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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: 03 December 2021

Why Private Enforcement Needs Class Actions

Why Private Enforcement Needs Class Actions

Chapter:
(p.58) Chapter Five Why Private Enforcement Needs Class Actions
Source:
The Conservative Case for Class Actions
Author(s):

Brian T. Fitzpatrick

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226659473.003.0006

This chapter argues that private enforcement of the law needs class action lawsuits in order to be effective. For small injuries—known as “negative expected value claims”—the only possible private lawsuit is the class action. Although individual arbitration is sometimes touted as an alternative to class action lawsuits, empirical studies show that arbitration is far inferior. The class action also harnesses most if not all of the virtues of privatization explored in chapter 3: smaller government, more self help, profit motivation, better resources, and less capture by special interests. This chapter also explains why several conservative and libertarian arguments against the private attorney general unique to class action lawsuits fail. More serious arguments are treated in later chapters.

Keywords:   conservative, libertarian, private attorney general, privatization, lawyers, capture, negative expected value, class action, arbitration, empirical

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