This course will focus on the legal and policy issues relevant to conducting complex civil litigation, and in particular on the problem of adjudicating large numbers of closely related cases. One of the most important and controversial issues in civil procedure today is how to achieve the efficient and fair adjudication of large numbers of cases that arise from a common set of events or transactions and exhibit overlapping factual and legal issues. A number of procedural devices have been used for this purpose, including joinder, consolidation, the class action, multidistrict litigation, bellwether trials, and case sampling. We will study all these devices, but we'll spend much of our time on the class action. Class action topics to be covered include the requirements for class certification, judicial and attorney responsibilities in class litigation, techniques for coordinating multiple class action filings (especially between federal and state courts), approaches to regulating class action settlements, and rules for determining class counsel fees. We will also examine the effect of recent Supreme Court decisions on the future of the class action and on the availability of other procedural devices for adjudicating large-scale case aggregations.
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.