Photo of Bexis

We share an awful lot of our thoughts with readers of this blog. (Yeah, yeah. We heard you mutter, “Too many.”)
But here’s one we’ve never shared: We’ve often thought that someone should write a book about class actions worldwide. Like Linda Mullenix’s treatise on class actions in state courts, the book would have one chapter devoted to the class action (or other aggregate litigation) procedures available in each country around the globe.
We never shared that thought, because we had half a mind to actually write that book, if we ever found the time.
We’ve seen three items recently that made us realize that the book would no longer be worth the effort.
First, Stanford has created the Global Class Actions Clearinghouse, which contains essays and materials about class actions in many countries around the world. That’s an awfully useful resource, and we’ve created a permanent link to that site over in the right-hand column of this blog.
So much for writing the book. We’ll just have to stick to blogging instead.
Second, we recently stumbled across this SSRN description of Richard Nagareda’s recent article (doesn’t that guy ever put down his pen?) about the problems posed by the internationalization of class actions. Nagareda argues that the growth of class actions in individual countries will tend to recreate the difficulties seen in the context of nationwide class action litigation within the United States. That’s an interesting thought, and it seems as though people are already considering solutions to the problem that our little book would only have begun to identify.
Finally, we noticed that the ABA is trying to design a protocol to coordinate class actions that are pending simultaneously in the United States and Canada.
Our book may be too late, but overseas class actions have plainly come of age.