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Full-Text Articles in Law

A Remedy For The Least Well Off: The Case For Preliminary Damages, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein Feb 2021

A Remedy For The Least Well Off: The Case For Preliminary Damages, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Historically, the law helped impecunious plaintiffs overcome their inherent disadvantage in civil litigation. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case: modern law has largely abandoned the mission of assisting the least well off. In this Essay, we propose a new remedy that can dramatically improve the fortunes of poor plaintiffs and thereby change the errant path of the law: preliminary damages. The unavailability of preliminary damages has dire implications for poor plaintiffs, especially those wronged by affluent individuals and corporations. Resource constrained plaintiffs cannot afford prolonged litigation on account of their limited financial means. Consequently, they are forced to either ...


Classaction.Gov, Amanda M. Rose Jan 2021

Classaction.Gov, Amanda M. Rose

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Essay proposes the creation of a federally run class action website and supporting administration (collectively, Classaction.gov) that would both operate a comprehensive research database on class actions and assume many of the notice and claims-processing functions performed by class action claims administrators today. Classaction.gov would bring long-demanded transparency to class actions and, through forces of legitimization and coordination, would substantially increase the rate of consumer participation in class action settlements. It also holds the key to mitigating other problems in class action practice, such as the inefficiencies and potential abuses associated with multiforum litigation, the limited success ...


When Worlds Collide: Protecting Physical World Interests Against Virtual World Malfeasance, Hilary Silvia, Nanci K. Carr May 2020

When Worlds Collide: Protecting Physical World Interests Against Virtual World Malfeasance, Hilary Silvia, Nanci K. Carr

Michigan Technology Law Review

If a virtual-world-game character is cast upon real-world property without the consent of the landowner, inducing or encouraging players to trespass, is the virtual-world creator liable for damages? The United States Supreme Court has recognized that digital technology presents novel issues, the resolution of which must anticipate its further rapid development. It is beyond dispute that protective legislation will be unable to keep up with rapidly evolving technology. The burden of anticipating and addressing issues presented by emerging technologies will ultimately fall upon the businesses responsible for generating them. This duty was most notably adopted by the creators of Pokémon ...


Settlements And Waivers Affecting Pension Benefits Under Erisa, Eric D. Chason Sep 2019

Settlements And Waivers Affecting Pension Benefits Under Erisa, Eric D. Chason

Eric D. Chason

Waivers affecting pension benefits may be entered into as part of a controversy (for example, a settlement agreement) or in isolation (for example, a disclaimer). Under current law, however, it is unclear how these waivers fit within the protections of ERISA, particularly the antialienation rule. Courts have generally honored settlement agreements so long as they are procedurally fair to participants. However, the antialienation rule looms in the background. The IRS and Treasury, in contrast, have focused on waivers outside the settlement context, prohibiting participants from making them but allowing beneficiaries to do so if the waiver satisfies gift-tax rules for ...


The Wet Settlement Act And The Problem Of Delayed Disbursements, Lynda L. Butler Sep 2019

The Wet Settlement Act And The Problem Of Delayed Disbursements, Lynda L. Butler

Lynda L. Butler

No abstract provided.


Averting Government By Consent Decree: Constitutional Limits On The Enforcement Of Settlements With The Federal Government, Jeremy A. Rabkin, Neal Devins Sep 2019

Averting Government By Consent Decree: Constitutional Limits On The Enforcement Of Settlements With The Federal Government, Jeremy A. Rabkin, Neal Devins

Neal E. Devins

No abstract provided.


Enforcing The Bargain V. Materiality Requirement: The Future Of Disclosure-Only Settlements Post-Trulia, Hao Jiang May 2018

Enforcing The Bargain V. Materiality Requirement: The Future Of Disclosure-Only Settlements Post-Trulia, Hao Jiang

Pace Law Review

In In re Trulia, Inc. Stockholder Litigation, the Delaware Court of Chancery broke away from its tradition of routinely approving disclosure-only settlements and required disclosures to be material in order to cure the conflict of interest between plaintiff’s counsel and the plaintiff class. I argue that fairness of settlement is the only standard in approving class action settlements and fairness will not be achieved by requiring materiality. Shareholders are legally entitled to all material information, as the board’s fiduciary duty dictates. Thus, material disclosures are enforcement of a legal duty that is no consideration for the release of ...


The Unsettling Effect Of Maine Law On Settlement In Cases Involving Multiple Tortfeasors, Arlyn H. Weeks Apr 2018

The Unsettling Effect Of Maine Law On Settlement In Cases Involving Multiple Tortfeasors, Arlyn H. Weeks

Maine Law Review

When more than one person or entity causes injury to another, the multiple tortfeasors are jointly and severally liable to the injured party under Maine law. Maine has also provided since 1965 for comparison of the negligence of plaintiffs and defendants so that a plaintiff may not recover if his causative negligence is found to have equaled or exceeded that of the defendant. In addition, title 14, section 156 of the Maine Revised Statutes gives to each defendant the right to request that the jury allocate percentages of fault “contributed by each defendant.” Finally, title 14, section 163 of the ...


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 ...


Never Settle For Second Best? Cy Pres Distributions In Securities Class Action Settlements, Brianna S. Hills Apr 2017

Never Settle For Second Best? Cy Pres Distributions In Securities Class Action Settlements, Brianna S. Hills

Missouri Law Review

There is an old adage that one should “never settle for second best.” While this advice is arguably well taken in most areas of life, it is less useful in settlement discussions. In 2015, more federal securities class actions were filed than during the height of the financial crisis in 2008, with more of those cases settling than in any year since 2011.1Consumer class action funds often go largely unclaimed, leaving settlement funds intended to compensate injured plaintiffs unused and undistributed


Toward A Theory Of Motion Practice And Settlement: Comment, Adam C. Pritchard Mar 2017

Toward A Theory Of Motion Practice And Settlement: Comment, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

"Scott Baker (2017) has provided a thought-provoking contribution to this symposium volume, helping us to better understand the strategic game of litigation. In terms of both resources and actual disputes resolved, pretrial practice is vastly more important than actual trials. Trials are a rarity in the American civil justice system, as the overwhelming majority of disputes are resolved via settlement. Indeed, rational-choice scholars have struggled to explain why all disputes are not resolved via settlement, as settlement avoids the expense of a trial, which is a dead-weight loss to both sides of the dispute. The parties’ mutual incentive toward settlement ...


Repeat Players In Multidistrict Litigation: The Social Network, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch, Margaret S. Williams Jan 2017

Repeat Players In Multidistrict Litigation: The Social Network, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch, Margaret S. Williams

Scholarly Works

As class certification wanes, plaintiffs’ lawyers resolve hundreds of thousands of individual lawsuits through aggregate settlements in multidistrict litigation. But without class actions, formal rules are scarce and judges rarely scrutinize the private agreements that result. Meanwhile, the same principal-agent concerns that plagued class-action attorneys linger. These circumstances are ripe for exploitation: few rules, little oversight, multi-million dollar common-benefit fees, and a push for settlement can tempt a cadre of repeat players to fill in the gaps in ways that further their own self-interest.

Although multidistrict litigation now comprises 36 percent of the entire federal civil caseload, legal scholars have ...


The Work Of International Law, Monica Hakimi Jan 2017

The Work Of International Law, Monica Hakimi

Articles

This Article crystallizes and then critiques a prominent view about the role of international law in the global order. The view - what I call the "cooperation thesis" - is that international law serves to help global actors cooperate, specifically by: (1) curbing their disputes, and (2) promoting their shared goals. The cooperation thesis often appears as a positive account of international law; it purports to explain or describe what international law does. But it also has normative force; international law is widely depicted as dysfunctional when it does not satisfy the thesis. In particular, heated or intractable conflict is thought to ...


The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Litigation: Proof Of Concept For The Manual For Complex Litigation And The 2015 Amendments To The Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure, John C. Cruden, Steve O'Rourke, Sarah D. Himmelhoch Oct 2016

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Litigation: Proof Of Concept For The Manual For Complex Litigation And The 2015 Amendments To The Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure, John C. Cruden, Steve O'Rourke, Sarah D. Himmelhoch

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

On April 20, 2010, the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven people and injuring seventeen more. Efforts to stop the spill failed. For the next eighty-seven days, hundreds of millions of barrels of oil poured into the Gulf. This catastrophe not only changed the lives of the families of the dead and injured and the communities who experienced the economic and social disruption of the spill – it challenged the survival of the ecosystem of the ninth largest water body in the world. The oil spill extended fifty miles offshore from Louisiana in the Gulf ...


Making A Buck While Making A Difference, Alphonse A. Gerhardstein May 2016

Making A Buck While Making A Difference, Alphonse A. Gerhardstein

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

It is not right for children to die before their parents. It is not right for peaceful, unarmed citizens to die at the hands of the police. In my civil rights practice, I have met many mothers, fathers, and family members who are struggling to recover after a law enforcement officer caused the death of their loved one. Sure, they want fair compensation. But money does little to reduce their loss or make the grief more bearable. They often want to do something that will ensure that their loved one did not die in vain. They want to prevent other ...


A Comprehensive Theory Of Civil Settlement, J. J. Prescott, Kathryn E. Spier Apr 2016

A Comprehensive Theory Of Civil Settlement, J. J. Prescott, Kathryn E. Spier

Articles

A settlement is an agreement between parties to a dispute. In everyday parlance and in academic scholarship, settlement is juxtaposed with trial or some other method of dispute resolution in which a third-party factfinder ultimately picks a winner and announces a score. The “trial versus settlement” trope, however, represents a false choice; viewing settlement solely as a dispute-ending alternative to a costly trial leads to a narrow understanding of how dispute resolution should and often does work. In this Article, we describe and defend a much richer concept of settlement, amounting in effect to a continuum of possible agreements between ...


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 ...


Everything’S Bigger In Texas: Except The Medmal Settlements, Tom Baker, Eric Helland, Jonathan Klick Jan 2016

Everything’S Bigger In Texas: Except The Medmal Settlements, Tom Baker, Eric Helland, Jonathan Klick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Recent work using Texas closed claim data finds that physicians are rarely required to use personal assets in medical malpractice settlements even when plaintiffs secure judgments above the physician's insurance limits. In equilibrium, this should lead physicians to purchase less insurance. Qualitative research on the behavior of plaintiffs suggests that there is a norm under which plaintiffs agree not to pursue personal assets as long as defendants are not grossly underinsured. This norm operates as a soft constraint on physicians. All other things equal, while physicians want to lower their coverage, they do not want to violate the norm ...


Newsroom: Logan On Volkswagen Emissions, Roger Williams University School Of Law Dec 2015

Newsroom: Logan On Volkswagen Emissions, Roger Williams University School Of Law

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


The Private Causes Of Action Under Cercla: Navigating The Intersection Of Sections 107(A) And 113(F), Jeffrey M. Gaba Dec 2015

The Private Causes Of Action Under Cercla: Navigating The Intersection Of Sections 107(A) And 113(F), Jeffrey M. Gaba

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

The Comprehensive Environmental, Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) provides three distinct “private” causes of action that allow parties to recover all or part of their cleanup costs from “potentially responsible parties.” Section 107(a)(4)(B) provides a “direct” right of cost recovery. Sections 113(f)(1) and 113(f)(3)(B) provide a right of contribution following a CERCLA civil action or certain judicial or administrative settlements. The relationship among these causes of action has been the source of considerable confusion. Two Supreme Court cases, Cooper Industries, Inc. v. Aviall Services, Inc. and United States v. Atlantic Research ...


Seminar On Evidence And Trial Practice, Robert G. Lawson, William H. Fortune, Thomas L. Osborne, William R. Garmer, Richard H. Underwood, Robert L. Elliott, Peggy E. Purdom, Andre E. Busald, William J. Kathman Aug 2015

Seminar On Evidence And Trial Practice, Robert G. Lawson, William H. Fortune, Thomas L. Osborne, William R. Garmer, Richard H. Underwood, Robert L. Elliott, Peggy E. Purdom, Andre E. Busald, William J. Kathman

Robert G. Lawson

Outlines of speaker presentations offered during a series of one day seminars on evidence and trial practice offered by UK/CLE in late 1987-early 1988.


Slides: Wrapping Up The Big Horn Adjudication: Lessons After 38 Years And 20,000 Claims, Ramsey L. Kropf Jun 2015

Slides: Wrapping Up The Big Horn Adjudication: Lessons After 38 Years And 20,000 Claims, Ramsey L. Kropf

Innovations in Managing Western Water: New Approaches for Balancing Environmental, Social and Economic Outcomes (Martz Summer Conference, June 11-12)

Presenter: Ramsey L. Kropf, Deputy Solicitor for Water Resources, Office of the Solicitor, U.S. Department of the Interior

34 slides


Saving Charitable Settlements, Christine P. Bartholomew May 2015

Saving Charitable Settlements, Christine P. Bartholomew

Journal Articles

This Article defies the conventional wisdom that all charitable distributions from a class action settlement fund are types of cy pres. Instead, it proposes a radical delineation between “cy pres remainders” (meaning settlement funds left over after individual monetary distributions) and “charitable settlements” (meaning money initially distributed to charities as part of class action settlements). While both have cy pres roots, these two settlement structures have been conflated, jeopardizing the potential utility of charitable settlements. After articulating more precise nomenclature for these distinct distribution methods, this Article justifies why we must preserve charitable settlements. This defense is particularly timely, as ...


Prisoners' Rights Lawyers' Strategies For Preserving The Role Of The Courts, Margo Schlanger Apr 2015

Prisoners' Rights Lawyers' Strategies For Preserving The Role Of The Courts, Margo Schlanger

Articles

This Article is part of the University of Miami Law Review’s Leading from Below Symposium. It canvasses prisoners’ lawyers’ strategies prompted by the 1996 Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”). The strategies comply with the statute’s limits yet also allow U.S. district courts to remain a forum for the vindication of the constitutional rights of at least some of the nation’s millions of prisoners. After Part I’s introduction, Part II summarizes in several charts the PLRA’s sharp impact on the prevalence and outcomes of prison litigation, but demonstrates that there are still many cases and ...


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 ...


Patent Punting: How Fda And Antitrust Courts Undermine The Hatch-Waxman Act To Avoid Dealing With Patents, Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2015

Patent Punting: How Fda And Antitrust Courts Undermine The Hatch-Waxman Act To Avoid Dealing With Patents, Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Daniel A. Crane

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Under the Hatch-Waxman Act, patent law and FDA regulation work together to determine the timing of generic entry in the market for drugs. But FDA has sought to avoid any responsibility for reading patents, insisting that its role in administering the patent provisions of the Hatch-Waxman Act is purely ministerial. This gap in regulatory oversight has allowed innovators to use irrelevant patents to defer generic competition. Meanwhile, patent litigation has set the stage for anticompetitive settlements rather than adjudication of the patent issues in the courts. As these settlements have provoked antitrust litigation, antitrust courts have proven no more willing ...


Contracting Away Your Right To Sue: What You Need To Know About Arbitration, Ramona L. Lampley Jan 2015

Contracting Away Your Right To Sue: What You Need To Know About Arbitration, Ramona L. Lampley

Faculty Articles

Arbitration agreements that typically accompany credit card agreements and other services can work well—or work disastrously. What many consumers do not realize is that in numerous everyday interactions with banks, employers and retailers, they are waiving their right to sue in court if a dispute does arise. Given the lack of consumer familiarity with arbitration, there is an inherent fear and distrust of the system often referred to either as alternative dispute resolution or private dispute resolution. Some of that public fear and distrust is well-founded. We know that private dispute resolution poses the opportunity for businesses to potentially ...


The Judgment Fund: America's Deepest Pocket & Its Susceptibility To Executive Branch Misuse, Paul F. Figley Jan 2015

The Judgment Fund: America's Deepest Pocket & Its Susceptibility To Executive Branch Misuse, Paul F. Figley

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

Over the last thirty-five years, the United States government has paid out billions of dollars in settlements that have had no fiscal consequences for the agencies whose actions caused the claims. It has done so through the Judgment Fund, a relatively unknown permanent, indefinite appropriation originally created by Congress almost half a century ago to pay certain types of judgments entered against the United States.

Congress struggled for nearly two hundred years to find a way to exercise its Appropriations Clause authority over claims payments that did not drown its members in procedural detail. The article surveys that history. Through ...


The Rule Of Reason And The Scope Of The Patent, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2015

The Rule Of Reason And The Scope Of The Patent, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

For a century and a half the Supreme Court has described perceived patent abuses as conduct that reaches "beyond the scope of the patent." That phrase, which evokes an image of boundary lines in real property, has been applied to both government and private activity and has many different meanings. It has been used offensively to conclude that certain patent uses are unlawful because they extend beyond the scope of the patent. It is also used defensively to characterize activities as lawful if they do not extend beyond the patent's scope. In the first half of the twentieth century ...