Mass Tort Seminar
This seminar focuses on the legal problems and issues associated with the unique, growing phenomenon of mass torts, e.g., the B.P. Oil Spill, the 9/11 litigation, tobacco, Agent Orange, Dalkon Shield, breast implants, asbestos personal injury litigation, etc. We will examine such issues as consolidation of state and federal litigation in one forum, judicial determination of who should appropriately manage the litigation for both plaintiffs and defendants, how courts determine legal causation, strategic and ethical considerations for plaintiffs and defendants, strategies for litigation funding, alternatives to judicial resolution, and issues associated with Congressional intervention. This class will explore the overriding question of whether the courts can dispense individual justice in cases involving thousands of litigants. Course requirements will include writing a substantial research paper as well as actively participating in class discussion.