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Settlement

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January 1, 2005
Barbara J. Rothstein, Thomas E. Willging

This guide is designed to help federal judges manage the increased number of class actions expected as a result of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005. As called for in that legislation, the guide is part of a continuing effort of the federal judiciary to identify "best practices" for managing class actions and ensuring that class action settlements primarily benefit class members.

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May 19, 2004
Robert Timothy Reagan, Shannon R. Wheatman, Marie Leary, Natacha Blain, Steven S. Gensler, George W. Cort, D. Dean P. Miletich

An examination of 288,846 federal district court cases revealed 1,270 cases that appeared to have sealed settlement agreements, for a sealed settlement rate of less than one half of one percent. In 97% of the cases with sealed settlements the complaint was not under seal. This research was conducted at the request of the Judicial Conference's Advisory Committee on Civil Rules. Although the practice of confidential settlement agreements is common, the question was how often and under what circumstances are such agreements filed under seal.

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April 1, 2004
Shannon R. Wheatman, Thomas E. Willging

While considering a proposal to amend Fed. R. Civil P. 23 to create new certification standards that would apply only to settlement class actions, the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules sought this empirical research from the Center to help it decide how to proceed. This report is the second phase. For the first phase see Effects of Amchem/Ortiz on the Filing of Federal Class Actions: Report to the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules (2002).

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May 1, 2003
Tim Reagan, Marie Leary, Shannon R. Wheatman, Thomas E. Willging, Natacha Blain, George W. Cort, D. Dean P. Miletich

Case records generally are public records and all documents filed with a court are available to the public for inspection upon request unless a statute, rule, or order provides otherwise. This report summarizes federal and state court rules on sealing documents in trial courts files. It also describes early stages of research on sealed settlement agreements in federal district court. The research was conducted at the request of the Judicial Conference’s Advisory Committee on Civil Rules.

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September 9, 2002
Robert J. Niemic, Thomas E. Willging

The Advisory Committee on Civil Rules has been considering a proposal to revise Fed. R. Civil P. 23 to create new certification standards that would apply only to settlement class actions. The Committee sought empirical research from the Center to help it decide how to proceed. The Center conducted the research in two phases during 2002-2004. This report is the first phase.

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