Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Series

Litigation

Class actions

Institution
Publication Year
Publication

Articles 1 - 30 of 79

Full-Text Articles in Law

Civil Rights, Access To Counsel, And Injunctive Class Actions In The United States, Maureen Carroll Jan 2021

Civil Rights, Access To Counsel, And Injunctive Class Actions In The United States, Maureen Carroll

Book Chapters

According to a familiar story about class actions in the United States, aggregation promotes access to counsel by increasing the amount of money from which counsel fees can be taken. Courts usually award class counsel a percentage of the monetary recovery obtained on behalf of the class, and class treatment can turn a $30 case into a $3 million case. But what about class actions that do not involve monetary relief at all? Some civil rights plaintiffs seek to stop a violation, rather than to obtain compensation for past harm, and therefore choose to pursue only an injunction or declaratory ...


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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


Civil Procedure And Economic Inequality, Maureen Carroll Jan 2020

Civil Procedure And Economic Inequality, Maureen Carroll

Articles

How well do procedural doctrines attend to present-day economic inequality? This Essay examines that question through the lens of three doctrinal areas: the “irreparable harm” prong of the preliminary injunction standard, the requirement that discovery must be proportional to the needs of the case, and the due process rights of class members in actions for injunctive relief. It concludes that in each of those areas, courts and commentators could do more to take economic inequality into account.


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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


Class Actions, Indivisibility, And Rule 23(B)(2), Maureen Carroll Jan 2019

Class Actions, Indivisibility, And Rule 23(B)(2), Maureen Carroll

Articles

The federal class-action rule contains a provision, Rule 23(b)(2), that authorizes class-wide injunctive or declaratory relief for class-wide wrongs. The procedural needs of civil rights litigation motivated the adoption of the provision in 1966, and in the intervening years, it has played an important role in managing efforts to bring about systemic change. At the same time, courts have sometimes struggled to articulate what plaintiffs must show in order to invoke Rule 23(b)(2). A few years ago, the Supreme Court weighed in, stating that the key to this type of class action is the “indivisible” nature ...


Class Actions, Statutes Of Limitations And Repose, And Federal Common Law, Stephen B. Burbank, Tobias Barrington Wolff Dec 2018

Class Actions, Statutes Of Limitations And Repose, And Federal Common Law, Stephen B. Burbank, Tobias Barrington Wolff

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

After more than three decades during which it gave the issue scant attention, the Supreme Court has again made the American Pipe doctrine an active part of its docket. American Pipe addresses the tolling of statutes of limitations in federal class action litigation. When plaintiffs file a putative class action in federal court and class certification is denied, absent members of the putative class may wish to pursue their claims in some kind of further proceeding. If the statute of limitations would otherwise have expired while the class certification issue was being resolved, these claimants may need the benefit of ...


Rights And Retrenchment In The Trump Era, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Oct 2018

Rights And Retrenchment In The Trump Era, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Our aim in this essay is to leverage archival research, data and theoretical perspectives presented in our book, Rights and Retrenchment: The Counterrevolution against Federal Litigation, as a means to illuminate the prospects for retrenchment in the current political landscape. We follow the scheme of the book by separately considering the prospects for federal litigation retrenchment in three lawmaking sites: Congress, federal court rulemaking under the Rules Enabling Act, and the Supreme Court. Although pertinent data on current retrenchment initiatives are limited, our historical data and comparative institutional perspectives should afford a basis for informed prediction. Of course, little in ...


Procedural Retrenchment And The States, Zachary D. Clopton Apr 2018

Procedural Retrenchment And The States, Zachary D. Clopton

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Although not always headline grabbing, the Roberts Court has been highly interested in civil procedure. According to critics, the Court has undercut access to justice and private enforcement through its decisions on pleading, class actions, summary judgment, arbitration, standing, personal jurisdiction, and international law.

While I have much sympathy for the Court's critics, the current discourse too often ignores the states. Rather than bemoaning the Roberts Court's decisions to limit court access-and despairing further developments in the age of Trump-we instead might productively focus on the options open to state courts and public enforcement. Many of the aforementioned ...


Ascertainability: Prose, Policy, And Process, Rhonda Wasserman Jan 2018

Ascertainability: Prose, Policy, And Process, Rhonda Wasserman

Articles

One of the most hotly contested issues in class action practice today is ascertainability – when and how the identities of individual class members must be ascertained. The courts of appeals are split on the issue, with courts in different circuits imposing dramatically different burdens on putative class representatives. Courts adopting a strict approach require the class representative to prove that there is an administratively feasible means of determining whether class members are part of the class. This burden may be insurmountable in consumer class actions because people tend not to save receipts for purchases of low-cost consumer goods, like soft ...


Publicly Funded Objectors, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch Jan 2018

Publicly Funded Objectors, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch

Scholarly Works

On paper, class actions run like clockwork. But practice suggests the need for tune-ups: sometimes judges still approve settlements rife with red flags, and professional objectors may be more concerned with shaking down class counsel than with improving class members’ outcomes. The lack of data on the number of opt-outs, objectors, and claims rates fuels debates on both sides, for little is known about how well or poorly class members actually fare. This reveals a ubiquitous problem — information barriers confront judges, objectors, and even reformers. Rule 23’s answer is to empower objectors. At best, objectors are a partial fix ...


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 ...


Judge Kozinski Objects, Beth H. Wilensky Sep 2017

Judge Kozinski Objects, Beth H. Wilensky

Articles

Sitting judges don’t get to practice law. So although they often opine on the dos and don’ts of effective advocacy, we rarely get to see them put their advice into practice. But a few years ago, a class-action lawsuit provided the rare opportunity to witness a federal judge acting as an advocate before another federal judge—if not in the role of attorney, then certainly in as close to that role as we are likely to see. Given the chance to employ his own advice about effective advocacy, would the judge—Alex Kozinski—practice what he preaches? Would ...


Class Warfare: Why Antitrust Class Actions Are Essential For Compensation And Deterrence, Robert H. Lande Apr 2016

Class Warfare: Why Antitrust Class Actions Are Essential For Compensation And Deterrence, Robert H. Lande

All Faculty Scholarship

Recent empirical studies demonstrate five reasons why antitrust class action cases are essential: (1) class actions are virtually the only way for most victims of antitrust violations to receive compensation; (2) most successful class actions involve collusion that was anticompetitive; (3) class victims’ compensation has been modest, generally less than their damages; (4) class actions deter significant amounts of collusion and other anticompetitive behavior; and (5) anticompetitive collusion is underdeterred, a problem that would be exacerbated without class actions. Unfortunately, a number of court decisions have undermined class action cases, thus preventing much effective and important antitrust enforcement.


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 ...


The Class Action As Trust, Sergio J. Campos Jan 2016

The Class Action As Trust, Sergio J. Campos

Articles

No abstract provided.


Procedure And Pragmatism, Stephen B. Burbank Jan 2016

Procedure And Pragmatism, Stephen B. Burbank

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this essay, prepared as part of a festschrift for the Italian scholar, Michele Taruffo, I portray him as a pragmatic realist of the sort described by Richard Posner in his book, Reflections on Judging. Viewing him as such, I salute Taruffo for challenging the established order in domestic and comparative law thinking about civil law systems, the role of lawyers, courts and precedent in those systems, and also for casting the light of the comparative enterprise on common law systems, particularly that in the United States. Speaking as one iconoclast of another, however, I also raise questions about Taruffo ...


Improving Predictability And Consistency In Class Action Tolling, Tanya Pierce Jan 2016

Improving Predictability And Consistency In Class Action Tolling, Tanya Pierce

Faculty Scholarship

Class action tolling means that when parties in a suit allege federal treatment, the individual claims of putative class members are tolled federal courts while the class action is pending. Commonly referred to as American Pipe tolling, this rule prevents duplicative litigation that would result if plaintiffs were required to intervene or file independent lawsuits to protect their interests while the class action was pending. Federal courts have long settled the application of American Pipe tolling in scenarios involving later-filed individual actions. In other scenarios, however, the application of American Pipe tolling has caused considerable uncertainty. This Article examines the ...


Resurrecting Trial By Statistics, Jay Tidmarsh Apr 2015

Resurrecting Trial By Statistics, Jay Tidmarsh

Journal Articles

“Trial by statistics” was a means by which a court could resolve a large number of aggregated claims: a court could try a random sample of claim, and extrapolate the average result to the remainder. In Wal-Mart, Inc. v. Dukes, the Supreme Court seemingly ended the practice at the federal level, thus removing from judges a tool that made mass aggregation more feasible. After examining the benefits and drawbacks of trial by statistics, this Article suggests an alternative that harnesses many of the positive features of the technique while avoiding its major difficulties. The technique is the “presumptive judgment”: a ...


A Sour Battle In Lago Agrio And Beyond: The Metamorphosis Of Transnational Litigation And The Protection Of Collective Rights In Ecuador, Manuel A. Gomez Jan 2015

A Sour Battle In Lago Agrio And Beyond: The Metamorphosis Of Transnational Litigation And The Protection Of Collective Rights In Ecuador, Manuel A. Gomez

Faculty Publications

This article intends to explore the interplay between different dispute processing mechanisms and fora in the realm of transnational litigation, through the lens of the Chevron-Ecuador legal saga. My goal is to discuss the transformation of a transnational complex case and the challenges faced by the parties, their procedural strategies, and the perceived advantages of the different mechanisms. In this regard, I will also address the development of mechanisms for the protection of diffuse rights involving the environment; the role of the courts in supervising compliance with judicial remedies, their engagement in activities that go beyond their traditional role as ...


Mass Litigation Governance In The Post-Class Action Era: The Problems And Promise Of Non-Removable State Actions In Multi-District Litigation, J. Maria Glover Apr 2014

Mass Litigation Governance In The Post-Class Action Era: The Problems And Promise Of Non-Removable State Actions In Multi-District Litigation, J. Maria Glover

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Given a string of decisions restricting the use and availability of the class action device, the world of mass litigation may well be moving into a post-class action era. In this era, newer devices of aggregation—perhaps principally among them multi-district litigation (“MDL”)—increasingly will be called upon to meet the age-old mass litigation goal of achieving global peace of numerous claims arising out of a related, widespread harm. Indeed, coordination of pretrial proceedings in the MDL frequently facilitates the achievement of this peace, given the reality that cases, once consolidated in the MDL, often settle en masse.

However, one ...


Class Actions And Justiciability, Sergio J. Campos Jan 2014

Class Actions And Justiciability, Sergio J. Campos

Articles

A lingering issue in class action law concerns the case or controversy requirement of Article III, otherwise known as the requirement of justiciability. For purposes of justiciability doctrines such as standing, mootness, and ripeness, is the class action brought by all class members, some class members, or just the class representative?

This Article argues that the answer should be none of the above-it should be the class attorney. This Article first shows that the function of the class action is to assign dispositive control of, and a partial beneficial interest in, the class members' claims to the class attorney. Put ...


It's Not Over 'Til It's Over: Mandating Federal Pretrial Jurisdiction And Oversight In Mass Torts, Tanya Pierce Jan 2014

It's Not Over 'Til It's Over: Mandating Federal Pretrial Jurisdiction And Oversight In Mass Torts, Tanya Pierce

Faculty Scholarship

In 2004, just five years after introducing the drug, Vioxx, pharmaceutical company, Merck, voluntarily withdrew the prescription pain-killer after a clinical study suggested that the drug increased the risk of heart attack and stroke. But in that relatively short time, an estimated 20 million Americans had already taken the drug. By late 2007, Merck announced it would pay $4.85 billion — the largest drug settlement ever — in “global settlements” for Vioxx-related claims. These settlements ultimately included roughly 47,000 individual lawsuits and about 265 potential class actions, but the Vioxx settlements were far from global.

In 2012, a purported parallel ...


Cy Pres And The Optimal Class Action, Jay Tidmarsh Jan 2014

Cy Pres And The Optimal Class Action, Jay Tidmarsh

Journal Articles

This Article, prepared for a symposium on class actions, examines the problem of cy pres relief through the lens of ensuring that class actions have an optimal claim structure and class membership. It finds that the present cy pres doctrine does little to advance the creation of optimal class actions, and may do some harm to achieving that goal. The Article then proposes an alternative “nudge” to induce putative class counsel to structure class actions in an optimal way: set attorneys’ fees so that counsel is compensated through a combination of an hourly market rate and a percentage of the ...


Judgment Day For Fraud-On-The-Market?: Reflections On Amgen And The Second Coming Of Halliburton, Donald C. Langevoort Nov 2013

Judgment Day For Fraud-On-The-Market?: Reflections On Amgen And The Second Coming Of Halliburton, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In November 2013, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in the Halliburton litigation to reconsider, and perhaps overrule, its seminal decision in Basic Inc. v. Levinson. Basic legitimated the fraud-on-the-market presumption of reliance, making securities class actions for claims of false corporate publicity viable, and such cases have become the central mechanisms for private securities fraud litigation. This move came after last Term’s Amgen decision, where four justices signaled their doubts about Basic. This essay looks at the connection between Amgen and the continuing viability of fraud-on-the-market litigation. How Halliburton comes out will likely depend on how the Court views ...


Amicus Briefs Of The National Association Of Consumer Advocates In Day V. Persels & Associates, 729 F.3d 1309 (11th Cir. 2013), Brian Wolfman Sep 2013

Amicus Briefs Of The National Association Of Consumer Advocates In Day V. Persels & Associates, 729 F.3d 1309 (11th Cir. 2013), Brian Wolfman

U.S. Supreme Court Briefs

These amicus briefs are likely to interest legal academics and practitioners who write, research, and practice in the areas of (1) federal courts, (2) class actions, (3) separation of powers, (4) constitutional law more generally, and (4) federal litigation.

In Day v. Persels & Associates, 729 F.3d 1309 (11th Cir. 2013), an absent class member objected to a class-action settlement. The objector argued that the settlement was unfair because, among other reasons, it provided no monetary recovery to the class members. In the district court, prior to class certification and settlement, the defendants and the named plaintiff had consented to authorize a federal magistrate judge to enter a final judgment in the action as permitted by 28 U.S.C. 636(c).When a magistrate judge enters a final judgment under section 636(c), the judgment is appealable directly to the court of appeals. No Article III district judge has any decision making role.

In the lower court in Day, the magistrate judge approved the class-action settlement, and the objector appealed directly to the Eleventh Circuit. At that point, my client—the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA)—entered the picture as an amicus. NACA argued (in order of breadth) that (1) 28 U.S.C. 636(c) is unconstitutional because consent is an insufficient basis to override the general constitutional requirement that only an Article III judge (and not a non-life-tenured magistrate judge) may enter a final federal-court judgment; (2) even if the parties’ consent to a magistrate judge ordinarily would suffice to make 28 U.S.C. 636(c) constitutional, the named parties’ consent in a class action is not constitutionally sufficient to bind absent class members because, as the class-action device ordinarily operates, absent class members lack the ability to provide the knowing and ...


Managerial Judging And Substantive Law, Tobias Barrington Wolff Jan 2013

Managerial Judging And Substantive Law, Tobias Barrington Wolff

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The figure of the proactive jurist, involved in case management from the outset of the litigation and attentive throughout the proceedings to the impact of her decisions on settlement dynamics -- a managerial judge -- has displaced the passive umpire as the dominant paradigm in the federal district courts. Thus far, discussions of managerial judging have focused primarily upon values endogenous to the practice of judging. Procedural scholarship has paid little attention to the impact of the underlying substantive law on the parameters and conduct of complex proceedings.

In this Article, I examine the interface between substantive law and managerial judging. The ...


The Extraordinary Deterrence Of Private Antitrust Enforcement: A Reply To Werden, Robert H. Lande, Joshua P. Davis Jan 2013

The Extraordinary Deterrence Of Private Antitrust Enforcement: A Reply To Werden, Robert H. Lande, Joshua P. Davis

All Faculty Scholarship

Our article, "Comparative Deterrence from Private Enforcement and Criminal Enforcement of the U.S. Antitrust Laws," 2011 B.Y.U. L. Rev. 315, documented an extraordinary but usually overlooked fact: private antitrust enforcement deters a significant amount of anticompetitive conduct. Indeed, the article showed that private enforcement "probably" deters even more anticompetitive conduct than the almost universally admired anti-cartel enforcement program of the United States Department of Justice.

In a recent issue of Antitrust Bulletin, Gregory J. Werden, Scott D. Hammond, and Belinda A. Barnett challenged our analysis. They asserted that our comparison “is more misleading than informative.” It is ...


Class Actions All The Way Down, Sergio J. Campos Jan 2013

Class Actions All The Way Down, Sergio J. Campos

Articles

No abstract provided.


Mass Procedures As A Form Of "Regulatory Arbitration" - Abaclat V. Argentine Republic And The International Investment Regime, S. I. Strong Jan 2013

Mass Procedures As A Form Of "Regulatory Arbitration" - Abaclat V. Argentine Republic And The International Investment Regime, S. I. Strong

Faculty Publications

This article takes a unique and intriguing look at the issues presented by Abaclat, considering the legitimacy of mass procedures from a regulatory perspective and using new governance theory to determine whether a new form of regulatory arbitration is currently being developed. In so doing, the discussion describes the basic parameters of regulatory litigation and analyzes the special problems that arise when regulatory litigation is used in the transnational context, then transfers those concepts into the arbitral realm. This sort of analysis, which is entirely novel as a matter of either public or private law, will shape future inquiries regarding ...


When Bad Guys Are Wearing White Hats, Catherine A. Rogers Jan 2013

When Bad Guys Are Wearing White Hats, Catherine A. Rogers

Journal Articles

Allegations of ethical misconduct by lawyers have all but completely overshadowed the substantive claims in the Chevron case. While both sides have been accused of flagrant wrongdoing, the charges against plaintiffs’ counsel appear to have captured more headlines and garnered more attention. The primary reason why the focus seems lopsided is that plaintiffs’ counsel were presumed to be the ones wearing white hats in this epic drama. This essay postulates that this seeming irony is not simply an example of personal ethical lapse, but in part tied to larger reasons why ethical violations are an occupational hazard for plaintiffs’ counsel ...