Individuals within the aggregate : relationships, representation, and fees

by Judith Resnik, Dennis Curtis, Deborah R. Hensler


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price
Add to Cart Paperback106 pages Free

Over the past decade, aggregate litigation has become more common. Through various statutory, rule-based, and informal means, judges and lawyers consolidate large groups of individual litigants and claims. The paradigm of a class action, however, continues to dominate the literature, and with it, the assumption that a single set of lead lawyers represents all the plaintiffs in the assembled group. This article addresses the problems raised when, in contrast to that paradigm, aggregation brings together mass tort plaintiffs, some of whom come with individually retained plaintiffs' attorneys, who perform tasks in addition to those done by a court-appointed plaintiffs' steering committee. The central questions are about the roles of the many lawyers within the aggregate and the potential for policymakers to use procedural tools and the law of attorneys' fees to structure incentives to enhance the experience of individual litigants within the aggregate.

Originally published in: New York University Law Review, v. 71, nos. 1-2, April-May 1996, pp. 296-401.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.