This complex litigation casebook focuses on complex cases brought by lawyers seeking to promote social reform. A significant portion of the book is devoted to so-called impact class actions, which are designed to have an “impact” and bring forth social change. At the same time, this casebook also covers the more traditional topics found in other complex litigation casebooks, particularly the mass tort class action.
Cases seeking to promote social change often have taken complex forms. Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) as well as its precursors, for example, relied on the class action device in an attempt to desegregate the public schools and, more generally, to dismantle Jim Crow in the United States. Advocates for years have brought civil rights, employment discrimination, prison reform, securities fraud, public benefits, housing, environmental, immigration, and other class actions in efforts to reform public institutions and bring forth changes in policies and practices. Class action litigation seeks to transform the tobacco industry, as well as address the epidemic of tobacco-related disease in the United States.
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