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Mass Torts

Hot Topics in Class Action Reform: The BP Deepwater Horizon Case - Event Audio/Video

Sponsored by the Federalist Society's Practice Groups
Neal K. Katyal, Theodore B. Olson, Stuart S. Taylor September 09, 2014

Putting aside criminal cases, the stakes for all sides are perhaps never higher than in a class action case – mere certification of a class can increase the pressure to settle exponentially. But, of course, the class must be properly composed in order to be certified. In the recently-decided Wal-Mart v. Dukes case, the U.S. Supreme Court revisited some of the basic requirements for certification of a class of plaintiffs, including commonality. Other requirements of Rule 23 certification may surface in ongoing litigation stemming from the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, where defense attorneys are arguing, among other things, that the settlement agreement is being administered and interpreted overly broadly to include numerous class members who have not suffered any injury caused by BP. Our experts will discuss recent developments in class action litigation, including a pending petition for cert in the BP case. The Federalist Society presented this panel on September 4, 2014.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Neal K. Katyal, Partner, Hogan Lovells, and Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of National Security Law, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Hon. Theodore B. Olson, Partner, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
  • Moderator: Mr. Stuart S. Taylor, Jr., Nonresident Senior Fellow in Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution

National Press Club
Washington, DC

Is Tort Reform Conservative? - Event Video

Little Rock Lawyers Chapter
Brian G. Brooks, James R. Copland, Chad W. Pekron July 16, 2014

Courtroom gavelThe Little Rock Lawyers Chapter hosted a debate titled "Is Tort Reform Conservative?" at the Arkansas State Capitol in the Old Supreme Court Room on June 24, 2014. Brian Brooks of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association and James Copland of the Manhattan Institute offered their contrasting views on the constitutionality of varying tort reform measures, and also shared their analyses on how those measures align with traditional conservative values.

Featuring:

  • Brian Brooks, Counsel, Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association
  • James R. Copland, Senior Fellow and Director, Manhattan Institute's Center for Legal Policy
  • Moderator: Chad Pekron, Quattlebaum, Grooms, Tull & Burrow PLLC

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!]

Supreme Court To Rule on Fraud on the Market: Halliburton v. Erica P. John Fund - Podcast

Litigation and Corporations, Securities & Antitrust Practice Groups Podcast
Jeffrey B. Wall March 18, 2014

Supreme Court

On March 5, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Halliburton v. Erica P. John Fund, and our expert attended and then reported on the argument. Will the Court continue to recognize the fraud on the market theory? How much reliance is required on the part of the plaintiffs? Will the Court allow introduction of evidence that a defendant’s statements did not affect the price of its stock to rebut a presumption of reliance?

Featuring:

  • Jeffrey B. Wall, Special Counsel, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

[Listen now!]