Tort Reform

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.


  • 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.


  • 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!]

An Originalist Take on Diversity Jurisdiction - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Charles J. Cooper, Howard C. Nielsen, Dean A. Reuter October 18, 2013

Constitution quillAhead of the Supreme Court's hearing of oral arguments in Mississippi v. AU Optronics on November 6, Constitutional law expert and states' rights advocate Charles J. Cooper would like to encourage a broader discussion of the underlying issue of the case - what is the proper scope of federal courts' diversity jurisdiction? In a September 10 amicus brief, included below, Mr. Cooper argues that an originalist reading of Article III suggests that an out-of-state defendant has what amounts to a Constitutional right to remove to federal court "controversies between citizens of different states" and "between a state and citizens of another state." Mr. Cooper discussed the main points of his argument and was joined by Howard C. Nielsen, Jr. to field questions from the call-in audience.


  • Mr. Charles J. Cooper, Founder, Cooper & Kirk, PLLC; Board Member, Access to Courts
  • Mr. Howard C. Nielsen, Jr., Partner, Cooper & Kirk PLLC
  • Moderator: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President and Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society

[Listen now!]