Mass Torts is a course designed to introduce students to the theory, practice, and strategy associated with the substantive law, procedure, and resolution of a wide variety of mass tort litigations. Most mass torts are consolidated by the Judicial Panel on Multi- District Litigation, and the organization of the course is based on the life of a case in MDL: origins, pleadings, referral to a transferee judge, e-discovery, fact discovery, expert discovery, motion practice, test cases, pre-trial hearings, trials, appellate practice, remands, settlement, and claims resolution facilities. There will also be substantial emphasis on larger themes and issues that are implicated by mass torts in the relationship between federal and state courts, in competing theories of liability and procedure, in the interaction of litigation, bankruptcy, and administrative processes, in the roles of public and private litigation and attorneys, in the respective interests of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of federal and state governments, and in a variety of competing economic, jurisprudential, policy, and practical concerns. The course will be updated during the semester with emerging developments in currently pending mass tort litigation including opioids, asbestos, and Roundup. The readings are prepared specifically for this course and will consist of excerpts from judicial opinions, pleadings, briefs, motions, and other original source material as well as excerpts from law review articles, press accounts, and books. The grade will be based on a take home examination consisting of short answer and essay questions.
|Course Areas of Practice|
Knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law
Legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, problem-solving, and written and oral communication in the legal context
Exercise of proper professional and ethical responsibilities to clients and the legal system