Complex Litigation: Mass Actions, Class Actions, and Related Topics

This course will explore large scale, multi-party litigation in its various forms including mass torts, multi-district litigation and class actions. It will address the reasons for the explosion of multi-party litigation over the past 30 years and the advantages and disadvantages of consolidating dozens, hundreds or thousands of claims into a single proceeding.  We will pay significant attention to landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions over the past five years that have materially altered the mass action and class action landscape and the reactions of lower counts to those rulings.  We will also consider recent and emerging areas of class action practice such as data breach and privacy litigation.  Portions of the class will be devoted to the special problems associated with litigating mass injury cases arising from toxic exposures and allegedly defective products.

This class should be of particular interest to students who intend to practice in areas involving large-scale commercial or personal injury litigation.

Sequence and Prerequisites: Civil Procedure.  Evidence is helpful but not required.

Evaluation:  This course will be evaluated based on a paper and class participation.