Aggregate Litigation

E.J. Cabraser

Aggregate Litigation (21718). 2 units. The civil justice system is obliged to aggregate what would otherwise be individual lawsuits, to provide practical and affordable redress and binding resolution, when thousands, or millions, of consumers, investors, or businesses are harmed by defective mass-marketed products or deceptive practices. This course will explore judicial approaches and plaintiffs' and defendants' strategies in navigating the modern forms of aggregate litigation: class actions, multidistrict litigation, federal/state coordinated proceedings, and mass torts. Course materials will include seminal class action and multidistrict litigation decisions, contemporary current case management orders, the American Law Institute's "Principles of the Law of Aggregate Litigation," and a selected unfolding aggregate proceeding. Self-scheduled examination or paper option. E.J. Cabraser

American Law of Slavery


[The] American Law of Slavery (21483). 2 units. The Thirteenth Amendment at times takes a back seat to the other Reconstruction Amendments in our Civil Rights history and practice, only to emerge periodically as an action-forcing frame to confront slavery and its legacies in domestic and international settings alike. U.S. anti-slavery jurisprudence has developed in fits-and-starts, competing with vice and immigration enforcement and facing the challenge of the Amendment’s prison labor exception. We will examine current human trafficking efforts, address the ongoing relevance of the Amendment, and highlight recurring challenges and responses. For instance, sugar boycotts of the early 1800s are echoed in today’s supply chain transparency, Worker-led Social Responsibility, and end-user liability approaches; challenges to forced labor in detention centers and prisons are mounting; and the contestation of monuments and memorialization is creating new models of advocacy. In addition to the substance of the class, this seminar will provide opportunities to sharpen skills from law, diplomacy, and historical practice.

A note on terminology. With an emphasis on legislative and law enforcement responses, this seminar will explore the terms set forth in the Amendment itself: slavery and involuntary servitude. In the last twenty years, the term “trafficking in persons” became dominant (with a recent resurgence of “modern slavery” especially in Commonwealth Countries). For this seminar the many ways of naming compelled service will be used as being roughly synonymous, but we will explore tensions and structures reflected in the different terms and assess of such issues as race, gender, citizenship, immigration, rule of law, worker’s rights, victims’ rights, colonialism, globalization, and federalism. Paper required. Enrollment limited to twelve. Permission of the instructor required. L. C.deBaca.

Anatomy of a Merger

Charles Nathan

Anatomy of a Merger (30219). 3 units. Anatomy of a Merger is an advanced M&A seminar. The course is based on an extensive semester-long hypothetical which details the strategy, tactics and negotiations involved in a company’s saga as it is subjected to: (1) an activist investor campaign, (2) a full-scale proxy contest, which the company loses, (3) in response to losing the proxy contest, an attempted sale of the company to a CEO-selected private equity firm, (4) at the board’s insistence the one-off sale is abandoned in favor of a controlled auction with multiple bidders, (5) following the auction which results in a classic LBO, a surprise "topping" bid from a losing bidder leading to yet another bidding contest. The hypothetical contains detailed dialogue among company management, its legal and financial advisers, and the participants in the bidding contest (including several chapters devoted to the essentials in drafting and negotiating a merger agreement). Delaware corporate litigation also gets its day in the sun in the context of several lawsuits against the company and/or its directors by shareholders and by the interloper bidder. Students will have an opportunity to engage in mock drafting sessions and mock negotiations. M&A partners at major NYC law firms co-teach many of the sessions. Each episode has accompanying readings in relevant Delaware case law and related articles. Prerequisite: Business Organizations. Open only to JD students. Enrollment limited to fifteen. Permission of the instructor required. A paper option is available by permission of the instructor based on a two-to-three page precis of the topic to be analyzed. Self-scheduled examination. C. Nathan.

4. Anti-Slavery in Building: Seminar

Bernstein, C.deBaca
Anti-Slavery in Building (20483). 3 units. This seminar will operationalize recent statutory and regulatory changes in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia that extend enforcement of laws against forced and child labor into company’s supply chains. Drawing on law, design, construction business, and sustainability practices, we will seek to for the first time incorporate an anti-slavery ethos into the architectural design process. Multidisciplinary teams of students from across Yale’s professional and graduate schools will “slavery-proof” a particular input or process in projects that are the subject of current design studio development. Final project required. Permission of the instructors required. Enrollment limited to six Law students. Also ARCH 2242a. P. Bernstein and L.C. de Baca.

5. Antitrust Class Actions


Antitrust Class Actions (20406). 2 units. Since the amendment of Rule 23 in 1966, class action law has evolved significantly as courts have wrestled with the most efficacious way to resolve disputes impacting thousands (sometimes millions) of consumers and/or businesses. This class explores the legal and strategic issues that arise in the context of antitrust class action litigation – complex cases in which juries are asked to award damages that will be automatically trebled and the interests of consumers and/or small business plaintiffs and large corporate defendants are usually in stark opposition. We will discuss relevant and evolving doctrine but will also devote significant attention to the economic incentives and risk calculations of the relevant actors, their litigation strategies and choices, and the degree to which these undermine or advance the goals of antitrust class actions. While these issues will be of particular interest to student interested in antitrust litigation, the course does not require a substantive background in antitrust law and the legal, strategic and practical issues explored offer lessons for the prosecution and defense of all class action litigation. Paper required. K.A. Pierson.

6. Arab Spring, Arab Winter, and US Policy in the Middle East and North Africa: Seminar


Arab Spring, Arab Winter, and US Policy in the Middle East and North Africa: Seminar (21104). 2 units. This seminar will look at the hard choices US policymakers have faced in over the past ten years in the Middle East and North Africa. The seminar will go into depth on the overthrow of the democratically elected government in Egypt in 2013 and the Egyptian security state, the Muslim Brotherhood and the American policy response. The seminar will also look in detail at the Yemen conflict and American involvement. The seminar will examine why the Obama administration chose to intervene in Libya and the unforeseen problems. The seminar will then examine the conflicts in Syria and Iraq and the impact of refugee flows in the region. Finally, the seminar will also examine the particular economic and climate challenges which will confront the regional states and potential American engagement. Throughout the seminar we will look at American policy responses and choices, but the greatest focus is on the agency that these countries themselves have. The seminar will not examine in any detail the Palestinian-Israeli dispute which is well beyond the expertise of the instructor.

Students should leave the course with an understanding of the major internal political pressures operating on Arab states since independence, the pressures that also are exerted on them from regional and international actors and the difficulties American policymakers have addressing these pressures. The seminar should also give students a strong grasp of the policy making process in the modern American foreign policy establishment. Paper required. Enrollment limited to four Law students. Permission of the instructor required. Also GLBL 685b. R.S. Ford.


7. Brain Injury, Medical Ethics and Disability Rights: Directed Research

Gluck, Fins
Brain Injury, Medical Ethics, and Disability Rights: Directed Research. 1 or 2 units (per year). Students may earn a total of 2 credits for the course, usually 1 credit per term. This course is offered in collaboration with the Consortium for the Advanced Study of Brain Injury (CASBI) at Weill Cornell Medical College. Students study and work collaboratively on group-authored legal scholarship on the rights of individuals with brain injury and the legal, scientific, and societal barriers that can limit their maximal integration into society. The group meets approximately every other week, at Yale, under the leadership of Dr. Fins, the nation's leading expert in this field and Professor of Medical Ethics at Cornell. Past iterations of this collaboration have generated more than a dozen student co-authored publications with excellent placement in legal journals. Paper required. Enrollment limited to twelve. Permission of the instructors required. A.R. Gluck and J.J. Fins.