Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Cardozo Law School in New York is hosting a conference on Friday, March 28 entitled "Justice and the Role of Class Actions." The organizers describe the conference as follows:
For too long, coverage of class action litigation has understated or ignored completely the critical role that class actions have played in protecting consumer safety, advancing civil rights, protecting the integrity of the market, and distributing justice. The goal of this conference is to present a series of panels focusing on the historic value of class actions, their contemporary application, as well as the threats and opportunities facing the class action system today and in the future. The conference, cosponsored with the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy and Public Justice, will bring together a diverse group of scholars, practitioners, and law students to engage in a day-long, interactive set of conversations about class actions and the issues that swirl around this controversial and rapidly changing legal arena.
The speakers list includes some of the most prominent names in class action litigation and scholarship (listed here in order of appearance): Kenneth Feinberg, Elizabeth Cabraser, Sean Coffey, Geoffrey Miller, Richard Nagareda, John Beisner, Paul Bland, Myriam Gilles, Michael Hausfeld, Samuel Issacharoff, Arthur Bryant, Deborah Hensler, Bill Lann Lee, Catherine Lhamon, Victor Schwartz.
The coverage of the conference is very general (panels are on the history of class actions, challenges facing class actions and globalization of class actions). There is no specific mass tort angle, at least of the type we often write about on this blog, because class actions have largely been abandoned as a vehicle for resolving mass torts. Constitutional torts, such as strip search class actions and Title VII class actions, remain viable and will likely be discussed at the conference.