Lone Pine Orders: A Critical Examination and Empirical Analysis

22 Pages Posted: 20 May 2020

See all articles by Nora Freeman Engstrom

Nora Freeman Engstrom

Stanford Law School

Amos Espeland

Stanford University, School of Law

Date Written: April 10, 2020


Invented in 1986 and now a prominent feature of the mass tort landscape, Lone Pine orders require plaintiffs to provide to the court prima facie evidence of injury, exposure, and specific causation — sometimes early, and usually on pain of dismissal. Though they’ve taken root in a hazy space outside of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, these case management orders are frequently issued, and they play an important role in the contemporary litigation and resolution of mass torts. But although Lone Pine orders are common, potent, and increasingly controversial, they have mostly fallen under the academic radar. Even their key features are described inconsistently by commentators and courts. This Essay pulls back the curtain. Drawing on a unique hand-coded data set, this Essay describes the origin and evolution of Lone Pine orders, sketches poles of the debate surrounding their use, and offers empirical evidence regarding their entry, content, timing, and effect.

Keywords: Lone Pine, Mass Tort, Managerial Judging, Rule 16, Rule 56

Suggested Citation

Engstrom, Nora Freeman and Espeland, Amos, Lone Pine Orders: A Critical Examination and Empirical Analysis (April 10, 2020). University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Vol. 168, No. 91, 2020. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3583642

Nora Freeman Engstrom (Contact Author)

Stanford Law School ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States
6507368891 (Phone)

Amos Espeland

Stanford University, School of Law ( email )

Stanford, CA
United States

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