Bellwether Trials: A Defense Perspective

Law360, New York (April 19, 2016, 11:13 AM EDT) -- Mark R. Ter Molen

Chad M. Clamage

Jed W. Glickstein Environmental torts such as chemical spills or groundwater contamination may result in hundreds or even thousands of lawsuits, often in multiple state and federal forums. Traditional judicial procedures are ill-suited to handle these sprawling actions. Devices for aggregating claims, like class actions, are often inappropriate as well. In these situations, courts and litigants may seek to break the deadlock by fast-tracking a manageable number of individual cases for discovery and trial — in so-called "bellwether" proceedings — with the hope that the outcomes will shed light on the large number of...

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