Nagareda’s new casebook is the first to situate as a cohesive whole the ways in which U.S. law seeks to resolve related civil claims on an aggregate basis, integrating the study of class actions with emerging devices such as aggregate settlements, arbitration, and reorganizations in bankruptcy.
This book fills three gaps in the market for teaching materials on the U.S. civil justice system. First, the casebook establishes “aggregate litigation” as a cohesive field of procedural law, one that encompasses not only class actions but also related devices such as aggregate settlements, reorganizations in bankruptcy, private arbitration, and aspects of litigation by the government. Second, the casebook confronts forthrightly the reality of our civil justice system as one geared toward settlement, not the rare event of trial. From this vantage point, the casebook sees the processes for aggregate litigation as vehicles through which the law seeks to achieve proper preclusion – that is, comprehensive, or broadly encompassing, resolution of related civil claims. The hard questions surrounding aggregate litigation concern how the law may legitimize this binding effect. Third, the casebook frames the binding effect sought for settlements in aggregate litigation as drawing upon aspects of both private contracts and public legislation. In so doing, the framework of the casebook encourages students to see cross-cutting connections to their other courses on such topics as contracts, corporations, and administrative law.