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Complex litigation

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Class Certification In The U.S. Courts Of Appeals: A Longitudinal Study, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Jan 2021

Class Certification In The U.S. Courts Of Appeals: A Longitudinal Study, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

There is a vast literature on the modern class action, but little of it is informed by systematic empirical data. Mindful both that there have been few Supreme Court class certification decisions and that they may not provide an accurate picture of class action jurisprudence, let alone class action activity, over time, we created a comprehensive data set of class certification decisions in the United States Courts of Appeals consisting of all precedential panel decisions addressing whether a class should be certified from 1966 through 2017, and of nonprecedential panel decisions from 2002 through 2017.

In Section I, through a ...


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 ...


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

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

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

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 ...


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 ...


Has Shoe Run Its Course?, David W. Ichel Jan 2019

Has Shoe Run Its Course?, David W. Ichel

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


A New Guard At The Courthouse Door: Corporate Personal Jurisdiction In Complex Litigation After The Supreme Court’S Decision Quartet, David W. Ichel Jan 2018

A New Guard At The Courthouse Door: Corporate Personal Jurisdiction In Complex Litigation After The Supreme Court’S Decision Quartet, David W. Ichel

Faculty Scholarship

In a quartet of recent decisions, the Supreme Court substantially reshaped the analysis of due process limits for a state's exercise of personal jurisdiction over corporations for the first time since its groundbreaking 1945 decision in International Shoe Co. v. Washington. The Court's decision quartet recasts the International Shoe continuum of corporate contacts for which it would be "reasonable" for the state to exercise jurisdiction based on "traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice" into a more rigid bright-line dichotomy between "general" and "specific" jurisdiction: for a state to exercise general (or all-purpose) jurisdiction over any suit ...


The Triangle Of Law And The Role Of Evidence In Class Action Litigation, Jonah B. Gelbach Jan 2017

The Triangle Of Law And The Role Of Evidence In Class Action Litigation, Jonah B. Gelbach

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo, a "donning and doffing" case brought under Iowa state law incorporating the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime pay provisions, the petitioners asked the Supreme Court to reject the use of statistical evidence in Rule 23(b)(3) class certification. To its great credit, the Court refused. In its majority opinion, the Court cited both the Federal Rules of Evidence and federal common law interpreting the FLSA. In this paper, I take a moderately deep dive into the facts of the case, and the three opinions penned by Justice Kennedy (for the Court), Chief Justice ...


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 ...


Newsroom: Logan On Possibility Of Bp Settlement, Roger Williams University School Of Law Jan 2015

Newsroom: Logan On Possibility Of Bp Settlement, Roger Williams University School Of Law

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Redefining Prey And Predator In Class Actions, Christine P. Bartholomew Jan 2015

Redefining Prey And Predator In Class Actions, Christine P. Bartholomew

Journal Articles

Aggregate litigation’s potential as a tool for the disempowered is not being realized. Class actions have come under serious attack in the last decade as critics have successfully worked to change traditional notions of victimhood. The leading narrative identifies big businesses as the vulnerable prey needing protection from large class claims and the greedy class actions attorneys who bring them. Relying on this narrative, courts and Congress have made class actions harder to pursue, from filing and class certification to settlement approval.

Vulnerability theory offers an alternative framework to rehabilitate class actions. From this perspective, the legal system currently ...


The Mdl Vortex Revisited, Thomas B. Metzloff Jan 2015

The Mdl Vortex Revisited, Thomas B. Metzloff

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Facilitative Judging: Organizational Design In Mass-Multidistrict Litigation, Jaime Dodge Jan 2014

Facilitative Judging: Organizational Design In Mass-Multidistrict Litigation, Jaime Dodge

Scholarly Works

Faced with the emerging phenomenon of complex litigation—from school desegregation to mass torts—the judiciary of the last century departed from the traditional, purely adjudicative role in favor of managerial judging, in which they actively supervised cases and even became involved in settlement talks. I argue that a similar transition in judicial role is now occurring. I contend that transferee judges are now stepping back from active participation in settlement discussions but playing a far greater role in structuring and administering the litigation. This new judicial role focuses on facilitating the parties’ resolution of the case, whether through settlement ...


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 ...


Discretion In Class Certification, Tobias Barrington Wolff Jan 2014

Discretion In Class Certification, Tobias Barrington Wolff

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


Multiple Attempts At Class Certification, Tobias Barrington Wolff Jan 2014

Multiple Attempts At Class Certification, Tobias Barrington Wolff

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The phenomenon of multiple attempts at class certification -- when class counsel file the same putative class action in multiple successive courts and attempt to secure an order of certification despite previous denials of the same request -- has always presented a vexing analytical puzzle. When the Supreme Court rejected one proposed solution to that problem in Smith v. Bayer, it left unresolved some of the broader questions of preclusion doctrine, federal common law, and the constraints of due process with which any satisfying approach will have to grapple.

This essay was solicited as a reply to a recent article by Professor ...


Living In Cafa's World, Jay Tidmarsh Jan 2013

Living In Cafa's World, Jay Tidmarsh

Journal Articles

This Article, prepared for a conference on the Class Action Fairness Act, examines the effect of CAFA on our understanding about the benefits and drawbacks of class actions. The Article describes the vision of class actions that imbues CAFA, and demonstrates how many subsequent developments in the law of class actions — including the Supreme Court’s decisions in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, and Shady Grove Orthopedics v. Allstate Insurance — have advanced CAFA’s restrictive vision about the role of class actions in modern American litigation. The Article demonstrates that competing visions about the role of class ...


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 Structural Role Of Private Enforcement Mechanisms In Public Law, J. Maria Glover Jan 2012

The Structural Role Of Private Enforcement Mechanisms In Public Law, J. Maria Glover

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The American regulatory system is unique in that it expressly relies upon a diffuse set of regulators, including private parties, rather than upon a centralized bureaucracy, for the effectuation of its substantive aims. In contrast with more traditional conceptions of private enforcement as an ad hoc supplement to public law, this Article argues that private regulation through litigation is an integral part of the structure of the modern regulatory state. Private litigation and the mechanisms that enable it are not merely add-ons to our regulatory regime, much less are they fundamentally at odds with it.

Yet mechanisms of enforcement attendant ...


Evaluating And Improving The Mdl Process, Francis Mcgovern, John G. Heyburn Jan 2012

Evaluating And Improving The Mdl Process, Francis Mcgovern, John G. Heyburn

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


False Security: How Courts Have Improperly Rendered The Protections Of The Protective Order Illusory, Ramona L. Lampley Jan 2011

False Security: How Courts Have Improperly Rendered The Protections Of The Protective Order Illusory, Ramona L. Lampley

Faculty Articles

The protective order is perhaps one of the most useful and “taken for granted” discovery devices contemplated by the Colorado and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The purpose of a joint protective order in civil litigation is to permit the parties to produce business information without fear that the information will be disseminated publicly, and with a court order that the information be used only for purposes of the present litigation. Blanket protective orders serve the interests of a just, speedy, and less expensive determination of complex disputes by alleviating the need for and delay occasioned by extensive and repeated ...


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

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

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 ...


The Relation Between Regulation And Class Actions: Evidence From The Insurance Industry, Eric Helland, Jonathan Klick Mar 2009

The Relation Between Regulation And Class Actions: Evidence From The Insurance Industry, Eric Helland, Jonathan Klick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Standard law and economics models imply that regulation and litigation serve as substitutes. We test this by looking at the incidence of insurance class actions as a function of measures of regulatory enforcement. We also look specifically at whether states with clear regulatory standards regarding the use of OEM parts experience less litigation over this issue. We find no evidence of substitution between regulation and litigation. We also examine the possibility that litigation is more frequent in states where regulators are more likely to be captured by industry interests, finding no support for this hypothesis either. Instead, litigation is more ...


The Class Action Fairness Act Of 2005 In Historical Context: A Preliminary View, Stephen B. Burbank Jun 2008

The Class Action Fairness Act Of 2005 In Historical Context: A Preliminary View, Stephen B. Burbank

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

As courts confront, and commentators begin to write about, the many jurisdictional questions that emerged from CAFA’s long and messy legislative process, I propose instead to set that legislation in context. The contexts that, given my training and interests, I find most revealing concern the history of federal diversity of citizenship litigation in general and, within that larger story, the history of diversity class actions in federal court. Because all questions of federal court subject matter jurisdiction implicate the "happy relations of States to Nation," both accounts necessarily pay attention to state court litigation and to the impact of ...


National Juries For National Cases: Preserving Citizen Participation In Large-Scale Litigation, Laura G. Dooley Jan 2008

National Juries For National Cases: Preserving Citizen Participation In Large-Scale Litigation, Laura G. Dooley

Law Faculty Publications

Procedural evolution in complex litigation seems to have left the civil jury behind. Reliance on aggregating devices, such as multidistrict litigation and class actions, as well as settlement pressure created by “bellwether” cases, has resulted in cases of national scope being tried by local juries. Local juries thus have the potential to impose their values on the rest of the country. This trend motivates parties to forum-shop, and some commentators suggest eliminating jury trials in complex cases altogether. Yet the jury is at the heart of our uniquely American understanding of civil justice, and the Seventh Amendment mandates its use ...


The Complexity Of Modern American Civil Litigation: Curse Or Cure?, Stephen B. Burbank Jun 2007

The Complexity Of Modern American Civil Litigation: Curse Or Cure?, Stephen B. Burbank

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Originally prepared for the 2007 meetings of the Italian Association of Comparative Law, this paper seeks to excavate the roots of procedural complexity in modern American litigation. Proceeding from the view that there is no accepted definition of complex litigation in the United States, the paper discusses five related phenomena that the author regards as consequential: (1) the architecture of modern American lawsuits and the procedural philosophy that architecture reflects, (2) the volume of litigation and the public and private policies, attitudes and arrangements that affect it, (3) the dynamic nature of, and dispersed institutional responsibility for, American law, (4 ...


Lawyer, Client, Community: To Whom Does The Education Reform Lawsuit Belong?, Amy Reichbach Jan 2007

Lawyer, Client, Community: To Whom Does The Education Reform Lawsuit Belong?, Amy Reichbach

Faculty Publications

Important education reform litigation is often undertaken by lawyers with admirable intentions. It is too easy, however, particularly in the context of large, enduring, complex litigation where it is difficult to identify the class, much less name and pursue the class's goals, to lose sight of the client-lawyer relationship and the significance of client autonomy. Several recent lawsuits concerning the enforceability of No Child Left Behind exemplify issues that arise in class representation. In devising legal strategies, lawyers must balance the need to address clients' immediate problems with the pursuit of longer-term strategies for change, such as organization and ...


Typology Of Aggregate Settlements, A , Howard M. Erichson Jan 2004

Typology Of Aggregate Settlements, A , Howard M. Erichson

Faculty Scholarship

It is odd, considering how often lawyers engage in aggregate settlements, that no one seems able to explain what "aggregate settlement" means. It is one of the most important yet least defined terms in complex litigation. Lawyers and judges talk about aggregate settlements as though it were obvious what the term signifies and as though it describes a single thing. In fact, group settlements in multiparty litigation vary significantly. And they vary in ways that make it difficult to determine whether certain deals ought to be understood as collective settlements or simply as groups of individual settlements bundled together. This ...


Coattail Class Actions: Reflections On Microsoft, Tobacco, And The Mixing Of Public And Private Lawyering In Mass Litigation , Howard M. Erichson Jan 2000

Coattail Class Actions: Reflections On Microsoft, Tobacco, And The Mixing Of Public And Private Lawyering In Mass Litigation , Howard M. Erichson

Faculty Scholarship

Ask anyone who follows legal news to name the two biggest litigation news stories in the United States at the start of the twenty-first century, and they will answer without blinking: Microsoft and tobacco. The Microsoft litigation, they will tell you, claims a place in the pantheon of antitrust landmarks that includes Standard Oil, Alcoa, and AT&T. The tobacco litigation is the most massive in a string of mass torts including asbestos, Dalkon Shield, and breast implants; it is arguably the most important public health matter ever litigated. Microsoft and tobacco each fit so well and so interestingly in their own line of antitrust or product liability cases that it would be easy to miss what the two stories have ...


An Empirical Case Study Of Informal Alternative Dispute Resolution, Ronald J. Bacigal Jan 1988

An Empirical Case Study Of Informal Alternative Dispute Resolution, Ronald J. Bacigal

Law Faculty Publications

The following Article is taken from that portion of Merhige's biography that addresses the Westinghouse uranium case of the 1970s, perhaps the first of the major "complex cases" to attract national attention. This case study provides an opportunity to examine a judicial decision making process involving four years of litigation, international discovery proceedings, judicial administrative guidelines, diverse national precepts of economics and politics, the interplay between the free market and multinational cartels and embargoes, and lastly, the personality of the trial judge. Shunning any pretense of passivity, Merhige initiated proceedings in the Westinghouse case by ignoring administrative protocol in ...