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How Class Action Lawsuits Work

How Class Action Lawsuits Work: Author’s Note

I consider myself very lucky to have never seen the inside of a courtroom. I have never sued nor been sued, and frankly find the whole legal system more than a little confusing. I welcomed this assignment because it gave me the opportunity to explain some of the basics of the U.S. legal system in terms that even people as uninformed as me could understand. The "Legal History of Class Action Lawsuits" page proved the most difficult research-wise, but also the most rewarding. I was most surprised to learn that the U.S. didn't have an established rule of civil procedure until the 1930s. I was also impressed to see all of the safeguards built into modern class action law to protect both individuals and the institutions they're suing. That said, I'm still not eager to see the inside of a courtroom.


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  • "Class Action FAQ"
  • Rothstein, Barbara J. and Willging, Thomas E. "Managing Class Action Litigation: A Pocket Guide for Judges." Federal Judicial Center. 2005$file/ClassGde.pdf
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  • Spence, Susan T. American Bar Association. "Looking Back… In a Collective Way." July/August 2002