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Full-Text Articles in Law

A Fiduciary Judge's Guide To Awarding Fees In Class Actions, Brian T. Fitzpatrick Jan 2021

A Fiduciary Judge's Guide To Awarding Fees In Class Actions, Brian T. Fitzpatrick

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

It is often said that judges act as fiduciaries for the absent class members in class action litigation. If we take this seriously, how then should judges award fees to the lawyers who represent these class members? The answer is to award fees the same way rational class members would want if they could do it on their own. In this Essay, I draw on economic models and data from the market for legal representation of sophisticated clients to describe what these fee practices should look like. Although more data from sophisticated clients is no doubt needed, what we do ...


"Sorry" Is Never Enough: How State Apology Laws Fail To Reduce Medical Malpractice Liability Risk, W. Kip Viscusi, Benjamin J. Mcmichael, R. Lawrence Van Horn Jan 2019

"Sorry" Is Never Enough: How State Apology Laws Fail To Reduce Medical Malpractice Liability Risk, W. Kip Viscusi, Benjamin J. Mcmichael, R. Lawrence Van Horn

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Based on case studies indicating that apologies from physicians to patients can promote healing, understanding, and dispute resolution, 38 states have sought to reduce litigation and medical malpractice liability by enacting apology laws. Apology laws facilitate apologies by making them inadmissible in subsequent malpractice trials.

The underlying assumption regarding the potential efficacy of these laws is that, after receiving an apology, patients will be less likely to pursue a malpractice claim and will be more likely to settle those claims that are filed. However, once a patient has been made aware that the physician has committed a medical error, the ...


The End Of Class Actions?, Brian T. Fitzpatrick Jan 2015

The End Of Class Actions?, Brian T. Fitzpatrick

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In this Article, I give a status report on the life expectancy of class action litigation following the Supreme Court's decisions in Concepcion and American Express. These decisions permitted corporations to opt out of class action liability through the use of arbitration clauses, and many commentators, myself included, predicted that they would eventually lead us down a road where class actions against businesses would be all but eliminated. Enough time has now passed to make an assessment of whether these predictions are coming to fruition. I find that, although there is not yet solid evidence that businesses have flocked ...


Intraportfolio Litigation, Amanda Rose, Richard Squire Jan 2011

Intraportfolio Litigation, Amanda Rose, Richard Squire

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The modern trend is for investors to diversify. Shareholders who own one S&P 500 firm tend to own many of the others as well. This trend casts doubt on the traditional compensation and deterrence rationales for legal rules that hold corporations liable for the acts of their agents. Today, when A Corp sues B Corp (for breach of contract, theft of trade secrets, or any other legal wrong), many of the same shareholders own both the plaintiff and the defendant. For these shareholders, damages just shift money from one pocket to another, minus of course lawyer fees. We offer ...


The End Of Objector Blackmail?, Brian T. Fitzpatrick Jan 2009

The End Of Objector Blackmail?, Brian T. Fitzpatrick

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Courts and commentators have long been concerned with holdout problems in the law. This Article focuses on a holdout problem in class action litigation known as objector “blackmail.” Objector blackmail occurs when individual class members delay the final resolution of class action settlements by filing meritless appeals in the hope of inducing class counsel to pay them a side settlement to drop their appeals. It is thought that class counsel pay these side settlements because they cannot receive their fee awards until all appeals from the settlement are resolved. Although several solutions to the blackmail problem have been proposed, both ...


Insurers, Illusions Of Judgment & Litigation, Chris Guthrie, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski Jan 2006

Insurers, Illusions Of Judgment & Litigation, Chris Guthrie, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Insurers play a critical role in the civil justice system. By providing liability insurance to parties who would otherwise be untenable as defendants, insurers make litigation possible. Once litigation materializes, insurers provide representation, pay legal fees, and often play a central role in resolving disputes through settlement or adjudication. In this paper, we explore empirically how these key litigation players make important decisions in the litigation process, like evaluating a case, deciding whether to settle, and if so, on what terms. We find that insurers, though not entirely immune to the effects of cognitive illusions that have been shown to ...


Procedural Justice Research And The Paucity Of Trials, Chris Guthrie Jan 2002

Procedural Justice Research And The Paucity Of Trials, Chris Guthrie

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Professor Deborah Hensler tells an important cautionary tale about mandatory mediation in her thoughtful and provocative contribution to this volume. In Suppose It's Not True: Challenging Mediation Ideology, Hensler observes that courts are now requiring litigants to mediate civil cases "on the grounds that litigants prefer [mediation] to traditional litigation," yet there is "a long line of social psychological research on individuals' evaluations of different dispute resolution procedures" consistent with the "idea that litigants might prefer adversarial litigation and adjudication" to mediation.' Hensler acknowledges that "some experimental research has found that subjects prefer mediation," but she argues that "the ...


Development Of An Early Identification And Response Model Of Malpractice Prevention, Ellen Wright Clayton, Gerald B. Hickson, James W. Pichert, Charles F. Federspiel Jan 1997

Development Of An Early Identification And Response Model Of Malpractice Prevention, Ellen Wright Clayton, Gerald B. Hickson, James W. Pichert, Charles F. Federspiel

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The dramatic rise in the incidence of malpractice claims over the past thirty years has revealed several problems with the U.S. system of medical dispute resolution. First, the sudden and unexpected increase in claims has created an insurance crisis wherein various medical specialists have had difficulty obtaining affordable insurance coverage. One such crisis occurred in Florida in the mid-1980's, when an inability of many physicians to procure medical malpractice coverage caused some to limit or curtail their practice. This resulted in access problems for the public. This phenomenon has disproportionately befallen physicians practicing obstetric medicine. Second, besides contributing ...