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Class Action Countermeasures Discussions of the Strategic Considerations Involved In Class Action Defense

Category Archives: Lawyers

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The Supreme Court is Also Coming for Judge Baer

Posted in Lawyers

 In what is rapidly becoming a trend, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in yet another class action (this time Martin v. Blessing, but one Justice wrote an accompanying opinion to signal where the Court may come out should the issue arise again. Martin is one of several cases in which SDNY Judge Harold Baer imposed a… Continue Reading

A Review of Year-End Reviews

Posted in Lawyers

For many, the start of a new year is not just a time to look ahead, but also a nice landmark for looking back. So it is with class-action litigators. In the past month, there have been at least four different "Year End Reviews" of class actions. (I’m not counting my own, which are more top… Continue Reading

Adequacy of Counsel, Attorneys’ Fees, and Malpractice – Wyly v Weiss

Posted in Lawyers

In 1998, the class action plaintiffs’ firm Milberg Weiss filed sued Computer Associates for violating the federal securities laws by lying about its revenues in order to increase its stock price. In a perfectly unremarkable development, it was appointed co-lead counsel of the consolidated class. (Various firms had filed a total of eleven complaints.) Over… Continue Reading

Dewey Lebeouf, Grand Strategy, and Bad Strategy

Posted in Lawyers, Strategy

For the last three months, much of the law-firm world has been watching the slow-motion train wreck that was the dissolution of Dewey & LeBeouf. The legal blogosphere has written a lot about what the collapse means, and offered numerous theories about why Dewey failed so spectacularly in only a few months. Most focus on… Continue Reading

The Cause Lawyer and the Class Action

Posted in Lawyers, Settlement

 I’ve spent a lot of time over the last two years poking (as best I can) into the head of the entrepreneurial plaintiff’s lawyer. That is, the plaintiff’s lawyer that treats her lawsuits like business opportunities, keeping a diversified portfolio and working to maximize the profit from each opportunity. But there is another kind of… Continue Reading

Classic Scholarship – Class Action Cops

Posted in Lawyers

For the last six or seven years, a growing academic literature has put forward the argument that the primary justification for class actions is not to compensate absent class members, but to deter corporate wrongdoing. That justification has formed the basis of a number of arguments, from Professor Fitzpatrick’s proposal that class action attorneys earn… Continue Reading

Classic Scholarship – Class Action Extraction

Posted in Lawyers

 (I’m recovering from a cold, and on deadline for a book, so my apologies that this post is a little late and a little short.) Today’s piece of "classic scholarship" was published in Public Choice in 2003. The authors, Jeffrey Haymond and James E. West, took a public-choice perspective on the class action, arguing that class actions are… Continue Reading

Classic Scholarship – Naming, Blaming & Claiming

Posted in Lawyers

This month’s piece of classic scholarship comes from the sociology of law. Thirty years ago, William L.F. Felstiner, Richard L. Abel, and Austin Sarat published a piece in the Law & Society Review titled "The Emergence and Transformation of Disputes: Naming, Blaming, Claiming …"  The authors wanted to trace how experiences transform into legal disputes. And they… Continue Reading

A New Model of Plaintiffs’ Class Action Attorneys? Not Yet.

Posted in Lawyers

 I’ve made no secret about the fact that one of the purposes of this blog is to delve into how the other side thinks.  And I’ve also emphasized the fact that it’s important to keep an open mind when considering one’s adversaries in litigation.  So I was pleased to hear that plaintiffs’-lawyer-turned-academic Morris Ratner was working… Continue Reading