Class Actions and Mass Litigation

This course examines modern mass litigation. We will focus on the two primary vehicles for resolving mass litigation in the courts: class actions and multi-district litigation (MDLs). The course will examine the most pressing problems in managing complex cases including class certification and consolidation of multidistrict litigation, with special attention to the growing difficulties in bringing class actions in federal court. We will also cover notice to absent class members, and the problems of settlement, award distribution, and decisions regarding attorney's fees. Finally, the class will discuss the increasing prevalence of arbitration and alternative dispute resolution as a barrier to the maintenance of mass actions in both state and federal courts. The course materials will be drawn from Complex Litigation: Cases and Materials on Advanced Civil Procedure, by Marcus, Sherman and Erichson (6th Ed. 2015), as well as an examination of ongoing class actions and consolidated litigation. Grading and Method of Evaluation. Letter grade with Pass/Fail option. Final Exam