Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=975979
 
 

Citations (2)



 
 

Footnotes (276)



 


 



The Law and Large Numbers: Preserving Adjudication in Complex Litigation


Alexandra D. Lahav


University of Connecticut - School of Law


Florida Law Review, Vol. 59, p. 383, 2007

Abstract:     
This Article describes the transfer of power to regulate tortfeasors from the legislature to private parties through the medium of the court system and proposes that instead of privatizing mass torts administration courts should humanize it. The federal courts are faced with large numbers of claims arising out of torts, civil rights violations, and consumer fraud. Federal judges, concerned about the transformation of their role from adjudicators to administrators, have applied various narrowing legal doctrines to avoid administering mass torts. Because courts have restricted procedures for resolving mass claims, litigants have resorted to private ordering through settlement. The alternative to private settlement is bureaucratic administration of complex litigation. There are legitimate reasons to fear this outcome, such as concerns about litigants becoming alienated, capture by special interests, and erroneous results. These same concerns about bureaucracy animated the debate over the rise of administrative agencies in the last century. But bureaucratic administration has its virtues and serves the broader democratic goal of access to justice. When judges avoid mass claim administration, they are not deferring to the legislature. Instead, they are ceding power to private actors. To replace private ordering, courts need a method for administering large numbers of claims that is both humanized and humanizing. Such a bureaucracy should be open to public scrutiny and understood as an important, sophisticated judicial function intended to realize the widely recognized values of the judicial system.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 54

Keywords: mass tort, courts, bureaucracy, complex litigation

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: March 31, 2007 ; Last revised: September 11, 2009

Suggested Citation

Lahav, Alexandra D., The Law and Large Numbers: Preserving Adjudication in Complex Litigation. Florida Law Review, Vol. 59, p. 383, 2007. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=975979

Contact Information

Alexandra D. Lahav (Contact Author)
University of Connecticut - School of Law ( email )
65 Elizabeth Street
Hartford, CT 06105
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 948
Downloads: 89
Download Rank: 170,586
Citations:  2
Footnotes:  276

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo6 in 0.313 seconds