Last week, there were two appellate opinions, one from the Seventh Circuit and one from the Tenth, that are worth some attention. They’re worth discussing together as well, because while only one is really helpful for defendants, both discuss different conceptions of how to argue comity in class actions.

The first is Smentek v. Dart (7th Cir. 2012). Smentek was a class action filed on behalf of Illinois prisoners who had been denied dental care in violation of the due process clause. It was the third of its kind. How did that happen? In the first two class actions, various … Continue Reading

 This month, in our piece of classic scholarship looks at an old University of Chicago Law Review comment on how to use class action. The Class Action Device in Antisegregation Cases, 20 U. Chi. L. Rev. 577 (1953). (JSTOR link here.)

The Comment takes a plaintiffs’ view of how to use class actions to combat segregation (which it defined to mean "any policy of discriminatory treatment of a minority group"). It begins with an observation that even it called "obvious," but that sets up much of its argument argument: that "segregation is a group phenomenon."

One reason that the

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 I hope everyone had a good Martin Luther King Day. Given the holiday, it seemed appropriate to highlight another classic case: Hansberry v. Lee

Oddly, given its importance to class actions litigation, Hansberry is not a class action itself. The case arose out of a restrictive covenant barring African-Americans from buying land in certain areas of Chicago. The Hansberries, an African-America family (which included future Raisin in the Sun playwright Lorraine Hansberry) moved into a neighborhood governed by the covenant. The Lees sued, arguing that 95% of the homeowners in the neighborhood had signed the restrictive covenant. The … Continue Reading