- Ryan Anderson, The Heritage Foundation
In The Rise of “Empty Suit” Litigation™: Where Should Tort Law Draw The Line?, Victor E. Schwartz discusses the need to stop all litigation where an individual or class action plaintiff has suffered no real harm, physical, emotional or economic. In his article, Schwartz criticizes finding liability for the estimated cost of medical monitoring following exposure to a potentially harmful substance absent a physical injury. He also examines class action litigation claiming that a product’s actual value was lower than the purchase price, or that the resale value of a product diminished because of an alleged latent defect, even when the product functioned properly for most or all consumers. Of course, he also addresses both individual claims where there has been no real injury, or economic loss and class actions that rely on speculative or expert-driven theories of harm or damages. Join us for this Teleforum where Mr. Schwartz will explain his article in greater depth, and answer questions from our audience.
Cy pres (from the French cy pres comme —“as near as possible”) originated in the trust context, but has more recently been applied to class action litigation, as courts try to determine what to do with sometimes significant amounts of settlement funds remaining after all identified plaintiff awards have been made. In recent decades, courts have agreed to award such remaining funds to third party recipients who, while not parties to the underlying suits, are deemed worthy by the court. Sometimes, the courts have selected these third party recipients based on recommendations from the attorneys representing the plaintiffs. What are the legal underpinnings for such awards to entities or people not party to the underlying case? What are the policy considerations in making or prohibiting such awards? These and other questions were discussed by our experts.
Young Legal Scholars Paper Presentations
3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Warwick New York Hotel
New York NY
Lawyer Barons exposes the high but unseen cost of litigation driven by contingency fees, a method of financing that is said to improve access to the courts for personal injury victims with limited means. Author Lester Brickman argues that there is more to the picture than just improving access, however; that the contingency fee also enables lawyers and judges to collaborate and incentivize litigation to a degree that distorts our civil justice system and imposes other financial and social costs.
Brickman, a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, is joined by critical commenter Peter Schuck, the Simeon E. Baldwin Professor Emeritus of Law at Yale University, discuss the book.