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Litigation

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Articles 1 - 12 of 12

Full-Text Articles in Law

Politics, Identity, And Class Certification On The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Jan 2020

Politics, Identity, And Class Certification On The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

All Faculty Scholarship

This Article draws on novel data and presents the results of the first empirical analysis of how potentially salient characteristics of Court of Appeals judges influence class certification under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. We find that the ideological composition of the panel (measured by the party of the appointing president) has a very strong association with certification outcomes, with all-Democratic panels having dramatically higher rates of procertification outcomes than all-Republican panels—nearly triple in about the past twenty years. We also find that the presence of one African American on a panel, and the presence of …


Mootness Fees, Matthew D. Cain, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon, Randall Thomas Jan 2019

Mootness Fees, Matthew D. Cain, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon, Randall Thomas

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In response to a sharp increase in litigation challenging mergers, the Delaware Chancery Court issued the 2016 Trulia decision, which substantively reduced the attractiveness of Delaware as a forum for these suits. In this Article, we empirically assess the response of plaintiffs’ attorneys to these developments. Specifically, we document a troubling trend—the flight of merger litigation to federal court where these cases are overwhelmingly resolved through voluntary dismissals that provide no benefit to the plaintiff class but generate a payment to plaintiffs’ counsel in the form of a mootness fee. In 2018, for example, 77% of deals with litigation were …


Just And Speedy: On Civil Discovery Sanctions For Luddite Lawyers, Michael Thomas Murphy Jan 2017

Just And Speedy: On Civil Discovery Sanctions For Luddite Lawyers, Michael Thomas Murphy

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This article presents a theoretical model by which a judge could impose civil sanctions on an attorney - relying in part on Rule 1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure - for that attorney’s failure to utilize time- and expense-saving technology.

Rule 1 now charges all participants in the legal system to ensure the “just, speedy and inexpensive” resolution of disputes. In today’s litigation environment, a lawyer managing a case in discovery needs robust technological competence to meet that charge. However, the legal industry is slow to adopt technology, favoring “tried and true” methods over efficiency. This conflict is …


Class Actions And The Counterrevolution Against Federal Litigation, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Jan 2017

Class Actions And The Counterrevolution Against Federal Litigation, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

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In this article we situate consideration of class actions in a framework, and fortify it with data, that we have developed as part of a larger project, the goal of which is to assess the counterrevolution against private enforcement of federal law from an institutional perspective. In a series of articles emerging from the project, we have documented how the Executive, Congress and the Supreme Court (wielding both judicial power under Article III of the Constitution and delegated legislative power under the Rules Enabling Act) fared in efforts to reverse or dull the effects of statutory and other incentives for …


Occam's Phaser: Making Proportional Discovery (Finally) Work In Litigation By Requiring Phased Discovery, Michael Thomas Murphy Apr 2016

Occam's Phaser: Making Proportional Discovery (Finally) Work In Litigation By Requiring Phased Discovery, Michael Thomas Murphy

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This is an article about solving the problem of expensive electronic discovery in litigation by simply learning the most important facts first. Judges and parties often complain that the scope of information included in fact discovery in civil litigation is overinclusive and disproportionate to size of the dispute, resulting in overly expensive costs. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure recently changed again to further emphasize the use of “proportional” limits in discovery, but provide little practical mechanism for parties, lawyers, and judges to make discovery “right-sized.” This Article proposes that parties should be required to “phase” discovery by first setting …


A Curious Motion: The Uncertain Role Of Anti-Slapp Statutes In Federal Courts, Markus A. Brazill Jan 2016

A Curious Motion: The Uncertain Role Of Anti-Slapp Statutes In Federal Courts, Markus A. Brazill

Prize Winning Papers

No abstract provided.


Scott V. Harris And The Future Of Summary Judgment, Tobias Barrington Wolff Jul 2015

Scott V. Harris And The Future Of Summary Judgment, Tobias Barrington Wolff

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The Supreme Court’s decision in Scott v. Harris has quickly become a staple in many Civil Procedure courses, and small wonder. The cinematic high-speed car chase complete with dash-cam video and the Court’s controversial treatment of that video evidence seem tailor-made for classroom discussion. As is often true with instant classics, however, splashy first impressions can mask a more complex state of affairs. At the heart of Scott v. Harris lies the potential for a radical doctrinal reformation: a shift in the core summary judgment standard undertaken to justify a massive expansion of interlocutory appellate jurisdiction in qualified immunity cases. …


Rethinking Summary Judgment Empirics: The Life Of The Parties, Jonah B. Gelbach Jan 2014

Rethinking Summary Judgment Empirics: The Life Of The Parties, Jonah B. Gelbach

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No abstract provided.


Discretion In Class Certification, Tobias Barrington Wolff Jan 2014

Discretion In Class Certification, Tobias Barrington Wolff

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A district court has broad discretion in deciding whether a suit may be maintained as a class action. Variations on this phrase populate the class action jurisprudence of the federal courts. The power of the federal courts to exercise discretion when deciding whether to permit a suit to proceed as a class action has long been treated as an elemental component of a representative proceeding. It is therefore cause for surprise that there is no broad consensus regarding the nature and definition of this judicial discretion in the certification process. The federal courts have not coalesced around a clear or …


Litigation And Democracy: Restoring A Realistic Prospect Of Trial, Stephen B. Burbank, Stephen N. Subrin Jan 2011

Litigation And Democracy: Restoring A Realistic Prospect Of Trial, Stephen B. Burbank, Stephen N. Subrin

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In this essay we review some of the evidence confirming, and some of the reasons underlying, the phenomenon of the vanishing trial in federal civil cases and examine some of the costs of that phenomenon for democratic values, including in particular democratic values represented by the right to a jury trial under the Seventh Amendment. We discuss the Supreme Court’s recent pleading decisions in Twombly and Iqbal as examples of procedural attacks on democracy in four dimensions: (1) they put the right to jury trial in jeopardy; (2) they undercut the effectiveness of congressional statutes designed to compensate citizens for …


Redeeming The Missed Opportunities Of Shady Grove, Stephen B. Burbank, Tobias Barrington Wolff Jan 2010

Redeeming The Missed Opportunities Of Shady Grove, Stephen B. Burbank, Tobias Barrington Wolff

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Shady Grove Orthopedic Associates v. Allstate Insurance Co., a closely watched case decided in the 2009–10 Term, presented the Court with an opportunity to speak to two related problems under the Rules Enabling Act that have languished for decades without proper resolution. The first involves a broad interpretive question: How can the limitations on rulemaking authority contained in the Act be applied in a manner that reflects the separation-of-powers concerns that animated them while also exhibiting respect for the state regulatory arrangements that govern much of our economic and social activity? The second problem involves the intersection of the …


Pleading And The Dilemmas Of “General Rules”, Stephen B. Burbank Jan 2009

Pleading And The Dilemmas Of “General Rules”, Stephen B. Burbank

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This article comments on Professor Geoffrey Miller’s article about pleading under Tellabs and goes on (1) to use Tellabs, Bell Atlantic Corp. v Twombly, and Iqbal v. Hasty (in which the Court has granted review) to illustrate the limits of, and costs created by, certain foundational assumptions and operating principles that are associated with the Rules Enabling Act’s requirement of “general rules,” and (2) more generally, to illustrate the costs of the complex procedural system that we have created. Thus, for instance, the argument that the standards emerging from Twombly should be confined to antitrust conspiracy cases confronts the foundational …