Ronald Coase, who passed away on September 2, was one of the great thinkers in both law and economics, and pioneered the application of economics to law. For some of that work (involving the theory of the firm and the role of transaction costs in regulation) he deservedly won a Nobel Prize in Economics. Much of that work has applications to class action doctrine. .
I wrote about some of his lesser-known work here.
He will be sorely missed.