchange regardless of where those investors …


Franchise Goodwill: Take A Sad Song And Make It Better, Robert W. Emerson Jan 2013

Franchise Goodwill: Take A Sad Song And Make It Better, Robert W. Emerson

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The end of a franchisor-franchisee relationship is often like a divorce, with the parties engaged in a heated battle over the ownership of the franchise goodwill. In this debate, the same franchisors or franchisees often change their positions on goodwill ownership depending on current needs. This Article analyzes cases in many areas of franchise law to determine why franchisors and franchisees engage in such inconsistent reasoning, what the consequences are for franchising, and if there are ways to produce a more logical and efficient form of analysis and debate. In addressing the most contentious issues of franchising, adherence by litigants …


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. 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 Competitiveness that denounced effective civil procedure as an enemy of economic development. I was then commenting adversely on what the Court had done to transform Rule 8. I …


Taking The English Right To Counsel Seriously In American Civil Gideon Litigation, Scott F. Llewellyn, Brian Hawkins Apr 2012

Taking The English Right To Counsel Seriously In American Civil Gideon Litigation, Scott F. Llewellyn, Brian Hawkins

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Courts have rejected a right to counsel for indigent civil litigants under the U.S. Constitution. But in some American states, that right arguably already exists as a matter of common law, albeit derived from centuries-old English common and statutory law. This Article analyzes the viability of arguments for incorporating the old English right to counsel in the twenty-seven American states that continue to recognize old English common and statutory law as a source of binding authority. Such "originalist" arguments may be appealing to judges who are more willing to revive a historically based right than establish a new right based …


Copyright And The Vagueness Doctrine, Bradley E. Abruzzi Feb 2012

Copyright And The Vagueness Doctrine, Bradley E. Abruzzi

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The Constitution's void-for-vagueness doctrine is itself vaguely stated. The doctrine does little to describe at what point vague laws-other than those that are entirely standardless-become unconstitutionally vague. Rather than explore this territory, the Supreme Court has identified three collateral factors that affect its inclination to invalidate a law for vagueness: (1) whether the law burdens the exercise of constitutional rights, (2) whether the law is punitive in nature, and (3) whether the law overlays a defendant-protective scienter requirement. Measured against these factors, copyright law does not meet the vagueness doctrine's minimum requirement of fair notice to the public. Copyright, by …


Federal Discovery Stays, Gideon Mark Feb 2012

Federal Discovery Stays, Gideon Mark

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

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


The Unjustified Judicial Creation Of Class Certification Merits Trials In Securities, Michael J. Kaufman, John M. Wunderlich Dec 2010

The Unjustified Judicial Creation Of Class Certification Merits Trials In Securities, Michael J. Kaufman, John M. Wunderlich

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The class action device is vital to deterring securities fraud and remedying its victims, who almost never suffer losses sufficient to justify an individual suit. Nonetheless, the federal courts have begun to convert the class certification process into a premature trial on the merits, thereby precluding victims of securities fraud from pursuing otherwise valid claims of financial wrongdoing. In particular, in a series of important decisions, the federal courts have required plaintiffs to prove the essential elements of their securities fraud claims at the preliminary class certification stage.

This Article demonstrates why this trend should end. The judicial creation of …


The French Huissier As A Model For U.S. Civil Procedure Reform, Robert W. Emerson Jul 2010

The French Huissier As A Model For U.S. Civil Procedure Reform, Robert W. Emerson

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Huissiers de justice serve multiple roles in the French legal system. One is that of a court officer who compiles dossiers (reports). In that role, the huissier is d'audiencier (literally translated as "hearing" or "assisting") and works directly for the court system itself.

The huissier's report remains alien to the American lawyer, who is steeped in notions of procedure and "testimonialism" and in principles of fairness which appear ancient, but are rather modern dissimulations of law and equity's rich history in the American tradition. An important aspect of most legal processes, the collection of data in preparation for litigation is …


How Many Plaintiffs Are Enough? Venue In Title Vii Class Actions, Piper Hoffman Jul 2009

How Many Plaintiffs Are Enough? Venue In Title Vii Class Actions, Piper Hoffman

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article critiques the recent rash of federal district court opinions holding that all named plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit alleging employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 must satisfy the venue requirements in the court where they filed the action. Neither the text nor the history of Title VII requires this prevailing interpretation; to the contrary, requiring every named plaintiff to satisfy venue requirements in the same court undermines the legislative purpose behind both Title VII and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 by creating a new obstacle to employees seeking to enforce …


Duty Of Fair Representation Jurisprudential Reform: The Need To Adjudicate Disputes In Internal Union Review Tribunals And The Forgotten Remedy Of Re-Arbitration, Mitchell H. Rubinstein May 2009

Duty Of Fair Representation Jurisprudential Reform: The Need To Adjudicate Disputes In Internal Union Review Tribunals And The Forgotten Remedy Of Re-Arbitration, Mitchell H. Rubinstein

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

One of the best kept secrets in American labor law is that duty of fair representation jurisprudence simply does not work. It does not work for plaintiff union members because they must satisfy a close-to-impossible burden of proof and have a short statute of limitations window in which to assert their claim. It does not work for defendant unions because they are often forced to file pointless grievances in order to avoid the cost of litigation. It does not work for defendant employers because they are often brought into these lawsuits because they have the "deep pockets."

This Article makes …


Where Equity Meets Expertise: Re-Thinking Appellate Review In Complex Litigation, Michael J. Hays Dec 2008

Where Equity Meets Expertise: Re-Thinking Appellate Review In Complex Litigation, Michael J. Hays

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The field of complex litigation continues to grow as both an academic study and a popular phenomenon. One cannot escape news accounts of major class action litigation, and lawyers continue to find new ways to push the outer bounds of civil litigation practices to accommodate large-scale disputes involving multiple claims or parties. Many question whether traditional procedures can or should apply to these cases. Drawing on this well-recognized procedural tension, this Article explores the relationship between trial and appellate courts in complex litigation and argues for a revised standard of appellate review for trial court decisions affecting the party structure …


Eyes Wide Shut: How Ignorance Of The Common Interest Doctrine Can Compromise Informed Consent, Katharine Traylor Schaffzin Oct 2008

Eyes Wide Shut: How Ignorance Of The Common Interest Doctrine Can Compromise Informed Consent, Katharine Traylor Schaffzin

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article addresses the novel ethical problems presented by the common interest doctrine that implicate an attorney's duties of diligence, confidentiality, and loyalty to his or her client. These adverse effects of informal aggregation are not always fully considered before engaging a client in a common interest arrangement, but they should be. In Part II, this Article first explains the potential advantages that the common interest doctrine presents as an evidentiary tool, but then recognizes that exercise of the doctrine creates an undefined duty on the part of the attorney to the party with whom a client exchanges confidential information. …


Access To Information, Access To Justice: The Role Of Presuit Investigatory Discovery, Lonny Sheinkopf Hoffman Dec 2007

Access To Information, Access To Justice: The Role Of Presuit Investigatory Discovery, Lonny Sheinkopf Hoffman

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

What is the relationship between access to information and access to justice? Private parties obviously have many publicly available points of access to the information they seek in order to file a lawsuit. Lawyers can talk to their clients and other willing witnesses. Documents can be gathered. Specific statutes may sometimes permit information to be obtained before a formal lawsuit is brought. On other occasions, however, information needed or desired will lie solely within the exclusive knowledge and control of another The ability of private parties to compel the production of information, documents, or testimony before litigation rarely has been …


Why Children Still Need A Lawyer, Marcia Robinson Lowry, Sara Bartosz Oct 2007

Why Children Still Need A Lawyer, Marcia Robinson Lowry, Sara Bartosz

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Every day approximately 500,000 children across the United States wake up in foster care, most in foster family homes, though many others in group homes and institutions. These children entered the state foster care system as innocent victims of abuse or neglect occurring in their birth homes. As wards of the state, they depend completely on the government to provide for their essential safety and wellbeing and to reconnect them with a permanent family, hopefully their own.

Though state child welfare agencies possess fundamental legal obligations under the United States Constitution and federal and state statutes to provide adequate care …


Protecting Fair Use With Fogerty: Toward A New Dual Standard, John A. Fonstad May 2007

Protecting Fair Use With Fogerty: Toward A New Dual Standard, John A. Fonstad

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Copyright law exists to promote the progress of art and science. It achieves this by balancing limited grants of rights to authors against public access to works. However, copyright holders have upset this balance and tilted the law in their favor One cause of this phenomenon is that the benefit of public access to works is diffused throughout the entire public while the benefit of rights in works is concentrated in the copyright holder. This problem is especially prevalent in the context of litigation where copyright holders (plaintiffs) often stand to gain more through victory than copyright users (defendants). As …


Fair Representation On Juries In The Eastern District Of Michigan: Analyzing Past Efforts And Recommending Future Action, Andrew J. Lievense Jul 2005

Fair Representation On Juries In The Eastern District Of Michigan: Analyzing Past Efforts And Recommending Future Action, Andrew J. Lievense

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Note builds on past recommendations to reform jury selection systems to make juries more representative of the community. Juries representing a fair cross section of the community are both a statutory and constitutional requirement, as well as a policy goal. How a judicial district designs and implements its jury selection system is important to meeting this requirement.

Part I of this Note analyzes the history and development of the representativeness interest on juries, explains how the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan attempted to meet this interest in the 1980s and 1990s, and reports and …


Judges As Film Critics: New Approaches To Filmic Evidence, Jessica M. Silbey Jan 2004

Judges As Film Critics: New Approaches To Filmic Evidence, Jessica M. Silbey

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article exposes internal contradictions in case law concerning the use and admissibility of film as evidence. Based on a review of more than ninety state and federal cases dating from 1923 to the present, the Article explains how the source of these contradictions is the frequent miscategorization of film as "demonstrative evidence, "evidence that purports to illustrate other evidence, rather than to be directly probative of some fact at issue. The Article further demonstrates how these contradictions are based on two venerable jurisprudential anxieties. One is the concern about the growing trend toward replacing the traditional testimony of live …