Senior U.S. District Court Judge Jack B. Weinstein (E.D.N.Y), has become well known for his often-cited and sometimes controversial opinions in mass tort and class action cases. He recently authored a commentary in the Cardozo Law Review’s new online journal de novo on some of his key decisions in cases involving subjects ranging from Agent Orange, asbestos, and tobacco to breast implants, hand guns, and pharmaceuticals. Judge Weinstein describes the article, entitled Preliminary Reflections on Administration of Complex Litigations, as a brief summary of
my view of the federal courts’ appropriate role in bringing mass litigation to resolution as quickly and with as few transactional costs as possible while allowing reasonable satisfaction to the litigants and the public weal.
Excerpts of the article are available on the publication’s website, where you can also download a pdf version of the entire article. Judge Weinstein openly expresses dismay over what he sees as a “general hostility” in the federal courts against the certification of Rule 23 class actions in mass tort and securities case, and muses that the law and the courts have failed to provide the consuming and investing public with adequate remedies for mass harms. As possible approaches for remedying these perceived failings, he suggests an ALI study into “relevant procedures” and challenges administrative agencies to do more to protect the public from illegal and tortious conduct.
For additional discussion on the article, see this post from Ben Hallman at the Am Law Litigation Daily.