Class Actions & Mass Tort Litigation: Trends & Developments in 2017
At a quick glance, one would think that class actions and mass tort litigation are one and the same lawsuits. Both deal with a large number of plaintiffs wanting to sue a defendant's wrongful conduct, and both serve primarily for the purpose of decreasing the number of court cases that arise from the same grounds. To top it all, both types involve some of the highly watched-for cases worldwide.
A closer analysis, however, will prove the far difference between a class action and a mass tort. Procedurally, before a class action lawsuit is formed, there are several factors to be considered and several certifications to be made. The class representative and the class members must prove that each one of them shares common injuries and damages, that which resulted from the same source.
Mass torts, on the other hand, do not have such certifications. Although they also aim to reduce court cases, they cover a broader range of claim types, thus, must be handled differently. The most common of this type are cases involving defective drugs and defective products. Since the adverse effects of defective drugs and products may vary from an individual to another, it becomes harder to make it fit in a single lawsuit. Therefore, lawsuits are filed separately. In the process, mass tort lets one attorney or groups of attorneys represent the involved parties.
This course offers an overview of the latest trends and developments with respect to Class Actions and Mass Tort Litigation. A panel of thought leaders and practitioners will help firms understand these two types of lawsuits to be of better service to their clients.
- Pre-Suit / Early Case / Assessment
- Latest Developments
- Best Practices in Settling Class Actions and Mass Torts
- Recent and Most Significant Mass Tort Litigation
- Recent and Most Significant Class Action Lawsuits
Emily Brubaker Harris, Managing Partner
Corr Cronin Michelson Baumgardner Fogg & Moore LLP
- Representative or Common Evidence at Class Certification Stage
- What is representative or “common evidence”
- Use of statistical evidence as representative evidence
- Focus on recent case law/emerging trends
- Absent class discovery to test representative evidence
- Case law
- Tips to obtain class member discovery
- Common Evidence During a Class Action Jury Trial
- Issues for class member and absent class member testimony
- Jury instructions in class action trials including representative or common evidence
- Who has the burden on decertification
- Recent case law
- Decertification, during or after trial, based on lack of representative or common evidence
- Recent case law
Scott Edson, Counsel
King & Spalding LLP
- As class actions and mass torts have become increasingly a niche area of practice, we have seen the rise of a new specialty within that area: the trial level legal issues attorney.
- To be sure, this role has been around for years. It has been typically filled either by a member of the trial team who studies up on appellate preservation or an appellate lawyer who parachutes into a trial court and tries to make sure there are a sufficient number of objections without getting in the way.
- But as the stakes of trials and the need for coordinating increase, a new specialized role has emerged. The lawyer who fills is familiar and comfortable with both the trial and appellate processes, thus able to operate on three levels at the same time:
- maximizing the odds of trial success (and understanding what that means),
- protecting the record on appeal, and
- executing a litigation-wide strategy at the trial level.
- These attorneys can help craft a case from the pretrial process all the way through the appeal, playing a long game of shaping and developing themes and issues along the way. And they can further help develop themes and issues across a litigation, from the initial pleadings through the final appeals.
- Given the obvious benefits, we can expect clients and trial lawyers to increasingly demand expertise from lawyers who bring a broad perspective that enables them to balance the daily exigencies of trial, the technical needs of appellate preservation, and the broader goals in a litigation.
Who Should Attend:
- Attorneys, Practice Area: Litigation
- Attorneys Defending Class Actions
- In-House Counsels (Public & Private)
- Legal Consultants
- Legal Executives
- Litigation Officers
- Trial Lawyers
- Other Related Professionals
Scott Edson is counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of King & Spalding LLP, and a member of the Tort and Environmental Litigation Practice Group. He has extensive experience defending companies in class actions and mass tort litigation, in trial courts and on appeal. He regularly serves as lead legal issues counsel in complex, high-stakes jury trials. In this role, he helps maximize the odds of a favorable verdict, preserve the record for appeal, and develop and execute a litigation-wide legal issues strategy.
Scott Edson is counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of King & Spalding LLP, and a member of the Tort …
Ms. Harris is the managing partner of Corr Cronin in Seattle, Washington. Her practice focuses on complex civil litigation and class action defense in areas including products liability, real estate, employment and personal injury/wrongful death. Ms. Harris has litigated all phases of class actions. Her experience includes successfully defeating class certification in a number of cases as well as litigating certified class claims in a jury trial to obtain a defense jury verdict.
Ms. Harris is the managing partner of Corr Cronin in Seattle, Washington. Her practice focuses on complex civil litigation and …
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Method of Presentation:
Experience in civil litigation
NASBA Field of Study:
Business Law - Technical
NY Category of CLE Credit:
Areas of Professional Practice
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About King & Spalding LLP
Celebrating more than 130 years of service, King & Spalding is an international law firm that represents a broad array of clients, including half of the Fortune Global 100, with 1,000 lawyers in 19 offices in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. King & Spalding is recognized nationwide as a leader in mass tort defense, having guided clients through mass tort litigation in a wide range of substantive areas, including product liability, consumer fraud, insurance coverage, toxic tort, and oil and gas litigation. More information is available at www.kslaw.com.
About Corr Cronin Michelson Baumgardner Fogg & Moore LLP
Corr Cronin is recognized as one of the premier trial law firms in the Pacific Northwest and its attorneys handle and try cases in Washington, Alaska, Oregon and Idaho. Corr Cronin combines the legal expertise and sophisticated practice areas normally found in large law firms with the responsiveness of a boutique. The firm serves as a trusted resource to in-house counsel and provides the trial-proven experience that makes a difference in the outcome of a case. Corr Cronin's attorneys possess extensive experience in a broad array of complex litigation, including class action defense, insurance coverage, employment law, intellectual property/trade secrets disputes, products liability, professional negligence and securities litigation defense, construction litigation, aviation law, entertainment law and international sports law.