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FTC commissioner on class actions

Federal Trade Commissioner Thomas Leary's June 26 speech on the FTC's interest in class action litigation is on-line. Leary criticizes excessive attorney fees, cites the Manhattan Institute's work on forum-shopping (see Mar. 24) and also notes the problem that the process can drive the result:

Once a class is certified to address a single common factor, it acquires a life of its own. If the case does not settle promptly, conservation of judicial resources may motivate courts to find ways to shortcut a burdensome inquiry into other substantive elements of the plaintiff's case, like actual "impact" on, or "reliance" by, a large number of individuals who are differently situated. Substance is tailored to serve the needs of process rather than the other way around.

(Cross-posted from Overlawyered, where it ran Sept. 30, 2003)

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.