Law of Class Actions and Other Aggregate Litigation Seminar

Credits: 2.00
Faculty: Mitchell Breit, Michael Reese

Aggregate actions touch upon all aspects of contemporary American life - the food we eat and the household products we use every day (consumer class actions); the amount of money we pay for products (antitrust class actions); the vehicles we use for investing in our futures (securities class actions); and, the pharmaceuticals and medical devices we use when sick or aged (products liability mass actions). As a result, aggregate actions hold a significant place in our jurisprudence and are a leading area for legal scholarship and employment. This course will introduce students to the law of aggregate actions, focusing on mass actions and class actions. The course will study Federal Civil Procedure Rule 23 and various courts' recent interpretations of Rule 23. We will examine the level of proof required to maintain a case as a class action, examine the differences between the various federal circuits on the level of proof required for certification of a class action, and discuss the legal arguments made for and against class actions at the class certification stage of a case. We will hear from senior law partners from major national law firms - both on the plaintiff and defense side - who will offer their real world experiences and insights on aggregate litigation. We also will examine and discuss the recent United States Supreme Court's cases of Dukes v. Wal-mart Inc., 564 U.S. __, 131 S.Ct. 2351 (2010); Amgen Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, 568 U.S. ___ , 133 S. Ct. 1184 (2013); and, Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, 568 U.S. __, 133 S.Ct. 1426 (2013), as well as the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, all which all have had major impact on aggregate litigation.

Grading and Method of Evaluation:

Letter grade only. A paper is required which may be used to satisfy the UCWR.