Complex Litigation Ethics Conference

On October 27, Hausfeld Partner, Gary I. Smith Jr., will be a panelist at the Complex Litigation Ethics Conference hosted by Huntington and UC Law SF’s Center for Litigation and Courts. Gary will participate on the panel, “Third Party Filers,” alongside Ellen Gusikoff of Robbins Geller Rudman and Dowd, Kendall Zylstra of The Angeion Group, and Loree Kovach at Epiq. The conference will take place on October 27 and 28th at the UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, CA.

The Complex Litigation Ethics Conference brings together luminaries in the field – judges, scholars, lawyers, and others. This year, the Complex Litigation Ethics Conference will address the conference will discuss the ethical rules in MDLs and class actions. Data suggest that about half of all cases filed in federal court are part of multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceedings or involve proposed class actions. Yet scant scholarly attention has been paid to the ways in which ethical rules, which are typically designed for traditional litigation, should be adapted and applied to MDLs and class actions.

The panel, “Third Party Filers” discusses an emerging, unexplored issue of significance in complex litigation is the rise of third-party filers. They offer to file claims on behalf of absent class members, generally in class settlement, at a substantial price. At their best, they can support and streamline the claims administration process. At their worst, they gum up the works, imposing heavy costs on courts, class members, class counsel, and claims administrators without adding any meaningful value. A panel of attorneys and claims administrators will describe this phenomenon, assess its costs and benefits, analyze its ethical implications, and discuss how participants in complex litigation do and should respond.

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