Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kansas Law Review - Aggregate Justice: Perspectives Ten Years After Amchem and Ortiz

Kansas Law Review's symposium this year is titled "Aggregate Justice: Perspectives Ten Years After Amchem."  Here's the official blurb and the line-up of speakers:

Friday October 30, 2009
Green Hall, 1535 W. 15th Street, Lawrence, Kansas 66045

We are excited to announce this year’s Kansas Law Review Symposium, which will focus on the present and future of aggregate litigation, using Ortiz v. Fibreboard Corp., 527 U.S. 815 (1999), as a springboard for this exploration. The Symposium will feature a number of well-known speakers in the field of aggregate litigation. The event will be held on October 30, 2009, at the University of Kansas School of Law in Lawrence, KS.

Speakers and their affiliations:

Elizabeth Chamblee Burch (J.D., Florida State University College of Law) is an Assistant Professor of Law at the Florida State University College of Law.

Howard M. Erichson (J.D., New York University School of Law) is a Professor of Law at the Fordham University School of Law.

Steven S. Gensler (J.D., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) is the Welcome D. and W. DeVier Pierson Professor of Law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

Laura J. Hines (J.D., University of Michigan) is a Professor of Law at the University of Kansas School of Law.

Linda S. Mullenix (Ph.D., Columbia University, J.D., Georgetown University Law Center) holds the Rita and Morris Atlas Chair in Advocacy at the University of Texas School of Law.

Tom Willging (L.L.M., Harvard Law School, J.D., The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law) is a senior researcher at the Federal Judicial Center.

Patrick Woolley (J.D., Yale Law School) is the Beck, Redden & Secrest Professor at the University of Texas School of Law.

Attendance is free and no reservations are required.

For more information, please contact Symposium Editor Shane McCall: [email protected].

Although my paper is still in its formative stages, its title is "Aggregation, Community, and the Line Between."  It builds on my earlier work, "Litigating Groups," and my current work-in-progress, "Litigating Together: Social, Moral, and Legal Obligations," which I'll present at the University of Florida next week.  The Kansas article examines our current line drawing scheme, which essentially asks whether the procedurally aggregated individuals form a sufficiently cohesive group before the decision to sue.  Here's a short overview/abstract:

This Article non-rhetorically asks whether this is the right dividing line.  Although I rely principally on analogies to the class action context, I am particularly concerned about mass tort litigation that proceeds as nonclass aggregation because it fails the predominance test in Rule 23(b)(3).  Cohesion, as currently measured by courts is static in that the proxies—requesting uniform relief and having common characteristics that pre-date the litigation—are measured at a particular point in time.  And plaintiffs with procedurally aggregated tort claims are unlikely to exhibit the fundamental attributes of a cohesive local community—social bonds, social activities, and community attachment.  But what if, by using new communication mediums, we could return to the core cohesion seen in small, rural medieval communities without the corresponding geographic restrictions?  Put differently, what if, in drawing the line for cohesive groups, we traced actual cohesion regardless of when it arose?  This Article explores that question. 


Aggregate Litigation Procedures, Class Actions, Conferences, Mass Tort Scholarship | Permalink

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