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10 Litig. News 1 (1984-1985)

handle is hein.journals/lignws10 and id is 1 raw text is: A QUARTERLY PUBUCATION OF THE SECTION OF UTIGATION   AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION      VOLUME 10, NUMBER 1     FALL 1984
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Section Begins Media Push
To Reach the Public
Donna J. Blazevic, Associate Editor
The Litigation Section's Committee on Communications
has launched a new Public Affairs Radio Series aimed at
improving the public image of lawyers and the legal sys-
tem. Beginning in the spring of this year, it aired a
30-minute critique of the legal system, and 13 one-minute
spots covering various areas of the law over radio systems
nationwide. The ultimate goal of the Section, according
to Peter B. Freeman of Chicago, Chairman of the Com-
mittee on Communications, is to have a weekly national
radio forum. The programs featured taped interviews with
speakers from the Section's 1983 Fall Meeting in Los An-
geles, as well as lawyers in attendance.
The one-minute spots featured judges, lawyers, a law
professor and a jury expert discussing legal matters rang-
ing from changing jobs to baseball salaries and from shop-
ping for an attorney to solving courtroom overcrowding.
The 30-minute program provided a forum for an open-
ended discussion of the problems of delay in the court sys-
tem, the methods used to alleviate those problems and the
alternatives for dispute resolution. The final taped version
showed a spectrum of views on alternatives to the courts;
surprisingly, it was often the view from the bench that could
see most clearly the wisdom of extra-judicial dispute set-
For example, Judge Clifford Wallace, of the Ninth Cir-
cuit Court of Appeals, stressed the importance of alterna-
tive dispute resolution, although he cautioned that it was
not a panacea for judicial problems. He said that the ap-
parent increase in litigation is due to a breakdown of more
(continued on page 22)

Major Changes in Rule 23
Urged by Special Committee
The Special Committee on Class Action Improvements has
recommended significant changes in Rule 23 of the Fed-
eral Rules of Civil Procedure. These recommendations were
approved by the Section's Council on June 8, 1984.
The highlights of the report include proposals to:
* Eliminate the trifurcated standard for class certifica-
tion now found in Rule 23(b), and replace it with a uni-
fied superiority standard.
e Empower the court in all class actions to authorize,
condition or prohibit the exclusion (opting out) of class
members according to the needs of each individual case.
9 Clarify that difficulties of management shall only
be a ground for denying class treatment where such difficul-
ties would be eliminated or significantly reduced if the
controversy was adjudicated by other available means
* Increase the flexibility in notice provisions in order to
permit the court to tailor both the parameters of the group
to be notified and the method of notification to the needs
and requirements of a particular case.
• Empower the court to determine a merits motion
under Rule* 12 or Rule 56 prior to passing on the class cer-
tification issue.
9 Authorize pre-certification dismissal with approval of
the court, subject to the discretionary notice requirements
discussed above.
* Amend the United States Code to permit interlocutory
appellate review of orders granting or denying class cer-
tification, by permission of the court of appeals, with ap-
propriate safeguards against abuse of this provision.
Although the Special Committee devoted considerable
discussion to the problem of fluid recovery, it conclud-
(continued on page 4)


John Curtin Elected Section Chairman 3
New Tribunal for Iranian/American Litigation 3

7 UPDATE: The Insanity Defense
14a Section Fall Meeting Program

Lay Lawyers Spur Debate on Unauthorized Practice 7  26  Committee Activities

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