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March 18, 2002

Contact:
Kirston Fortune
Assistant Dean for Communications
(512) 471.7330

Mass Tort Litigation Expert Invited to Prestigious Bellagio Center

Professor Mullenix Named Scholar-in-Residence by Rockefeller Foundation

Linda MullenixAUSTIN, Texas — Professor Linda S. Mullenix of the University of Texas School of Law has been invited to be a scholar-in-residence at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy this summer. Mullenix will work on a book entitled  “Aggregate Resolution of Group Harms in a Global Context,” an outgrowth of her two-decade study of mass tort litigation in the United States.

The Rockefeller Foundation invites 15 scholars at a time for month-long residencies at Bellagio.  In choosing residents, the Foundation seeks applicants of achievement and promise who are addressing significant issues or tackling substantial scholarly problems.

Mullenix’ project will focus on the ways in which other countries and legal systems resolve the problem of aggregate or group harms.

“This is a very significant honor for Linda and for the Law School.  These invitations are very hard to get,” said UT Law Dean Bill Powers. “Relatively few law professors are invited to Bellagio, but when they are, it is always scholars of caliber of Yale’s Guido Calabresi, Duke’s Paul Carrington, and NYU’s Oscar Chase.  It is fitting, indeed, that Linda has joined this illustrious company.”

“Mass tort litigation is now a well-recognized phenomenon in the law and the media in the United States,” said Mullenix, whose past research resulted in the publication of the first and only casebook on mass tort litigation in 1996.  “Other countries resolve the problem of aggregate harms in a variety of different ways than which we approach these problems in the United States.” Mullenix teaches a seminar, entitled “Class Actions in a Global Context,” which explores the ways that other legal systems resolve group harms without the procedural mechanism of the American-style class action.

Mullenix, who holds the Rita and Morris Atlas Chair in Advocacy at UT Law, also teaches federal civil procedure, mass tort litigation, and state class action procedure.  She is the author of nine books including State Class Action Practice and Procedure (CCH 2000), Understanding Federal Courts (Lexis-Matthew Bender 1998), Mass Tort Litigation (West Group 1996), Federal Courts in the Twenty-First Century (Lexis-Matthew Bender 1996), and Moore’s Federal Practice (Lexis-Matthew Bender, 2d and 3d eds.). She is a contributing editor for Preview of Supreme Court Cases and a regular columnist on complex litigation for the National Law Journal. She is also a member of the American Law Institute, Associate Reporter for the Restatement of the Law Governing Lawyers, and a consultative member of the Transnational Rules of Civil Procedure, and the Complex Litigation Project. She has written hundreds of articles for publication in numerous law reviews.

Since the Center’s opening in 1959, scholars, scientists, artists, writers, policymakers and practitioners from all over the world have pursued their creative and scholarly work at the Center through individual residencies and group workshops. The Center sits on top of a hilly peninsula in the middle of Lake Como in the foothills of the Italian Alps, two hours northeast of Milan near the Swiss border.

 “Other scholars who have had the opportunity to spend time at Bellagio as scholars-in-residence have greatly benefited from having a block of time to study, research and write, unimpeded by outside constraints,” Mullenix said. “Also, scholars who have resided at Bellagio have greatly valued the opportunity to spend intensive time in the company of other scholars in an extraordinary setting. I am greatly looking forward to the opportunity afforded by this residency.”