Photo of Stephen McConnell

We mourn the passing of Richard Nagareda, the David Daniels Allen Professor of Law and Director of the Cecil D. Branstetter Litigation and Dispute Resolution Program at Vanderbilt University. Professor Nagareda was perhaps the preeminent scholar in the field of mass tort litigation. It was impossible to labor in this field without encountering Nagareda — inevitably discovering that he had already thought about the issue deeply and written about it brilliantly. For example, Nagareda offered a penetrating analysis of the Vioxx settlement. He advanced the thinking about FDA preemption. He came up with a title for a law review article — “Aggregation and its Discontents” — that captured so much of what we’ve been noodling over for so many years.

We encountered Nagareda’s capacious intellect in all sort of ways. Put his name in the search box of our humble little blog and you will see that his name comes up frequently. For example, look here, here, here, and here. Bexis served on ALI’s project on Principles of the Law of Aggregate Litigation, for which Nagareda was an uncommonly insightful and even more uncommonly kind reporter. Some of us had the pleasure of working with Nagareda as a litigation consultant. It turned out that Nagareda was that rare thing, an academic who had an unerring sense for the practical. In the sad hours since Nagareda’s sudden death on Friday, we’ve heard from devastated colleagues and students, all knit together by shock and grief.

Our last post about Nagareda began as follows: “Richard Nagareda, law professor at Vanderbilt, is a really smart guy.” He was, in fact, much, much more than that. We offer our sympathies to Richard Nagareda’s family and friends.