The Cultural Analysis of Class Action Law
LSU Law Center Journal of Civil Law Studies, Vol. 2, 2009
45 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2010
Date Written: 2009
This article reviews the different theories of law and culture, and defines the concept and breadth of legal culture. It also discusses the relationship between law and culture, referring to the existing literature on the subject. Furthermore, it discusses how authors have connected culture to civil procedure, and why the concept of “modern legal culture” is important in the context of class action law. Its main thesis is the cultural construction of class action law. Indeed, the class action encourages the transmission of culture and the history of the North American class action was influenced by culture. The class action also mirrors society's structure and culture, in light of the following three characteristics of North American contemporary culture: access to justice, managerial judging and the preference for settlements. Class actions correspondingly affect North American legal culture, as evidenced by changes in the legal institutions, in the role of judges and in the legal profession. Finally, in this article it is argued that the cross-constitutive relationship between class action law and culture must be studied both theoretically and empirically. Ultimately, this article seeks to demonstrate that the class action is a disputing institution that is culturally constructed, that plays a role in the construction and transmission of culture-that is, of social arrangements, systems of beliefs and values.
Keywords: Civil Procedure, Class Actions, Culture, Comparative Law, Settlements
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