At this point, I’m well aware that I tend to sound like an old crank when reviewing class action scholarship; much of it repeats the same old stuff, predicts the imminent demise of the class action in its current form, and looks at the same Supreme Court cases instead of digging into where the real action happens. And that is why I am happy to report that this year, there were quite a few articles that did take different approaches to various problems in class actions. Yes, we still had some of the same Supreme Court rehashes, but even some … Continue Reading

Many observers of class actions (including me) have promoted the use of mediators in negotiating class action settlements. Properly used, a mediator can not only help the sides reach agreement, but also document that the process underlying the settlement was fair, reasonable, and adequate.

Hamline Law School Professor James Coben has published an article taking a different view. In Creating a 21st Century Oligarchy: Judicial Abdication to Class Action Mediators, he worries that relying too much on mediators ignores the interests of absent class members just as much as potentially "collusive" settlements.

Coben’s article is … Continue Reading