In this article, the authors explore alternative strategies for class-action reform aimed at improving the cost-benefit ratio of damage class actions. They sought to identify mechanisms for enhancing the court system's capacity to screen out non-meritorious suits, while preserving access to the courts for meritorious actions. Among other findings, the authors recommend that judges use their existing authority to regulate class action more strictly by more vigorously reviewing and approving settlements and fee-award requests. The authors also recommend further scholarly investigation of the merits and demerits of two-way, loser-pays fee shifting with liability on the plaintiffs' side borne by class counsel.
Originally published in: Law and Contemporary Problems, v. 64, Spring/Summer 2001, nos. 2 & 3, pp. 137-161.
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.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.
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.