Aggregate Litigation: Critical Perspectives

GW Law’s James F. Humphreys Complex Litigation Center presents

Aggregate Litigation: Critical Perspectives

March 12, 2010

The George Washington University Law School
Jacob Burns Moot Court Room
2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC  20052

This event is free, but space is limited. Contact Frances Arias at or 202.994.0781 to reserve a ticket.

About the Conference

Aggregate litigation lies at the core of American exceptionalism in litigation and is at the center of controversies surrounding the U.S. civil-justice system. Private civil litigation is a critical component in enforcing law in the United States. But aggregation is problematic in that it can skew outcomes, create pressures on defendants to settle meritless claims, disproportionately concentrate legal power, and harm American competitiveness in the global marketplace. Aggregation raises serious questions about the institutional competence of courts to resolve what are often intractable social or political controversies.

This conference will ask and seek to answer important questions about aggregate litigation and will analyze its costs and benefits. Questions and topics include:

  • What is the optimal level of aggregation?
  • When is class action litigation appropriate?
  • What did the American Law Institute’s “Aggregation Project” final report get right, and what did it get wrong?

More about the conference [pdf]


Panel One: Issues in the Certification of Class Actions

A. Context and introduction by moderator Richard Nagareda, professor of law, Vanderbilt University School of Law

B. Certification Procedures after IPO and Hydrogen Peroxide (Richard Marcus, Horace O. Coil Chair in Litigation, University of California Hastings College of the Law)

C. Solving Choice-of-Law Issues in State-Law Class Actions (David Rosenberg, Lee S. Kreindler Professor of Law, Harvard Law School)

D. Aggregate Litigation's Jurisdictional Confusion
(Patrick Woolley, Beck, Redden & Seacrest Professor, University of Texas School of Law)

E. Response: Richard Nagareda

Panel Two: Other Issues Attending the Use of Class Actions

A. Context and introduction by moderator Robert Klonoff, dean and professor of law, Lewis & Clark Law School

B. Evaluating the Fairness of Class-Action Settlements (Alan Morrison, Lerner Family Associate Dean for Public Interest and Public Service Law, The George Washington University Law School)

C. Shady Grove, Erie, and Statutory and Contractual Limitations on Class Actions. (Linda Mullenix, Morris & Rita Atlas Chair in Advocacy, University of Texas School of Law)

D. Precluding Abandoned Claims in Class Actions (Ed Sherman, W.R. Irby Chair in Law, Tulane University Law School)

E. Response: Robert Klonoff

Panel Three: Non-Class Aggregate Litigation

A. Context and introduction by moderator Samuel Issacharoff, Bonnie and Richard Reiss Professor of Constitutional Law, New York University School of Law

B. Group Consensus, Individual Consent: Governance in Non-Class Aggregation. (Elizabeth Chamblee Burch, assistant professor, Florida State University College of Law)

C. Game Theory, Opt-Out Rights, and the Indivisibility of Remedies (Jay Tidmarsh, professor of law, Notre Dame University School of Law)

D. Rethinking Adequacy of Representation:  Lessons for Class Actions and Aggregate Litigation (Robert Bone, G. Rollie White Teaching Excellence Chair in Law, University of Texas School of Law)

E. Commentary (Judith Resnik, Arthur Liman Professor of Law, Yale Law School)

F. Response: Samuel Issacharoff

Panel Four: Ethics in Aggregate Litigation

A. Context and introduction by moderator Charles Silver, Roy and Eugenia C. McDonald Endowed Chair in Civil Procedure, professor of government, University of Texas School of Law

B. Ethical Issues in the Aggregate Settlement of Related and Unrelated Claims (Thomas Morgan, Oppenheim Professor of Antitrust and Trade Regulation Law, The George Washington University Law School)                            

C. The Need for Greater Ethical Rules in Class-Action and Other Agregated Litigation (Nancy Moore, Nancy Barton Scholar, professor of law, Boston University School of Law)

D. Ethical Constraints on Initiating and Resolving Non-Class Aggregate Litigation (Lester Brickman, professor of law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law)

E. Consent, Closure, and Lawyer Empowerment (Howard Erichson, professor of law, Fordham University School of Law)

F. Response: Charles Silver

Additional Information

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