Monday, August 18, 2014

Hastings Law Journal Symposium on Atlantic Marine

We covered earlier the upcoming Hastings Law Journal symposium on the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Atlantic Marine Construction Co. v. U.S. District Court. It will take place in San Francisco on Friday, September 19th. Here’s an announcement/invitation with more details:

You are cordially invited to attend a symposium on Atlantic Marine v. U.S. District Court, a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court last Term that held forum-selection clauses to be enforceable under Sec. 1404(a)'s authorization of venue transfer. The symposium, co-sponsored by UC Hastings and Hastings Law Journal, will bring renowned scholars from across the country to discuss the importance of the decision and its implications for civil litigation. Up to 3.5 hours of California MCLE credit is available. Free and open to the public, the symposium will be held at UC Hastings College of the Law, 198 McAllister St., in the Louise B. Mayer Room from 1:00-4:30pm on Friday, September 19, 2014. A reception for all attendees will immediately follow. Register here: http://www.hastingslawjournal.org/symposium/.

Download HLJ Symposium Flyer

 

 

August 18, 2014 in Conferences/Symposia, Federal Courts, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Call for Papers -- New Voices Workshop at Vanderbilt

 

 VANDERBILT LAW SCHOOL 

CECIL D. BRANSTETTER LITIGATION & DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROGRAM 

2015 NEW VOICES IN CIVIL JUSTICE SCHOLARSHIP WORKSHOP 

CALL FOR PAPERS 

Vanderbilt Law School’s Branstetter Litigation & Dispute Resolution Program invites submissions for its 2015 New Voices in Civil Justice Scholarship Workshop, to be held May 11-12, 2015, at Vanderbilt Law School. 

The Branstetter Program draws on a multimillion-dollar endowment to support research and curriculum in civil litigation and dispute resolution. Held annually, the Branstetter New Voices Workshop brings together junior scholars, senior scholars, and Vanderbilt faculty in the areas of civil justice. This year, three junior scholars will be selected via a blind review process to present at the New Voices Workshop. 

The New Voices format maximizes collegial interaction and feedback. Paper authors do not deliver prepared “presentations.” Rather, all participants read the selected papers prior to the session, and at each workshop, a senior faculty member provides a brief overview and commentary on the paper. Open and interactive discussion immediately follows. 

Submission requirements: 

1. Subject matter. Submitted papers should address an aspect of civil justice, broadly defined. Subject areas may include, but are not limited to, civil procedure, complex litigation, evidence, federal courts, judicial decision-making, alternative dispute resolution, remedies, and conflict of laws. In keeping with the intellectual breadth of the Branstetter Program faculty, the Workshop welcomes all scholarly methodologies, from traditional doctrinal analysis to quantitative or experimental approaches. 

2. Author qualifications. To be eligible to submit a paper, scholars must currently hold either a faculty position or a fellowship. 

3. Format / Anonymity. We will consider preliminary drafts, drafts under submission, or accepted papers that will not be published by the time of the workshop. Papers should be formatted either in Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat. To maintain the anonymity of the process, please remove any self-identifying information from the submission. 

 4. Deadline. Submissions should be e-mailed to Branstetter.Program@vanderbilt.edu no later than January 1, 2015. Please include your name, current position, and contact information in the e-mail accompanying the submission. We will contact you with our decision by February 15. Final drafts are due no later than April 15. 

The Branstetter Program will pay all reasonable travel expenses within the United States for invited participants. Additional information can be found at http://law.vanderbilt.edu/newvoices. If you have any questions, please email the New Voices Workshop Chair, Professor Erin O’Hara O’Connor

NEW VOICES IN CIVIL JUSTICE SCHOLARSHIP WORKSHOP 

Past Workshops 

2014 

Tara Grove, William & Mary Law School 

Scott Dodson, UC Hastings College of Law 

Hiro Aragaki, Loyola Law School of Los Angeles 

Invited Senior Scholar: Tobias Wolff 

 

2013 

Sergio Campos, University of Miami 

Robin Effron, Brooklyn Law School 

Christopher Robertson, University of Arizona 

Invited Senior Scholars: Benjamin Spencer & Neil Vidmar 

 

2012 

Elizabeth Chamblee Burch, University of Georgia 

Christina Boyd, SUNY Buffalo 

Alexandra Lahav, University of Connecticut School of Law 

Ariana Levinson, University of Louisville-Brandeis School of Law 

Corey Yung, University of Kansas 

Invited Senior Scholars: Robert Bone, Myriam Gilles & Kevin Clermont 

 

2011 (began as an annual event) 

Nora Freeman Engstrom, Stanford Law School 

Maria Glover, Georgetown Law School (then at Harvard Law School (Climenko Fellow)) 

Margaret Lemos, Duke Law School (then at Cardozo School of Law) 

Jonathan Mitchell, George Mason University School of Law 

Invited Senior Scholar: Jay Tidmarsh 

 2006 

Myriam Gilles, Cardozo School of Law 

Donna Shestowsky, U.C. Davis School of Law 

A. Benjamin Spencer, University of Virginia School of Law (then at University of Richmond) 

Amanda Tyler, U. C. Berkeley School of Law (then at George Washington University Law School) 

Tobias Wolff, University of Pennsylvania Law School (then at U.C. Davis School of Law) 

Invited Senior Scholar: Catherine Struve 

August 12, 2014 in Conferences/Symposia | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Free CLE for ABA Members on the Legal Implications of Mobile Devices

The ABA is presenting a free (to members) Webinar called "The Mobile Transformation: The Extraordinary Legal Implications of Billions of Mobile Devices" on Monday, July 21, 2014 from 1:00-2:30 p.m.   

Information on the Webinar is here.

July 18, 2014 in Conferences/Symposia, Discovery | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Call for Papers -- AALS Section on Civil Procedure

The Civil Procedure Section of the AALS will present a panel, “The Rising Bar to Federal Courts: Beyond Pleading and Discovery,” at the 2015 AALS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.  The panel will run from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, January 3, 2015, at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.  This panel brings together a group of people with different roles and perspectives to provide insights and commentary on the effects of civil procedure rules and doctrine on the current federal court docket.  Confirmed outside speakers include a United States District Court judge, an empirical researcher from the Federal Judicial Center, a plaintiffs’ side attorney, and a lawyer from the defense bar. 

The Section seeks 1-2 academic speakers/papers for further perspective on how developments in rules and case law are acting at the federal trial court level to affect and restrict the nature of the court docket.  While tremendous attention has been given to Twombly/Iqbal and discovery rules, our panel seeks to go beyond these two “usual suspects” to focus on other developments in doctrine and rulemaking that also alter the potential for court access, including, but not limited to, issues around personal jurisdiction, mandatory ADR, transnational litigation, and class actions.    

The selected author(s) will present their papers at the AALS annual meeting in January 2015 in Washington, D.C.  Neither the AALS nor the Section is able to provide travel funding.  The selected authors and all panelists will have the opportunity to publish their papers in the Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development (St. John’s Law School), subject to final approval by the journal editors. 

All draft papers must be submitted by Tuesday, September 2, 2014.  Please send submissions to Rebecca Hollander-Blumoff, Chair of the Section on Civil Procedure, by email to hollanderblumoff@wulaw.wustl.edu.  Respondents will be notified of the Section’s decision by the end of September.  

July 7, 2014 in Conferences/Symposia | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 9, 2014

AALS Section on Federal Courts: Annual Award for Best Untenured Article on the Law of Federal Jurisdiction

Announcement below...

The AALS Section on Federal Courts is pleased to announce the third annual award for the best article on the law of federal jurisdiction by a full-time, untenured faculty member at an AALS member or affiliate school ­and to solicit nominations (including self-nominations) for the prize to be awarded at the 2015 AALS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.
 
The purpose of the award program is to recognize outstanding scholarship in the field of federal courts by untenured faculty members. To that end, eligible articles are those specifically in the field of Federal Courts that were published by a recognized journal during the twelve-month period ending on September 1, 2014 (date of actual publication determines eligibility). Eligible authors are those who, at the close of nominations (i.e., as of September 15, 2014), are untenured, full-time faculty members at AALS member or affiliate schools, and have not previously won the award.
 
Nominations (or questions about the award) should be directed to Tara Leigh Grove at William and Mary Law School (tlgrove@wm.edu), Chair of the AALS Section on Federal Courts. Without exception, all nominations must be received by 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on September 15, 2014. Nominations will be reviewed by a prize committee comprised of Professors Janet Cooper Alexander (Stanford), Allan Erbsen (Minnesota), Tara Leigh Grove (William & Mary), James Pfander (Northwestern), and Judith Resnik (Yale), with the result announced at the Federal Courts section program at the 2015 AALS Annual Meeting. 

 

 

June 9, 2014 in Conferences/Symposia, Federal Courts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Symposium & Call for Abstracts: Forum Selection After Atlantic Marine

The Hastings Law Journal seeks submissions for a symposium on forum selection after Atlantic Marine Construction Co. v. U.S. District Court. The symposium, co-sponsored by the Journal and by UC Hastings College of the Law, will be held at UC Hastings in San Francisco on Friday, September 19, 2014.

Topics may include -- but need not be limited to -- analyses and implications of the Supreme Court’s decision, the sources of law governing forum selection, and issues of private control of litigation more generally. Accepted essays will be published in the Journal in 2015, and invited participants will receive assistance with travel and lodging expenses. Practitioners and others working in the field are welcome to attend.

Abstracts of 2-4 pages should be sent to hlj@hastingslawjournal.org no later than Monday, June 23. Authors of accepted essays will be notified in the first week of July, and completed drafts must be submitted for circulation to symposium participants by Friday, September 5.

Questions regarding the symposium should be directed to the organizers, Stephen Sachs (sachs@law.duke.edu), Brad Shannon (bshannon@fcsl.edu), and Scott Dodson (dodsons@uchastings.edu).

 

 

May 30, 2014 in Conferences/Symposia, Recent Decisions, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

SEALS Conference Offers Several Civil Procedure Programs

The Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) annual conference will be held August 1-7, 2014 at The Omni, Amelia Island, Florida.  The program is available here.

 

Panels and discussion groups related to civil litigation include:

 

SUPREME COURT AND LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: BUSINESS AND REGULATORY ISSUES

This part of the Supreme Court and Legislative Update panels focuses on decisions relating to corporate issues, civil litigation, and administrative and business issues, as well as important legislation enacted by Congress or the states.

 

Moderator: Professor Charles "Rocky" Rhodes, South Texas College of Law

 

Speakers: Professor Christopher Green, The University of Mississippi School of Law; Professor Erin Hawley, University of Missouri School of Law; Professor Joan Heminway, The University of Tennessee College of Law; Professor David Hricik, Mercer University Law School; Professor Andrew Siegel, Seattle University School of Law; Professor Douglas Williams, Saint Louis University School of Law

 

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Discussion Group: MANDATORY ARBITRATION AND JUSTICE

Mandatory binding arbitration has come under increasing scrutiny in Congress, the Supreme Court, and public discourse. Critics argue that the process is unfair because it is not truly consensual or because it lacks important procedural safeguards. By contrast, defenders claim that baseline norms of fairness are presupposed in the idea of arbitration and that outcomes for consumers and employees are at least as good as those in litigation.

 

Is justice possible in mandatory arbitration? How important is it in relation to other values such as autonomy and efficiency? How should we measure “justice”? We will discuss both historical and contemporary focuses, as well as individual and group perspectives.

 

Moderators: Professor Hiro Aragaki, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles; Professor Andrea Doneff, Atlanta's John Marshall Law School

 

Discussants: Professor Sarah Cole, The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law; Professor Jaime Dodge, University of Georgia School of Law; Professor Richard Frankel, Drexel University School of Law; Professor Michael Green, Texas A&M University School of Law; Professor Jill Gross, Pace University School of Law; Professor Stephen Ware, University of Kansas School of Law; Professor Nancy Welsh, Penn State University, Dickinson School of Law; Professor Maureen Weston, Pepperdine University School of Law

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Discussion Group: CIVIL PROCEDURE DISCUSSION GROUP: PROCEDURAL HURDLES AND THE DAY IN COURT

The judicial process has transformed over the last decades, which has impacted the ability of plaintiffs to obtain a day in court. Federal statutory and rule revisions, as well as recent Supreme Court decisions, have made marked changes in the enforcement of arbitration clauses, federal subject matter jurisdiction, personal jurisdiction, venue, pleading standards, class certification standards, and the discovery process. These changes have combined to place greater emphasis on the pretrial process at the expense of the availability of a trial. This discussion group will explore these changes, at both an individual and collective level, and the resulting changes to the American system of procedure. Discussants will exchange papers before the conference examining these issues from a variety of perspectives.

 

Moderators: Professor Michael Allen, Stetson University College of Law; Professor Thomas Metzloff, Duke University School of Law

 

Discussants: Professor Donald Childress III, Pepperdine University School of Law; Professor Scott Dodson, University of California, Hastings, College of the Law; Professor Richard Freer, Emory University School of Law; Professor Paul Gugliuzza, Boston University School of Law; Professor Megan La Belle, The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law; Professor Benjamin Madison, Regent University School of Law; Professor Philip Pucillo, Michigan State University College of Law; Professor Charles Rocky Rhodes, South Texas College of Law; Professor Cassandra Robertson, Case Western Reserve University School of Law; Professor Howard Wasserman, Florida International University College of Law

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NEW SCHOLARS COLLOQUIA (PANEL #6)

Civil procedure and Courts

 

Moderator: Professor Scott Dodson, University of California, Hastings, College of the Law

 

Speakers: Professor Ramona Lampley, St. Mary's University School of Law, Arbitration, Transparency, and Access to Courts (Mentor: Professor Thomas Metzloff, Duke University School of Law); Professor Jason Parkin, Pace University School of Law, Due Process Disaggregation (Mentor: Professor Benjamin Barton, The University of Tennessee College of Law); Professor Victoria Shannon, Washington and Lee University School of Law, Regulating the Procedural Facet of Third-Party Funding (Mentor: Professor Danielle Holley-Walker, University of South Carolina School of Law); Professor Jessica Steinberg, The George Washington University Law School, Demand Side Reform in the Poor People's Court (Mentor: Professor Cassandra Burke Robertson, Case Western Reserve University School of Law)

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If I missed any, please let me know.  Thanks.

May 21, 2014 in Conferences/Symposia | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Call for Papers: Corporate & Securities Litigation Workshop

Second Annual Workshop for Corporate & Securities Litigation: Call for Papers

The University of Richmond School of Law and the University of Illinois College of Law invite submissions for the Second Annual Workshop for Corporate & Securities Litigation. This workshop will be held on Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25, 2014, in Richmond, Virginia. 

Overview

This annual workshop brings together scholars focused on corporate and securities litigation to present their works-in-progress. Papers addressing any aspect of corporate and securities litigation or enforcement are eligible. Appropriate topics include, but are not limited to, securities class actions, fiduciary duty litigation, or comparative approaches to business litigation. We welcome scholars working in a variety of methodologies, including empirical analysis, law and economics, law and sociology, and traditional doctrinal analysis. Participants will generally be expected to have drafts completed by the fall, although there will be one or more "incubator" sessions for ideas in a more formative stage.

Authors whose papers are selected will be invited to present their work at a workshop hosted by the University of Richmond School of Law in Richmond, Virginia, on Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25, 2014. Hotel costs will be covered. Participants will pay for their own travel and other expenses.

The workshop is designed to maximize discussion and feedback. The author will provide a brief introduction to the paper, but the majority of the individual sessions will be devoted to collective discussion of the paper involved.

Submission Procedure

If you are interested in participating, please send an abstract of the paper you would like to present to Verity Winship at vwinship@illinois.edu not later than Friday, May 30, 2014. Please include your name, current position, and contact information in the e-mail accompanying the submission. Authors of accepted papers will be notified by Friday, June 27.  

Questions

Any questions concerning the workshop should be directed to the organizers: Professor Jessica Erickson (jerickso@richmond.edu) and Professor Verity Winship (vwinship@illinois.edu).

April 24, 2014 in Conferences/Symposia | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Call for Papers: Akron L. Rev. Symposium Issue on Class Actions

SYMPOSIUM ISSUE

UNIVERSITY OF AKRON LAW REVIEW

 

The Class Action After A Decade of Roberts Court Decisions 

The Akron Law Review invites academic papers on the reasoning, dimensions, and possible impacts of one or more of the class action or other multi-party action cases decided by the “Roberts Court” (2005-present) We welcome papers of any length and request submission before September 14, 2014. Publication will occur in spring of 2015. 

As the Supreme Court of the United States recognized:

The policy at the very core of the class action mechanism is to overcome the problem that small recoveries do not provide the incentive for any individual to bring a solo action prosecuting his or her rights. A class action solves this problem by aggregating the relatively paltry potential recoveries into something worth someone’s (usually an attorney’s) labor.

Amchem Products, Inc. v. Windsor, 117 S.Ct. 2231, 2246 (1997) (quoting Mace v. Van Ru Credit Corp., 109 F.3d 338, 344 (7th Cir. 1997)). Earlier in 2014, the Court refused to intervene in a class action brought by consumers in “the case of the moldy washing machines” against three large corporations. Sears, Roebuck & Co. v. Butler, 13-430, Whirlpool v. Glazer, 13-431, and BSM Home Appliances v. Cobb, 13-138. Although a victory for consumers, the decision is arguably an anomaly amidst recent pro-business cases restricting plaintiffs’ class certification. See e.g., Comcast v. Berend, 133 S. Ct. 1426 (2013); AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740 (2011); Wal-Mart v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011). Multi-party litigation may well be changing, and the Akron Law Review seeks your contribution to the conversation.

Your contribution to this conversation will be both timely and visible. The Washington and Lee Law Review Rankings ranked the Akron Law Review as a top 55 general, student-edited journal (in combined score based on impact factor and citation). Additionally, Ohio Supreme Court Justices cited the Akron Law Review more times in the past decade than any other journal. See Jared Klaus, Law Reviews: An Undervalued Resource, 26 Ohio Lawyer, May/June 2012, at 28.

 You may submit manuscripts by email or regular mail. To submit by email, please forward a copy of your article in Word format to lawreview@uakron.edu. You may submit a hardcopy to: Justin M. Burns, Editor-in-Chief, Akron Law Review, The University of Akron School of Law, 150 University Avenue, Akron, Ohio 44325. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Justin Burns at jmb349@zips.uakron.edu.

April 17, 2014 in Class Actions, Conferences/Symposia | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 3, 2014

SEALS 2014 Conference Registration Opens Today

The annual conference of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools will be held August 1-7, 2014, at the Omni Hotel on Amelia Island, Florida.  Registration opened this morning.  Frequently, the conference hotel fills up quickly, so you should hurry.

The full program is here.

 

Glancing through the schedule, it looks like these are the programs that directly relate to Civil Procedure or Federal Courts (if I overlooked one, I apologize):

Supreme Court and Legislative Update: Business and Regulatory Issues

This part of the Supreme Court and Legislative Update panels focuses on decisions relating to corporate issues, civil litigation, and administrative and business issues, as well as important legislation enacted by Congress or the states.

 

Speakers: Professor Christopher Green, The University of Mississippi School of Law; Professor Erin Hawley, University of Missouri School of Law; Professor Joan Heminway, The University of Tennessee College of Law; Professor David Hricik, Mercer University Law School; Professor Andrew Siegel, Seattle University School of Law; Professor Douglas Williams, Saint Louis University School of Law

---------------------------------------          

 

Discussion Group: Civil Procedure Discussion Group: Procedural Hurdles and the Day in Court

The judicial process has transformed over the last decades, which has impacted the ability of plaintiffs to obtain a day in court. Federal statutory and rule revisions, as well as recent Supreme Court decisions, have made marked changes in the enforcement of arbitration clauses, federal subject matter jurisdiction, personal jurisdiction, venue, pleading standards, class certification standards, and the discovery process. These changes have combined to place greater emphasis on the pretrial process at the expense of the availability of a trial. This discussion group will explore these changes, at both an individual and collective level, and the resulting changes to the American system of procedure. Discussants will exchange papers before the conference examining these issues from a variety of perspectives.

 

Moderators: Professor Michael Allen, Stetson University College of Law; Professor Thomas Metzloff, Duke University School of Law

 

Discussants: Professor Donald Childress III, Pepperdine University School of Law; Professor Scott Dodson, University of California, Hastings, College of the Law; Professor Richard Freer, Emory University School of Law; Professor Paul Gugliuzza, Boston University School of Law; Professor Megan LaBelle, American University, Washington College of Law; Professor Benjamin Madison, Regent University School of Law; Professor Philip Pucillo, Michigan State University College of Law; Professor Charles Rocky Rhodes, South Texas College of Law; Professor Cassandra Robertson, Case Western Reserve University School of Law; Professor Howard Wasserman, Florida International University College of Law

 

-----------------------------------------------------------         

 

NEW SCHOLARS COLLOQUIA (Panel #6)

Civil Procedure and Courts

 

Speakers: Professor Jason Parkin, Pace University School of Law, Due Process Disaggregation (Mentor: Professor Benjamin Barton, The University of Tennessee College of Law); Professor Victoria Shannon, Washington and Lee University School of Law, Regulating the Procedural Facet of Third-Party Funding (Mentor: Professor Danielle Holley-Walker, University of South Carolina School of Law); Professor Jessica Steinberg, The George Washington University Law School, Demand Side Reform in the Poor People's Court (Mentor: Professor Cassandra Burke Robertson, Case Western Reserve University School of Law)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------      

 

Judicial Deception

Some lawyers and scholars believe Judges mischaracterize facts and law leading to confusion about the meaning of decisions as well as questions about the integrity of the judicial system. Yet the rhetoric of the profession may accepting fictions that mask problems and uncertainty caused by misstatements in judicial opinions. These fictions may also perpetuate the judiciary's apolitical image.

 

To what extent should scholars call attention to instances of judicial misinformation? To what extent should judges object to misleading statements in other judges' opinions? To what extent do compromises in appellate courts justify misstatements of prior doctrine? This panel will ask whether misleading statements in judicial opinions are a serious problem and, if so, what should be done about it.

 

Moderator: Professor Steve Wermiel, American University, Washington College of Law

 

Speakers: Professor Michael Dimino, Widener University School of Law; Professor Eric Segall, Georgia State University College of Law; Professor Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law School

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Discussion Group: Mandatory Arbitration and Justice

Mandatory binding arbitration has come under increasing scrutiny in Congress, the Supreme Court, and public discourse. Critics argue that the process is unfair because it is not truly consensual or because it lacks important procedural safeguards. By contrast, defenders claim that baseline norms of fairness are presupposed in the idea of arbitration and that outcomes for consumers and employees are at least as good as those in litigation.

 

Is justice possible in mandatory arbitration? How important is it in relation to other values such as autonomy and efficiency? How should we measure “justice”? We will discuss both historical and contemporary focuses, as well as individual and group perspectives.

 

Moderators: Professor Hiro Aragaki, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles; Professor Andrea Doneff, Atlanta's John Marshall Law School

 

Discussants: Professor Sarah Cole, The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law; Professor Jaime Dodge, University of Georgia School of Law; Professor Richard Frankel, Drexel University, Earle Mack School of Law; Professor Michael Green, Texas A&M University School of Law; Professor Jill Gross, Pace University School of Law; Professor Stephen Ware, University of Kansas School of Law; Professor Maureen Weston, Pepperdine University School of Law; Professor Michael Yelnosky, Roger Williams University School of Law

 

 

 

 

 

February 3, 2014 in Conferences/Symposia | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Registration for ABA Litigation Section Annual Conference Opens

The Section of Litigation of the American Bar Association will hold its Annual Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona at the Phoenician, April 9-11, 2014.  The brochure is available here.  Register here.

The keynote speaker will be Janet Napolitano.

February 2, 2014 in Conferences/Symposia | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Symposium to Explore the Role and Procedural Tools of the Federal District Court Judge

On February 14-15, 2014, the University of Miami Law Review will sponsor a Symposium, Leading From Below, to explore the role of the federal district court judge.  The Symposium will examine the scope and limitations of judicial discretion through four panels highlighting contexts where judges apply and affect public policy in their courtrooms.  The Honorable Jack B. Weinstein is the keynote speaker.  Click here for more information.


January 25, 2014 in Conferences/Symposia | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Federal Judges Pull No Punches on AALS Civil Procedure Section Panel

This morning I attended the Civil Procedure Section program, "Innovations in the District Courts: How Judges and Districts Can Address Cost, Delay and Access to Justice."  Moderated by Dean Matthew Diller, it was a lively panel of four federal judges:

Judge Julie Robinson, D. Kan.

Judge Shira Scheindlin, S.D.N.Y.

Judge Lois Bloom, Magistrate Judge, E.D.N.Y.

Judge William Young, D. Mass.

Judge Robinson is Chair of the National Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States and chaired the Court Administration and Case Management Committee.  "My committee, as opposed to the Rules Committee, works very quickly," she said.

This committee publishes and maintains the Civil Litigation Management Manual (not the Complex Litigation Manual) and collects best practices at the district court level, focusing on what she called "non-complex litigation."  For example, Judge Robinson cited Judge Koetl's pilot project focusing on the case management of employment cases.  She characterized employment cases as "non-complex," but stated that they cause "operational pain."  Among other items, the pilot calls for reciprocal exchange of information ("the universe") at the beginning of a case.  Judge Robinson's committee also oversees the pilot program for patent cases.

Her committee is also improving the functionality of the CM/ECF system to manage caseloads, not just cases.  She referred to a "three-year benchmark" for terminating civil cases, and stated that judges have a responsibility to the federal system to move cases.  Her committee focuses on the most congested courts in the system on the civil side of the docket.  The committee studies why these courts are congested and what kinds of resources can be deployed to help.

Judge Scheindlin described the ongoing pilot project in the Southern District of New York for complex cases.  She believes that many of the innovations are not necessary for the run-of-the-mill, non-complex cases.  The subject areas for this pilot project are stockholders' suits, products liability, antitrust, trademark, patent, securities, all class actions, and multidistrict litigation.  She said that FLSA cases are now about 10% of the project.

To inform the pilot project, the FJC conducted a survey of attorneys about case management.  I believe the results of this survey are published, and Judge Scheindlin spoke very quickly about a number of the survey findings.  Just a few items that I managed to get down were that 60% of attorneys said they had a 26(f) conference, and said that the 26(f) conference had little effect on cost or fairness (or actually increased cost).  Attorneys reported that discovery was stayed in about 30% of cases pending a motion to dismiss.  Also, attorney reported that there was no ESI involved in about 40% of cases, a result Judge Scheindlin found surprising. 

Judge Scheindlin described the components of the pilot project in some detail, which I will only highlight here.  Expensive and voluminous privilege logs are downplayed because they are now "unnecessary" with Rule 502 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. 

Document discovery, but not depositions, should presumptively proceed while a motion to dismiss is pending.  A sample of documents should be provided to the judge to make privilege rulings.  Interestingly, Judge Scheindlin advocated a "pre-motion conference" for virtually all motions, in which the attorneys summarize what they intend to argue, and the judge gives feedback as to what should be briefed, what argument is a loser, etc.  Oral argument on all substantive motions is recommended, along with very strictly-enforced page limitations on briefs (25, 25, and 10).

Judge Scheindlin later suggested that summary judgment was overused, and that a judge's decision will never have the same credibility as the judgment of the community in a jury trial.  Noting the "huge amount" of papers in a summary judgment motion, she sometimes asks herself, "What are these lawyers thinking?  They could have tried this case" in the time it took to prepare the motion. 

Judge Lois Bloom, who oversees all pro se litigation in the Southern District of New York, spoke on access to justice and pro se litigation.  She began by noting that US statute allows parties to conduct their own cases personally, and that the court house door is open to everyone.  Judge Bloom stated that approximately 25% of federal district courts' civil caseload involves pro se litigants, and that percentage rises to 40% at the appellate court level.  Approximately 96% of prisoner litigation is pro se, but less than half of the pro se cases are now brought by prisoners. 

Examples of these pro se cases include, on the plaintiff side, employment discrimination cases and fair debt collection practices cases, and on the defendant side, student loan recovery and illegal downloading.  The same FRCP apply, but there are some special rules for pro se cases.  Judge Bloom created special form orders such as to get initial disclosures in employment cases.  

She stated that she "would rather have an earnest pro se litigant than a bad lawyer, any day."  To give people their day in court means holding repeated conferences.  She shows concern for ordinary citizens, stating that "every week" she gets more cases about "the bad things that happen to people" on a stop-and-frisk.

Judge Bloom recognizes a "strong link between procedural justice and how people perceive the courts."  She hopes law schools will highlight the fact that 25% of civil cases are now pro se, and encourages Civil Procedure professors to keep students' eyes on the ultimate goals of litigation, not the discrete procedural steps along the way. 

Judge Young, batting cleanup, warned he might "come off as a skunk at the wedding."  He endorsed his colleagues' suggestions, but stated in general, "We have so deconstructed the role of the trial judge" that "we think the goal is through-put," or getting the cases through.  But the goal is adjudication.  "That is what is special about judges."  Settlement and mediated resolution are by-products of the drive towards trial.  Trial is what focuses the litigants' and the trial lawyers' minds.

He stated that the jury is "dying."  In the last eight years a person's chance of being seated as a juror in federal court has declined more than 30%.  Federal judges are on the bench less than ever.  The average district court judge tries less than one case a month, or about eight to nine trials a year.  So there's less fact-finding, which "foreshadows the twilight of judicial independence."  He referred the audience to an article by Judge Lee Rosenthal and Professor Steven Gensler about "the reappearing judge," and to an article by Judge Young in Penn State Law Review.

Judge Young said there was a need to focus on enhancing our jury system.  He noted that the strategic plan for the US District Courts only mentions jurors twice.  Jurors should be allowed to take notes and ask questions as a matter of course.  Moreover, even if the statute isn't changed, individual judges can require 12-person jurors.  Social science research suggests that the best size for small-group decision-making is 10 to 14 persons.  Judge Young believes there is a need for scholarship on issues relating to juries, including the American juror as a constitutional officer as to which Congress should not be able to cut off funding. 

Judge Young said that "we ought to be thinking of ourselves more as federal courts than as individual judges," adding that "injustice anywhere in the United States is injustice everywhere."  He praised the committee on inter-circuit assignment; for example, thirty-two judges were lined up to try tobacco cases in the Middle District of Florida.  He advocated for more inter-circuit assignment of cases. 

Judge Young also stated that "although we deny it, the grants of summary judgment are too frequent."  He called affidavits the "Potemkin villages" of modern procedure, all facade and nothing inside.  He also branded status conferences as "a terrible waste of time," suggesting instead that "you set the key dates and you don't move them."  He also said that people don't necessarily want a trial: they want the reasonable expectation of a trial.  That is what "brings the economically powerful to the bargaining table." 

Dean Diller then asked the panelists about the proposed amendments to the FRCP. 

Judge Bloom responded that she believed that rules committees were "self-perpetuating," and that we needed to get away from the idea that the rules need to be amended every few years.  She thinks that the new proposals are being pushed by defense attorneys who want to cut back on plaintiffs' access.  In the Eastern District of New York, where civil cases are automatically assigned to a magistrate judge until the time of trial, "it is a real outlier" that needs any revision to the rules.  She believes that the "proportionality" amendment will be a "Pandora's box." 

Judge Robinson agreed that the proposed amendments would cause at least as much "operational pain" as they would cure. 

Professor Liz Schneider from Brooklyn Law School posed a hypothetical: what if the SDNY passed a local rule that "we discourage the filing and granting of summary judgment motions."  Judge Scheindlin indicated that many law firms would not be receptive because it would hurt their revenues.  "If the lawyers cared about cost, they wouldn't do summary judgment motions."

January 4, 2014 in Conferences/Symposia, Federal Courts, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 30, 2013

AALS 2014 Annual Meeting (January 2-5, NYC)

The 2014 Association of American Law Schools annual meeting is happening in New York City this week. Links to the full schedule are here and here. Below are some sessions that may be of interest (although a number of them overlap):

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December 30, 2013 in Conferences/Symposia | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Members of Civil Rules Advisory Committee Explain and Defend Proposed FRCP Amendments

An ABA Webinar cast earlier this afternoon entitled "The Proposed Revisions to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure" featured three members of the Civil Rules Advisory Committee, John M. Barkett (moderator), Judge John Koetl, and Judge Paul Grimm. 

I will not repeat the bulk of the presentations, as the Advisory Committee transmittal memorandum and notes on the proposed amendments cover much of what was said. 

Judge Koetl stated that the major themes that emerged at the 2010 Duke Conference (out of which the proposed amendments grew) to reduce the "cost and delay" of civil litigation were proportionality of discovery, cooperation among lawyers, and early and active judicial case management.  

In the category of early and effective judicial case management, the proposals include (among others) suggesting the addition of new topics to the scheduling order, such as a provision that the court can direct that before moving for discovery the parties must have a conference with the court.

This last point was interesting, because Judge Koetl stated that "about a third of the federal judges in the country do that now," and that those judges who do have found that it eliminates most discovery motions.  He stated that there was talk of making this requirement mandatory, but "because most judges don't do it, we only encouraged it." 

Turning to the proposals dealing with "proportionality" in discovery, Judge Koetl stated that the scope of discovery under Rule 26(b)(1) is changed in three main ways:

1. It is limited to matter that is relevant to a party's claim or defense.  The current provision allowing the ordering of discovery "relevant to the subject matter" for "good cause" should be deleted.

2.  The current statement of proportionality is "effectively buried" in Rule 26(b)(2)(C)(iii), so it should be moved to be within Rule 26(b)(1).

3.  The current provision that says relevant information need not be admissible in evidence, if the discovery is reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, should be changed.  That provision was intended, Judge Koetl asserted, to be an answer to something like a hearsay objection at a deposition; instead, that language has been used in some cases to expand the scope of discovery beyond its original intent.  The proposed revision says information within the (proposed revised) scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable. 

Every listener who posed a question to the panel was at least somewhat critical of the proposed amendments.  One listener argued that there was no empirical support for the proposition that there is no "proportionality" in discovery currently, and believed that the proposals were "punishing the innocent majority for the malfeasance of the minority."  Judge Koetl responded that the studies that were conducted for Duke both by the FJC and others reflected measurable dissatisfaction "by a significant number of lawyers for plaintiffs and defendants with respect to discovery being disproportional with respect to the stakes in the case."  It was not a majority who found costs disproportional, but it was "a significant number of cases." 

Judge Koetl also briefly covered the reduction in presumptive limits on certain discovery devices (for example, the reduction from 10 to 5 depositions), and the proposed revision to Rule 1 to remind lawyers of their duty to cooperate.  Judge Grimm covered the proposed amendments to Rule 37 on preservation and spoliation standards.

Mr. Barkett reminded listeners that upcoming hearings were January 9 in Phoenix and February 7 in Dallas.  The public comment period closes Feb. 15, 2014.  See Adam Steinman's earlier post here.

December 17, 2013 in Conferences/Symposia, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 16, 2013

ABA Webinar Tomorrow on Proposed FRCP Amendments, Free to Litigation Section Members

If you are a member of the ABA's Litigation section, you might want to check out this webinar tomorrow, Tuesday, December 17, 2013, at 1:00 pm EST on The Proposed Revisions to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  Registration is free to Litigation section members, $100 to ABA members, and $130 to the general public.

The panel includes:

Hon. John Koeltl, Member, Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, Judge, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, New York, NY

Hon. Paul Grimm, Member, Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore, MD

John M. Barkett (Moderator), Member, Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, Partner, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, Miami, FL

Hon. John Koeltl, Member, Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, Judge, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, New York, NY

Hon. Paul Grimm, Member, Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore, MD

John M. Barkett (Moderator), Member, Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, Partner, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, Miami, FL

- See more at: http://apps.americanbar.org/cle/programs/l13rcp1.html?sc_cid=CEL3RCP-C#sthash.M4UUGA8Y.dpuf

Hon. John Koeltl, Member, Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, Judge, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, New York, NY

Hon. Paul Grimm, Member, Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore, MD

John M. Barkett (Moderator), Member, Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, Partner, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, Miami, FL

- See more at: http://apps.americanbar.org/cle/programs/l13rcp1.html?sc_cid=CEL3RCP-C#sthash.M4UUGA8Y.dpuf

December 16, 2013 in Conferences/Symposia, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Seton Hall Law Review Symposium: Legal Education Looking Forward

This Friday, October 25, the Seton Hall Law Review is hosting a full-day symposium entitled Legal Education Looking Forward:

Is law school still economically viable? Should it last two years instead of three? Would increasing “skills classes” increase preparedness? Could an apprenticeship program or post-graduate “low bono” service clinic give students a means of building experience in a tough legal market? Do we need the bar exam? On Friday, October 25, 2013, the Seton Hall Law Review’s Volume 44 Symposium, “Legal Education Looking Forward,” will explore these and other current proposals for revamping, revitalizing, and reestablishing the value of law school. Paulette Brown, President-Elect of the American Bar Association, will deliver the keynote address, and a panel of distinguished professors, administrators, and practitioners will speak throughout the day.

More details and registration information available here.

 

October 23, 2013 in Conferences/Symposia | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Vanderbilt Law Review Roundtable on DaimlerCrysler v. Bauman

The Vanderbilt Law Review recently published its semiannual Roundtable in which includes essays on DaimlerChrysler v. Bauman, set to be argued in the Supreme Court on October 15. Professors Linda Silberman, Burt Neuborne, Donald Childress III, Howard Erichson, and Suzanna Sherry contributed essays on this case and the issue of general jurisdiction. 
The Vanderbilt Law Review website states the following: 
Our current Roundtable considers DaimlerChrysler AG v. Bauman, which is to be argued at the Supreme Court in the October 2013 term. In Bauman, the Court will consider whether a U.S. District Court may exercise general personal jurisdiction over DaimlerChrysler AG, a foreign company, based on the alleged acts of its Argentine subsidiary. None of the alleged actions occurred in California, but Respondents argue that the the contacts of DaimlerChrysler’s California subsidiary should be imputed to the parent company and thus that California may exercise general jurisdiction. The authors have much material to work with on this issue, but how the Court frames the case and answers its important questions is far from clear. The last time the Court took up issues of general jurisdiction was in Goodyear Dunlop Tires, S.A. v. Brown, but the Court left open many questions pertaining to general jurisdiction that it might clarify in Bauman. The Court might also speak to the scope of the Alien Tort Statute in the wake of Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum.

October 3, 2013 in Conferences/Symposia, Federal Courts, Recent Scholarship, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Webcast: Panel on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure at the University of Cincinnati

You can now watch a webcast of the University of Cincinnati’s recent panel discussion celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. 

October 3, 2013 in Conferences/Symposia, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Spencer on Pleading and Access to Civil Justice

Now in print is an essay by Prof. Benjamin Spencer (Washington & Lee) entitled Pleading and Access to Civil Justice: A Response to Twiqbal Apologists, 60 UCLA L. Rev. 1710 (2013). Here’s the abstract:

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October 2, 2013 in Conferences/Symposia, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Recent Scholarship, Twombly/Iqbal | Permalink | Comments (0)