December 1, 2010
4th International Conference on the Globalization of Collective Litigation at Florida International University College of Law
The 4th International Conference on the Globalization of Collective Litigation will take place on Friday, December 10, 2010 at Florida International University College of Law in Miami.
This conference, co-organized by professors Manuel A. Gomez (Florida International University College of Law ) and Deborah R. Hensler (Stanford Law School) is the fourth in the series of international conferences on the global spread of collective litigation begun in 2007 at Oxford University. It will bring together academicians, policy analysts and legal practitioners to systematically review the status of collective litigation around the world with special focus on Latin America, a region signaled by a growing interest in protecting collective rights, the passage of legislation that provides for class actions and similar mechanisms, and the increased participation of domestic courts in deciding cases that involve large-scale accidents, environmental harms, exposure to toxic materials, defective products and financial injuries. The conference will address issues of critical importance including financing, coordination and enforcement. It will also serve as a vehicle to exchange information about how the collective litigation rules work in practice, who is availing themselves of these procedures and for what ends, and what the economic and social consequences are for individuals, business, and the public interest.
The full agenda and registration information are available here.
Although I won't be speaking at the conference, I'm planning on attending the conference, as I'm currently researching the Toyota Unintended Acceleration MDL in connection with a Law and Society Association international research collaborative (IRC) on the Globalization of Class Actions and Other Forms of Collective Litigation. Several of the conference moderators and speakers are also active in the IRC, including IRC participants Deborah Hensler (Stanford), Christopher Hodges (Oxford), Ianika Tzankova (Tilburg U., Netherlands), and Manuel Gomez (Florida International).
November 30, 2010
Clermont on Class Certification's Preclusive Effects
Kevin Clermont (Cornell) has posted a draft of his forthcoming PENNumbra piece, Class Certification's Preclusive Effects, on SSRN. Here's the abstract:
In September 2010, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in the controversial Baycol litigation. The central question will be whether, subsequent to a denial of class certification, preclusion can prevent an absentee from seeking to certify another class action on a similar claim. This Article answers that question in the affirmative, while warning that the preclusion is very limited in scope. It arrives at this answer by analogizing to the established doctrine of jurisdiction to determine no jurisdiction.
His first paragraph nicely lays out the issue he's addressing:
A federal court denies certification of a plaintiff class action, thereby declaring the absentees to be nonparties. One of those absentees then brings a class action on a similar claim in a different jurisdiction with an identical class-action rule, provoking the common defendant to invoke res judicata. Is the issue of certifiability subject to collateral estoppel? Academics might say "no," on the ground that res judicata normally does not bind nonparties. But the courts generally answer "yes," on the thought that no reasons sufficiently justify retrying the same issue as long as the class representative adequately represented the absentee in the certification attempt. Now the U.S. Supreme Court stands poised to enter the fray via the controversial Baycol case. (footnotes removed)
The case that Kevin's discussing is In re Baycol Prods. Litig., 593 F.3d 716 (8th Cir.), cert. granted sub nom., Smith v. Bayer Corp., 131 S. Ct. 61 (2010). The Eighth Circuit held that the "non-parties" were precluded from relitigating the question of class certification because their interests were adequately represented. Accordingly, it enjoined the plaintiffs from trying to relitigate class certification in West Virginia state court. Here's a link to a previous post on the case.