Elizabeth Chamblee Burch

Fuller E. Callaway Chair of Law

B.A., Vanderbilt University
J.D., Florida State University


Complex Litigation
Mass Torts
Multidistrict Litigation: Law, Practice, and Strategy
Civil Procedure

Biographical Information: 

Elizabeth Chamblee Burch joined the School of Law faculty in 2011. She was promoted to the rank of full professor in 2015 and served a visiting professor at Harvard Law School in 2017. After holding the Charles H. Kirbo Chair of Law for two years, she assumed the Fuller E. Callaway Chair of Law in 2019. Burch's teaching and research interests include civil procedure, class actions and mass torts.  

In 2015, Burch was awarded the American Law Institute’s Early Career Scholars Medal in recognition of her work on class actions and multidistrict litigation, and its potential to influence improvements in the law.  Her scholarship has been published in respected journals such as the New York University Law ReviewCornell Law Review, Virginia Law Review, Vanderbilt Law ReviewWashington University Law ReviewBoston University Law Review and George Washington Law Review, among others. She co-authors a casebook titled The Law of Class Actions and Other Aggregate Litigation with the late Richard A. Nagareda, Robert G. Bone, Charles Silver, and Patrick Woolley. 

Burch was elected as a member of the American Law Institute in 2013, and she is a frequent commentator in various national news media, such as National Public Radio’s MarketplaceThe New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalUSA Today and The L.A. Times. Her forthcoming book with Cambridge University Press, Mass Tort Deals: Backroom Bargaining in Multidistrict Litigation builds on and synthesizes a decade of Burch’s past scholarship, which has garnered widespread attention and won accolades for its focus on ethical issues (including 2016 Fred C. Zacharias Memorial Prize for Professional Responsibility Scholarship).

Before joining the School of Law's faculty, she was an assistant professor at Florida State University College of Law, where she received the university-wide Graduate Teaching Award and was voted “Professor of the Year” by second- and third-year students. Burch began her academic career in 2006 at Cumberland School of Law, part of Samford University, where she received the Harvey S. Jackson Excellence in Teaching Award and the Lightfoot, Franklin & White Faculty Scholarship Award. In 2014, she received the School of Law’s John C. O’Byrne Memorial Award for Significant Contributions Furthering Student-Faculty Relations.

Before entering the legal academy, Burch worked as an associate at Holland & Knight in Atlanta, where she practiced in the area of complex litigation, including securities class actions. She has served as the mass torts subcommittee chair for the American Bar Association's Class Action and Derivative Suits Committee, on the executive board for the American Association of Law Schools’ Scholarship Committee and as a co-editor of the Mass Tort Litigation Blog.

She earned her bachelor's degree cum laude from Vanderbilt University and her Juris Doctor cum laude from Florida State University, where she served as the writing and research editor for the Florida State University Law Review.

Publications & Activities


Mass Tort Deals: Backroom Bargaining in Multidistrict Litigation (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

The Law of Class Actions and Other Aggregate Litigation (Second Edition, Foundation Press, 2013) (with Richard Nagareda, Robert G. Bone, Charles Silver, and Patrick Woolley).


Publicly Funded Objectors,19 Theoretical Inquiries in L. 47 (2018).

Repeat Players in Multidistrict Litigation, 102 Cornell L. Rev. 1335 (2017) (with Margaret S. Williams).

Monopolies in Multidistrict Litigation, 70 Vand. L. Rev. 67 (2017).

Calibrating Participation: Reflections on Procedure versus Procedural Justice, 65 DePaul L. Rev. 323 (2016) (Clifford symposium).

Constructing Issue Classes, 101 Va. L. Rev. 1855 (2015).

Judging Multidistrict Litigation, 90 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 71 (2015) (awarded the 2016 Fred C. Zacharias Memorial Prize for Scholarship in Professional Responsibility).

Remanding Multidistrict Litigation, 75 La. L. Rev. 339 (2014) (symposium).

Adequately Representing Groups, 81 Fordham L. Rev. 3043 (2013) (symposium).

Disaggregating, 90 Wash. U. L. Rev 667 (2013) (symposium).

Financiers as Monitors in Aggregate Litigation, 87 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1273 (2012).

Optimal Lead Plaintiffs, 64 Vand. L. Rev. 1109 (2011) (reprinted in 53 Corp. Prac. Commentator 892 (2012)).

Litigating Together: Social, Moral, and Legal Obligations, 91 B.U. L. Rev. 87 (2011).

Group Consensus, Individual Consent, 79 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 506 (2011) (symposium).

Aggregation, Community, and the Line Between, 58 Kan. L. Rev. 889 (2010) (symposium).

Litigating Groups, 61 Ala. L. Rev 1 (2009).

Procedural Justice in Nonclass Aggregation, 44 Wake Forest L. Rev. 1 (2009).

Securities Class Actions as Pragmatic Ex Post Regulation, 43 Ga L. Rev 63 (2008).

CAFA's Impact on Litigation as a Public Good, 29 Cardozo L. Rev. 2517 (2008).

Reassessing Damages in Securities Fraud Class Actions, 66 Md. L. Rev. 348 (2007).

Unsettling Efficiency: When Non-Class Aggregation of Mass Torts Creates Second-Class Settlements, 65 La. L. Rev. 157 (2004).

Comment, Between "Merit Inquiry" and "Rigorous Analysis": Using Daubert to Navigate the Gray Areas of Federal Class Action Certification, 31 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 1041 (2004).

Comment, Rhetoric or Rights?: When Culture and Religion Bar Girls' Right to Education, 44 Va. J. Int'l L. 1073 (2004).

Comment, Post-War Iraq: Prosecuting Saddam Hussein, 7 Cal. Crim. L. Rev. 1 (2004).

Comment, Time for a Legislative Change: Florida's Stagnant Standard Governing Mental Competency for Execution, 31 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 335 (2004).


Nudges and Norms in Multidistrict Litigation: from Fact Sheets to Lone Pine Orders, Yale L.J. Forum (forthcoming).

Financing Issue Classes: Benefits and Barriers to Third-Party Funding, 12 N.Y.U. J. L. & Bus. 889 (2016) (symposium).

Regulatory Discord and Procedure, 11 N.Y.U. J. L. & Bus. 819 (2015) (symposium).

Revisiting Government as Plaintiff, 5 J. Tort L. 227 (2014) (response to Adam S. Zimmerman, The Corrective Justice State, 5 J. Tort  L. 189 (2014).

Governing Securities Class Actions, 80 U. Cin. L. Rev. 299 (2011) (symposium).

Introduction: Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 63 Vand. L. Rev. En Banc 91 (2010) (invited introduction to Vanderbilt Law Review's roundtable debate).

Procedural Adequacy, 88 Tex. L. Rev. See Also 55 (2010) (invited response to Jay Tidmarsh, Rethinking Adequacy of Representation, 87 Tex. L. Rev. 1137 (2009)).

There's A Pennoyer in My Foyer: Civil Procedure According to Dr. Seuss, 13 Green Bag 2D 105 (2009).

A New Way Forward: A Response to Judge Weinstein, 2009 Cardozo L. Rev. De Novo 168 (invited response to Judge Jack B. Weinstein, Preliminary Reflections on Administrations of Complex Litigations, 2009 Cardozo L. Rev. De Novo 1).

Nonjurisdictionality or Inequity, 102 Nw. U. L. Rev. Colloquy 64 (2007) (invited response to Scott Dodson, Jurisdictionality and Bowles v. Russell, 102 N.W. U. L. Rev. Colloquy 42 (2007)).

Superseding and Staying Judgments in Georgia, in SUPERSEDING AND STAYING JUDGMENTS: A NATIONAL COMPENDIUM (ABA 2007) (with Laurie Webb Daniel).