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Fall 2012 - Mega-Settlements

Baker, Lynn A

Course ID: 397S  Unique # 29825  Credit Hours: 3
Meeting DaysTimesLocation
   Tuesday 3:45 pm - 5:35 pm TNH 3.114
Exam Type   Date   Time      Name Range   Room  
  Paper      
Registration Information
This course is restricted to upper division students only.

Description
This seminar will examine the evolution, future, and unique problems posed by the "mega-settlement" in modern American law.  Over the past 30 years, American courts and lawyers have been increasingly challenged by the special difficulties presented by the litigation of mass torts, such as those involving the BP oil spill, Vioxx, the diet drug Fen-Phen, asbestos, and the 9/11 attacks.  The high-stakes, multibillion dollar settlements of nationwide litigation involving thousands of plaintiffs have forced attorneys (for both the plaintiffs and defendants) and the courts to rethink notions of individual justice, and the zealous and ethical representation of clients.  Some of the topics to be covered include:  the variety of structures for resolving mass tort litigation, including the "quasi-class action"; the changing role of the court and the proper limits on judicial power; ethical issues confronting attorneys (for both plaintiffs and defendants); how best to compensate attorneys (for both plaintiffs and defendants); and various proposals for reform.

Pre-requisites:  Professional Responsibility, which may be taken during the same semester.

Requirements:  Research paper and several short "response" papers on the weekly reading assignment.

Related Course Areas