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The Conservative Case for Class Actions$
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Brian T. Fitzpatrick

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226659336

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226659473.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 08 December 2021

The Ironic History of Class Actions

The Ironic History of Class Actions

Chapter:
(p.7) Chapter One The Ironic History of Class Actions
Source:
The Conservative Case for Class Actions
Author(s):

Brian T. Fitzpatrick

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226659473.003.0002

The modern class action was created in 1966 by an amendment to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 by an obscure committee of lawyers, judges, and academics. Despite all of the opposition to it by big businesses today, corporate America did nothing to stop the creation in 1966. The business community has been making up for this mistake for the last 50 years. Their subsequent efforts to repeal or neuter the class action failed in Congress and before the rulemakers. Thus, corporate America turned to the U.S. Supreme Court. But efforts here were largely for naught as well until 2011, when the 5-4 decision in AT&T v. Concepcion held that companies can insulate themselves from class actions if they ask consumers and employees to agree to arbitrate disputes. This decision could lead to the end of class actions if it is not overruled by the Court or overturned by Congress.

Keywords:   Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, corporate America, U.S. Supreme Court, AT&T v. Concepcion, arbitration, class action

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