A few weeks ago, the Duke Law Center for Judicial Studies held a conference on class action settlements in San Diego, to discuss best practices in the wake of the likely Rule 23 amendments. Like all of its conferences, this one was held under the Chatham House Rule, which dictate that you can repeat the substance of anything said but not the identity of the speakers.  The candor these rules foster is extraordinary, and lead to valuable discussions.  So, with that in mind, here are the five most important things attendees took away from the conference.

  1. Plaintiff-oriented amendments
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The Rule 23 amendment process has continued apace.  For those of you who did not read Paul Karlsgodt’s excellent summary of the September 11 mini-conference (which included a number of class-action luminaries from both sides of the aisle), I’d recommend you head straight over to do so.
For the mini-conference, the Rule 23 Subcommittee published its latest thoughts on various topics (click on “Mini Conference Materials), and these are the latest versions of its proposals to debate.
In general, the proposals have improved significantly.  It’s clear that the Subcommittee is listening to reactions from all sides as part of its … Continue Reading

            I’ve written a little so far about the fact that Rule 23 is likely to undergo revision in the next few years.  Last week Judge Robert Michael Dow, who is a member of the Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure’s Rule 23 subcommittee, spoke at the annual meeting of Lawyers for Civil Justice.  He offered an update on what the Rules 23 subcommittee is looking at reforming (what he referred to as their “study agenda”). 

As Judge Dow pointed out, the subcommittee is at the beginning of its review, which he called “stage one of a … Continue Reading