The civil justice system is weathering a period of serious disruption. The papers in this edition of the ILR Research Review document four areas where the plaintiffs’ bar and associated interests are attempting to undermine essential instruments of the law for their own benefit. We then offer solutions for preserving and improving those instruments. Specifically, research covered in this edition of the Review:
- offers an analysis of “mass arbitration,” the plaintiffs’ bar’s attempt to bring the leverage and imbalance of the class action system into the context of arbitrations;
- documents the effort—supported by third party litigation funders—to undermine American Bar Association Rule of Professional Conduct 5.4, which safeguards lawyer independence and protects clients by prohibiting nonlawyers from owning law firms or splitting fees with attorneys;
- highlights recent developments in the plaintiffs’ bar’s campaign to transform the age-old law of public nuisance into “a monster that would devour in one gulp the entire law of tort”; and
- demonstrates empirically that the bankruptcy system, for all its acknowledged flaws, offers a quicker, more efficient, and more equitable path to relief for current and future claimants than the mass tort litigation system.