The Roberts Court and the End of the Entity Theory
30 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2015
Date Written: April 17, 2015
For two decades, legal scholars have relied on the "entity theory" of the class action, which holds that a class action is a separate juridical entity deserving special treatment from the time a complaint is filed. In a series of unanimous decisions, the Roberts Court has called that academic theory into question. This paper details the history of the entity theory, its effect on class action decisions, and shows how the Roberts Court has rendered it invalid as both an accurate description of the class action in practice and a basis for arguments about how class actions should be treated.
Keywords: class action, supreme court, entity theory
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