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2 Apr 2011

Adam Liptak, New York Times

When a Lawsuit Is Too Big [USA]

Can a class-action lawsuit be too sprawling to deliver old-fashioned justice? Justice Antonin Scalia seems to think so…The lawyer had said that a trial judge could rely on statistical formulas rather than testimony and personnel records to decide how much money the company would have to pay each plaintiff if it lost. “Is this really due process?” Justice Scalia asked…[D]oes the impersonality of the suit threaten its ability to be fair to each plaintiff and to Wal-Mart…? The mass production of justice through class actions can indeed test the limits of the role that courts play in society. But the enormous size of modern institutions, it has been argued, requires efficient, streamlined procedures like class actions to address their failures.