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Civil Justice Reform

The Rise of “Empty Suit” Litigation™: Where Should Tort Law Draw The Line?

Litigation Practice Group Teleforum Wednesday, September 09, 03:00 PMFederalist Society Teleforum Conference Call

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.

Featuring:

  • Mr. Victor E. Schwartz, Partner, Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.

Residual Class Action Awards: Cy Pres - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Theodore H. Frank March 21, 2014

gavel money

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.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Vanderbilt University Law School
  • Mr. Theodore H. Frank, Founder and President, Center for Class Action Fairness and Adjunct Fellow, Manhattan Institute Center for Legal Policy

[Listen now!]

Young Legal Scholars Paper Presentations - Event Audio/Video

16th Annual Faculty Conference
Andrew Kent, Joshua Kleinfeld, Robert Leider, Aaron Nielson, Ozan Varol, Thomas W. Merrill, Steven G. Calabresi January 09, 2014

Young Legal Scholars Paper Presentations - Event Audio/VideoThe Federalist Society's Faculty Division hosted this panel featuring young legal scholar paper presentations on Saturday, January 4, 2014, during the 16th Annual Faculty Conference.

Young Legal Scholars Paper Presentations
Kent/Surrey Room??
3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

  • Prof. Andrew Kent, Fordham University School of Law, "Are Damages Different? Bivens and National Security"
  • Prof. Joshua Kleinfeld, Northwestern University School of Law, "Redressive Justice"
  • Dr. Robert Leider, Law Clerk to the Hon. Diane Sykes, "Federalism and the Military Power of the United States"
  • Prof. Aaron Nielson, BYU Law School, "In Defense of Formal Rulemaking"
  • Prof. Ozan Varol, Lewis & Clark Law School, "Temporary Constitutions"
  • Commenter??Prof. Thomas Merrill, Columbia Law School 
  • Moderator: Prof. Steven Calabresi, Northwestern Law School

Warwick New York Hotel
New York NY

[Watch or listen now!]

Lawyer Barons: What Their Contingency Fees Really Cost America - Faculty Book Podcast

Faculty Division Podcast 09-12-12 featuring Lester Brickman and Peter Schuck
Lester Brickman, Peter H. Schuck September 11, 2012

Lester BrickmanPeter SchuckLawyer 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.