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241.4 sec. 1 - Tobacco Litigation: Legal Theories and Procedural Approaches (Spring 2012)

Instructor: Elizabeth J. Cabraser  (view instructor's teaching evaluations)
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Units: 3
Meeting Time: M 10:00-12:40
Meeting Location: 115

Course Start: January 09, 2012
Course Control Number (Non-1Ls): 49661

From early individual product liability cases in the 1960s, through class actions in the 1990s, the federal racketeering (Civil RICO) trial of 2004-2006, and contemporary "mass tort" and consumer fraud aggregate litigation, tobacco litigation has taken virtually every conceivable procederal form, and advanced every legal theory, available under U.S. law. It has raised important Constitutional issues ranging from jury trial rights and due process limits on punitive damages, to free speech and federal preemption. Tobacco litigation can be said to have literally nine lives. This course will use the common fact pattern, as described in recent appellate decisions, presented by the manufacture, promotion, marketing and sale of cigarettes from 1953 through the present to explore these nine aspects: traditional individual product liability suits; mass torts; class actions; unfair practices/consumer fraud suits; federal RICO; State Attorneys Generals' RICO and fraud suits and the resulting $206 billion settlement; punitive damages class actions and individual suits; past and current regulatory initiatives (FDA lawsuits and marketing restrictions); and how preemption and issue preclusion are shaping the litigation today. Course materials include published and unpublished decisions, law review articles, industry websites,and general media reports and commmentary, and will be provided or are publicly available online.

No prerequisites other than an interest in the strategic and practical, as well as the theoretical, aspects of litigation

Exam Notes: TH
Course Category: Litigation and Procedure
This course is cross-listed in the following categories:
Business Law
Jurisprudence and Social Policy (JSP)
Law and Society
Social Justice and Public Interest

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A reader will be used in this class.

Instructor has indicated that no books will be assigned.

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