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Dear Reader

Class Action Watch Fall 1998
October 01, 1998

I am most pleased to present the Federalist Society's inaugural issue of Class Action Watch. This bulletin, which we hope to publish and distribute two or three times each year, is aimed at providing facts and information relating to class action litigation activity. We have given this area special attention because of the unprecedented amount of debate that is taking place about both the impact of class action activity and ideas for reform. Our goal is not to take sides in these debates, but rather to provide facts and data that may prove helpful in focusing discussion.

We intend each issue of this bulletin to contain three sections. The "Analysis" section will present data about class action activity. In this first issue, we unveil the results of a survey of businesses we recently concluded. Considerable space is devoted to Texas state court litigation because Texas is shaping up to be the next major battleground for consideration of class action legislative reform. The "Commentary" section will provide news about other studies, our programs, articles of interest, and various proposals for class action reform. The purpose will be to provide some useful facts about varying perspectives as well as some general context for thinking about the data we present in the "Analysis" section. Finally, our "Recent Developments" section provides particular news items about class action trends and activity from the last six months.

In organizing this bulletin, we have tried to provide a wide variety of materials in the hope that class action litigators and judges as well as policy leaders, the press, and the general public would find items that are both interesting and easy to digest. The editors also were assiduous in trying to be as thorough and objective as possible. Of course, we encourage any comments or suggestions you may have to improve the publication in these or other respects.

Paul Clement
Chairman, Class Actions Subcommittee