The U.S. Supreme Court has endorsed companies’ ability to block class actions through mandatory individual arbitration clauses. A recent policy-based critique balances the purely legal, doctrinal perspective of class actions by examining issues through the lens of economics. Depending on circumstances surrounding the interests of consumers, investors and employees, some class actions maximize social welfare whereas others reduce it and actually promote harmful business practices.
Dr. Albert H. Choi, a professor at the University of Michigan School of Law, co-authored an update on the subject by addressing class action lawsuits from an economics perspective. A recent speaker in UW Law’s 1L Perspectives course, Dr. Choi’s research is published in many top economics and law journals. He is the current co-editor of the American Law and Economics Review.
In this episode, we speak with Dr. Choi about why we should critique class action waivers on a case-by-case basis. He tells us about new unresolved issues, including those which surfaced during the pandemic, and identifies future challenges for legal scholarship.