University of Pittsburgh

Rhonda Wasserman Publishes Article on "Secret Class Action Settlements"

Publish Date/Time: 
December 11, 2012

Professor Rhonda Wasserman’s article, Secret Class Action Settlements, was published in the Review of Litigation, a publication of the University of Texas School of Law, 31 Rev. Litig. 889 (2012).  The article had been presented at a program on “Large-Scale Litigation Issues: Class Actions and Mass Tort Cases in 2012 and Beyond” sponsored by the Section of Litigation at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools.   Here’s the abstract: 

This Article analyzes the phenomenon of secret class action settlements. To illustrate the practice, Part I undertakes a case study of a class action lawsuit that recently settled under seal. Part II seeks to ascertain the scope of the practice. Part II.A examines newspaper accounts describing class action settlements from around the country. Part II.B focuses on a single federal judicial district – the Western District of Pennsylvania – and seeks to ascertain the percentage of suits filed as class actions that were settled under seal. Having gained some understanding of the scope of the practice, the Article then seeks to assess it normatively. Part III analyzes the policy debate surrounding secret settlements of civil suits in general, fleshing out the competing policy objectives served by public access to, and confidentiality of, settlement agreements. Finally, Part IV examines the statutory, logistical and policy-based constraints that call into serious question the legality, efficacy and wisdom of secret class action settlements.

 

See the article on SSRN by going here, and click on "Download This Paper."

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