Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Stacie Strong (Missouri) is organizing the following conference in The Hague:
Large-scale international legal injuries are becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s globalized economy, whether they arise in the context of consumer, commercial, contract, tort or securities law, and countries are struggling to find appropriate means of providing collective redress, particularly in the cross-border context. The Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law (HiiL), along with the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS), will be responding to this new and developing challenge by convening a two-day event on the theme “Collective Redress in the Cross-Border Context: Arbitration, Litigation, Settlement and Beyond.” The event includes two different elements – a workshop on June 21-22, 2012, comprised of invited speakers from all over the world as well as a works-in-progress conference on June 20-21, 2012, designed to allow practitioners and scholars who are interested in the area of collective redress to discuss their work and ideas in the company of other experts in the field. Both events are organized by the Henry G. Schermers Fellow for 2012, Professor S.I. Strong of the University of Missouri School of Law.
Persons interested in being considered as presenters for the works-in-progress conference should submit an abstract of no more than 500 words to Professor S.I. Strong at email@example.com on or before May 1, 2012. Decisions regarding accepted proposals will be made in early May, and those whose proposals are accepted for the works-in-progress conference will need to submit a draft paper by June 4, 2012, for discussion at the conference. All works-in-progress submissions should explore one or more of the various means of resolving collective injuries, including class and collective arbitration, mass arbitration and mass claims processes, class and collective litigation, and large-scale settlement and mediation, preferably in a cross-border context. Junior scholars in particular are encouraged to submit proposals for consideration.
Persons presenting at the works-in-progress conference will have to bear their own costs, since there is no funding available to assist with travel and other expenses. The works-in-progress conference will be held on June 20 and 21, 2012, at NIAS, Meijboomlaan 1, 2242 PR Wassenaar, The Netherlands. Wassenaar is approximately 20 minutes from The Hague by car. The workshop of invited speakers will be held on June 21 and 22, 2012, also at NIAS.
Both the Schermers workshop and the works-in-progress conference are open to the public, although advance registration is required. More information on both events is available at the HiiL website (www.hiil.org) or from Professor Strong at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Prof. S.I. Strong at email@example.com
Deadline for proposals: May 1, 2012
For more on the Henry G. Schermers Fellowship at HiiL/NIAS, see: http://www.hiil.org/organ-bios/prof-s-i-strong
Monday, March 19, 2012
Joe S. Cecil, the primary author of the Federal Judicial Center’s empirical study of the impact of Iqbal, just posted (on SSRN) a response to concerns expressed about that study (including criticisms by Professors Lonny Hoffman, Ray Brescia, Jonah Gelbach, and me). I have not had the opportunity to read it closely, having just received it, but it appears to be a thoughtful and gracious response. The abstract reads:
This paper responds to comments regarding the Federal Judicial Center’s recent studies of the resolution of motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim. Those studies, undertaken at the request of the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, found a statistically significant increase in the rate at which defendants file motions to dismiss following the Supreme Court decisions in Bell Atlantic v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal. The studies also found no statistically significant increase in the rate of grants of motions to dismiss without leave to amend, except in cases involving challenges to financial instruments such as mortgages, and no statistically significant increase in cases terminated by such motions. Several scholars have expressed reservations regarding these findings and raised a number of specific issues regarding the research. This paper responds to the following issues:
• Professor Hoffman’s concerns about our use of statistical analysis in general, and the use of multinomial statistical models in particular;
• Professor Moore’s concerns about the exclusion from our study of pro se cases and cases asserting affirmative defenses, and the findings of her most recent study of the outcome of motions to dismiss;
• Professor Brescia’s recent study finding an increase in grant rate of motions to dismiss in employment and housing discrimination cases; and
• Professor Gelbach’s incorporation of our findings into an economic model of pretrial litigation that attempts to estimate the overall effect on settlement and access to discovery.
I continue to believe that our findings represent the most accurate statement of the federal district courts’ response to these Supreme Court decisions, but acknowledge that this response has continued to evolve since we conducted our study. I propose a study of all dispositive motions that will, among other things, examine the interaction between motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim and motions for summary judgment.
Mr. Cecil and I had numerous communications back and forth in which we clarified our respective positions. Some of his points on my study are well-taken, although I do not agree with them all. For me, the bottom line is that the FJC has taken the concerns about its study very seriously, and I am glad to have participated in this debate.
As noted in the abstract, Mr. Cecil anticipates that the FJC will soon launch another empirical study dealing with dispositive motion practice generally. A very rough timeline envisions a report by 2013.