Mississippi Class Actions and the Inevitability of Mass Aggregate Litigation
Howard M. Erichson
Fordham University School of Law
Mississippi College Law Review, Forthcoming
Seton Hall Public Law Research Paper No. 30
Mass disputes happen, and lawyers on both sides handle such matters collectively rather than individually. With or without the judicial imprimatur of class certification, multi-claimant disputes routinely are litigated and resolved on a collective basis. Mississippi declined to adopt a class action rule in order to avoid the burdens, controversies, and complexities of mass aggregate litigation, but mass aggregate litigation in Mississippi happened anyway. The real question is not whether there will be mass litigation, but whether it will be subject to formal safeguards and judicial supervision. This article explains why Mississippi needs a class action rule by comparing the class action to its realistic alternatives. The Mississippi experience confirms that a prohibition on class actions channels mass disputes into other modes of formal and informal aggregate dispute resolution, some of which are inferior mechanisms to class actions for resolving mass disputes.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Keywords: class action, Mississippi, aggregation, mass tort, joinder, litigation
JEL Classification: K40, K41
Date posted: March 8, 2005
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