This class is for students who are interested in federal civil procedure and expect to have litigation-based practices, including bankruptcy practices, administrative law practices, etc. The course covers all important techniques for aggregating claims but focuses mainly on class actions and multi-district litigations.
The object is to identify, refine, and think through the many difficult procedural and ethical problems that arise in connection with aggregate proceedings of diverse types, including aggregations of claimants whose claims are settled without formal litigation. Lawyers and judges confront these problems daily, and the problems often lead them into uncharted terrain. And even when paths are clear and well-marked, one may wonder whether they lead to the right destinations.
Consequently, new procedures for handling aggregate proceedings arise or are recommended with some frequency. Some innovations catch on; others become failed experiments. Although appellate courts produce most of the judicial opinions we’ll read, trial judges see more of the innovations. Trial judges are also, by and large, intelligent and thoughtful persons who are working hard to solve difficult problems. When reading the cases, we will try to understand what the trial judge did and why, even if we ultimately disagree with the manner in which a problem was addressed.
Administrative Note: Students will not be eligible to take both Complex Litigation (382P) with Bone and Class Actions & Aggregate Litigation (379M) with Silver. There is significant overlap. Also, any student who took Complex Litigation (382P) with Silver in Spring 2011 is not eligible to take this course, Class Actions & Aggregate Litigation (379M).