During the latter half of 2011, I was privy to the following exchange between a well-known law professor and a well-known practitioner:

PROFESSOR: Yes, I wrote a piece which concluded that the class action is dead. You heard it here.
PRACTITIONER: And yet plaintiffs keep filing the things …

That exchange (which I promise actually happened), summarizes the primary trend in class-action scholarship in the last year: declaring the device "dead," either because classes are now too hard to certify because of Dukes, too hard to bring in the first place because of Concepcion, or too expensive because Continue Reading

 As both plaintiffs and defendants get more sophisticated, the problem of how to litigate mass torts grows more complicated. In particular, both litigants and courts struggle with the question of when a verdict should have preclusive effect in mass tort litigation, and when it should not. Before he passed away last year, Vanderbilt law professor Richard Nagareda made some progress on this question in Embedded Aggregation in Civil Litigation, an article for the Cornell Law Review. As Nagareda put it:

Each instance involves what this Article labels as a situation of “embedded aggregation.” In each, a doctrinal feature

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