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Class action dilemmas : pursuing public goals for private gain

Author: Deborah R Hensler; Institute for Civil Justice (U.S.)
Publisher: Santa Monica, CA : Rand, 2000.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Class action lawsuits--allowing one or a few plaintiffs to represent many who seek redress--have long been controversial. The current controversy, centered on lawsuits for money damages, is characterized by sharp disagreement among stakeholders about the kinds of suits being filed, whether plaintiffs' claims are meritorious, and whether resolutions to class actions are fair or socially desirable. Ultimately, these  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Deborah R Hensler; Institute for Civil Justice (U.S.)
ISBN: 0833026046 9780833026040 0833026011 9780833026019
OCLC Number: 43971697
Description: xxiv, 609 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Contents: Chapter 1 "Attention: All Persons or Entities" 3 --
Chapter 2 A Matter of Some Interest 9 --
A. The Historical Roots of Class Actions 10 --
B. The Birth of Rule 23 11 --
C. The "Holy War" Against Class Actions 15 --
D. A New Controversy 22 --
E The Advisory Committee Steps Back In 25 --
F. A Return to Warfare? 31 --
Chapter 3 Virtues and Vices 49 --
A. The Scope of Class Actions 51 --
B. Is the Number of Class Actions Growing? 62 --
C. The Traditional Paradigm: Representative Actions for Money Damages 68 --
1. The Class Action as a Tool for Compensating Small Losses and Enforcing Regulations 69 --
2. The Class Action Attorney as "Private Attorney General" 71 --
3. The Legal Framework for Damage Class Actions 73 --
4. The Temptation to Collude 79 --
5. Barriers to Collusion and Self-Dealing --
and Weaknesses Therein 86 --
6. Is There a Basis for the Fears About Collusion? 93 --
D. The New Paradigm: Aggregative Actions for Personal Injury and Property Damage 99 --
1. The Evolution of Mass Torts 99 --
2. Enter the Class Action Attorneys 105 --
3. The Lure of "Global Settlements" 108 --
4. The Question of "Future" Claimants 114 --
5. Absent Parties 117 --
6. Back to the Drawing Board? 118 --
E. Dilemmas for Public Policy 119 --
Chapter 4 Into the Fishbowl 137 --
Case Selection 138 --
Consumer Class Actions 139 --
Mass Tort Class Actions 140 --
Data Collection 141 --
Results 143 --
Chapter 5 Contact Lens Pricing Litigation: Roberts v. Bausch & Lomb, Inc. 145 --
The Litigation Begins 149 --
Primary Issues in the Litigation 151 --
The Litigation Progresses 153 --
Initial Certification and Notice 154 --
Other Related Litigation 156 --
Movement Towards Settlement 156 --
Details of the Agreement 157 --
Notice 159 --
Additional Opt-Out Provisions 160 --
Claiming 160 --
Fees and Expenses 161 --
Final Approval of Distribution and Fees 161 --
Objectors 161 --
Opt-Outs 162 --
Approval of the Settlement Distribution Provisions 162 --
Approval of the Fee Provisions 163 --
Actual Distribution of Settlement Funds 163 --
Chapter 6 Bank Brokerage Product Litigation: Pinney v. Great Western 175 --
Class Litigation Begins 177 --
Negotiating the Settlement 181 --
Regulatory Action 182 --
Settlement 182 --
Distribution 184 --
Epilogue: Eleventh Hour Maneuvering 185 --
Chapter 7 Collateral Protection Insurance Litigation: Graham v. Security Pacific Housing Services, Inc. 191 --
Class Litigation Begins 192 --
The Initial Complaint and Its Allegations 192 --
The Defendants' Position 193 --
Primary Issues in the Litigation 194 --
Parties Move Toward Settlement 195 --
Terms of the Initial Settlement 197 --
Common Fund 197 --
Individual Recovery Amounts 198 --
Claims-Made Distribution 199 --
Injunction 199 --
Attorney Fees and Costs 199 --
Notice 200 --
Objections 201 --
Final Fairness Hearing 202 --
Distributing Settlement Awards 205 --
Chapter 8 Cable TV Late Fee Litigation: Selnick v. Sacramento Cable 211 --
Class Litigation Begins 212 --
Primary Issues of the Litigation 213 --
Litigation of the Case 215 --
Negotiating the Settlement 216 --
Settlement Fund 217 --
Distributing Settlement Awards 219 --
Chapter 9 Credit Life Insurance Premium Overcharging Litigation: Inman v. Heilig-Meyers 225 --
The McCullar Case 226 --
The Litigation Begins 228 --
Primary Issues of the Litigation 230 --
The Litigation Continues 232 --
Details of the Agreement 236 --
The Settlement Class and Settlement Benefits 236 --
Notice 237 --
Claiming Process 238 --
Fees and Expenses 238 --
Preliminary Approval 239 --
Final Approval 240 --
Fee Award and Settlement Fund 241 --
Distribution of Settlement Funds 244 --
Chapter 10 Insurance Premium Double Rounding Litigation: Martinez v. Allstate and Sendejo v. Farmers 255 --
The Litigation Begins 259 --
Primary Issues of the Litigation 261 --
Double Rounding and Insurance Regulations 262 --
Administrative Remedies 264 --
Choice of Venue 264 --
Costs and Benefits of the Litigation 265 --
Early Days in the Litigation 265 --
TDI and the Rounding Rules 268 --
The Class Is Certified 269 --
Movement Towards Settlement 272 --
Details of the Agreement 273 --
Calculation of the Settlement Fund and Method of Distribution 273 --
Calculation of Fees and Reimbursable Costs 276 --
Final Approval of Distribution and Fees 277 --
Events Leading Up to the Fairness Hearing 277 --
The Parties Argue in Favor of Approval 277 --
Final Orders 280 --
Chapter 11 Blood Clotting Products for Hemophiliacs: in Re Factor Viii or Ix Concentrate Blood Products 293 --
A Medical Breakthrough 293 --
Early Factor Concentrate Litigation 295 --
The Application of Blood Shield Laws 295 --
Class Litigation Begins 295 --
The Wadleigh Class Action 297 --
Legal Allegations and Defenses 297 --
Jonathan Wadleigh and the Committee of Ten Thousand 298 --
Multidistrict Litigation 298 --
Discovery 299 --
Class Certification of Wadleigh 300 --
The Decertification of Wadleigh 301 --
The Aftermath of Decertification 302 --
The Walker Settlement 303 --
Details of the Agreement 305 --
The Release of Third-Party Claims 305 --
Cost and Fee Fund 306 --
The Market Share Doctrine 306 --
Notice and Final Approval of the Settlement 307 --
Implementing the Settlement 308 --
Last-Hour Appeals 308 --
Pending Appeal of the Fee Order 309 --
Chapter 12 Toxic Chemical Factory Litigation: Atkins v. Harcros 319 --
Class Litigation Begins 321 --
Removal from and Remand to State Court 322 --
Class Certification 323 --
The Road Toward Settlement 325 --
Organizing the Class: Notice, Opt-Out, and Claims Registration 325 --
Reaching Settlement 326 --
Details of the Settlement 327 --
Disbursement of the Fund 328 --
Settlement Approval 332 --
Chapter 13 Oriented Strand Board Home Siding Litigation: In Re Louisiana-Pacific Inner-Seal Siding 339 --
Beginning of Litigation 341 --
Attorneys General Investigations and Other Regulatory Action 343 --
Nationwide Class Litigation Begins 344 --
Matherly, et al. v. Louisiana-Pacific Corp., et al. 344 --
Sandpiper Village, et al., v. Louisiana-Pacific Corporation, et al. 345 --
Hudlicky, et al., v. Louisiana-Pacific Corporation, et al. 346 --
The Pressures to Settle 347 --
Litigation and Settlement Negotiations 348 --
Discovery 348 --
Jurisdiction 348 --
Class Certification 349 --
Terms of Initial Settlement 349 --
Creation of a Common Fund 350 --
Individual Recovery Amounts 353 --
Notice 354 --
Notice Period, Additional Negotiations, and Objections to Settlement 355 --
Negotiation of Class Counsel Attorney Fees 355 --
Opt-Outs, Objections, and Interventions 355 --
Final Fairness Hearing and Settlement 356 --
Terms of Final Order 359 --
Post-Fairness Hearing Events 360 --
Appellate Record 361 --
Arbitration 361 --
Experience 362 --
Settlement Augmentation 364 --
Other Issues 365 --
Chapter 14 Polybutylene Plumbing Pipes Litigation: Cox v. Shell Oil 375 --
Class Action Litigation Begins 379 --
The Class Action Floodgates Open 382 --
Two Competing Nationwide Class Actions 383 --
The Final Chapter 386 --
Chapter 15 The Great Big Question About Class Actions 401 --
A. How Damage Class Actions Arise 402 --
1. The Role of Class Action Attorneys 403 --
2. The Role of Defendants 407 --
3. Deciding Where to File 410 --
B. Questions of Merit 416 --
1. Monetary Claims 417 --
2. Substantive Claims 421 --
C. Who Benefits? 424 --
1. What Defendants Agreed to Pay Class Members 425 --
2. What Class Members Actually Received 427 --
3. Other Monetary Benefits 430 --
4. Nonmonetary Consequences 431 --
5. What Class Action Attorneys Received 434 --
D. Transaction Costs 438 --
1. What Was the Price Tag to Resolve the Suits? 438 --
2. What Share of the Bill Was for Transaction Costs? 439 --
3. Transaction Cost Components 441 --
4. How Many Cents on the Dollar Did Class Members Receive? 442 --
E. Judicial Oversight 445 --
1. Certification 445 --
2. Notice of Certification 448 --
3. Notice of Settlement 450 --
4. How Notice, Settlement Allocation, and Disbursement Procedures Affect Outcomes 454 --
5. Settlement Approval 460 --
6. Fee Awards 463 --
F. Answering the "Great Big Question" 466 --
Chapter 16 Achieving the Objectives of Rule 23(b)(3) Class Actions 471 --
A. Adding a Cost-Benefit Test to the Rule 23(b)(3) Certification Criteria 473 --
B. Requiring Rule 23(b)(3) Class Members to Opt In 476 --
C. Prohibiting Settlement Classes 477 --
D. Broadening Federal Court Jurisdiction 481 --
E. Prohibiting Mass Tort Class Actions 483 --
F. Increasing Judicial Regulation of Damage Class Actions 486 --
1. Settlement Approval 486 --
2. Attorney Fees 490 --
3. Sources of Assistance 493 --
G. The Road to Reform 497 --
1. Judicial Education 497 --
3. Opening Class Action Practice and Outcomes to Public View 499 --
A. Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 507 --
B. Database Construction 511 --
C. Qualitative Interview Methodology 523 --
D. Case Study Methodology 527 --
E. Calculations for Case Study Settlements, Structures, Costs, and Distributions 533.
Responsibility: Deborah R. Hensler [and others].

Abstract:

Class action lawsuits--allowing one or a few plaintiffs to represent many who seek redress--have long been controversial. The current controversy, centered on lawsuits for money damages, is characterized by sharp disagreement among stakeholders about the kinds of suits being filed, whether plaintiffs' claims are meritorious, and whether resolutions to class actions are fair or socially desirable. Ultimately, these concerns lead many to wonder, Are class actions worth their costs to society and to business? Do they do more harm than good? To describe the landscape of current damage class action litigation, elucidate problems, and identify solutions, the RAND Institute for Civil Justice conducted a study using qualitative and quantitative research methods. The researchers concluded that the controversy over damage class actions has proven intractable because it implicates deeply held but sharply contested ideological views among stakeholders. Nevertheless, many of the political antagonists agree that class action practices merit improvement. The authors argue that both practices and outcomes could be substantially improved if more judges would supervise class action litigation more actively and scrutinize proposed settlements and fee awards more carefully. Educating and empowering judges to take more responsibility for case outcomes--and ensuring that they have the resources to do so--can help the civil justice system achieve a better balance between the public goals of class actions and the private interests that drive them.

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