Friday, February 22, 2008
The Kentucky Supreme Court has created a committee to explore possible improvements in the handling of mass tort litigation. According to the press release, the committee "will determine whether current court rules for attorneys and judges provide adequate safeguards against unethical conduct and whether rule changes may provide guidance to attorneys and courts dealing with complex litigation." The appointment comes in the wake of indictments against several Kentucky lawyers charged with stealing client funds in fen-phen settlements. Here's the Torts Prof post about the committee, with a link to a news account.
I met with the Kentucky committee in Frankfort last month, and enjoyed the opportunity to discuss with them the challenges of mass tort litigation and some of the ways in which rules of procedure and rules of professional conduct may be modified or sensibly interpreted to accommodate the demands of mass disputes while respecting core values of justice and attorney-client relationships. It will be interesting to see what proposals, if any, the committee generates after exploring the possibilities. It will be equally interesting to see how many of those proposals are ultimately adopted.