Aggregate Litigation Data Project
The Center on Civil Justice is engaged in efforts to make data from aggregate litigation cases publicly available. The Center is working with judges and claims administrators to ensure that judges, lawyers, academics, and policy makers have the data they need to understand what is and is not working in aggregate litigation cases, and to ensure that the important decisions being made in and about these cases are being made with the necessary information.
In 2018, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California updated its procedural guidance for class action settlements. Professor Samuel Issacharoff had previously given a presentation to the Northern District on the Center on Civil Justice's Aggregate Litigation Data project. The Northern District’s guidance is an important effort to ensure that more data from class action settlements will be made publicly available in cases before that court, and beyond. The updated guidance can be found here.
In 2017, the United States Senate overrode the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and blocked an attempt by the CFPB to obtain data from claims administrators. The Center on Civil Justice remains committed to making public data that is currently held privately by claims administrators, and its work to do so is ongoing. A news story on the Senate override mentions our ongoing efforts, and it can be found here.
Dispute Financing Library
The Dispute Financing Library is a neutral repository for documents and media related to third-party litigation funding. The Library contains statutes, case law, legislative history, agency documents, articles, news stories, videos, and more. Most of the documents are full-text searchable, and many are freely available to download. The site is currently online, and you can access it by clicking here.
The Library was unveiled at the 2019 Harvard Litigation Finance Symposium, and it has been covered in the Litigation Finance Journal, Above the Law, and the McDonald Hopkins Business Exchange Podcast.
The Center on Civil Justice is engaged in several projects to ensure artificial intelligence is integrated into our legal system effectively and ethically.
First, the Center is engaged in educating the legal profession about artificial intelligence, how it is already being used, how it can be used for the improvement of the profession, and risks associated with its use. In November 2019, the Center hosted a conference dedicated to educating the legal profession about AI. In addition, the Center is partnering with the Federal Judicial Center to ensure that its judicial manuals include information about how AI is already being used in the courts to ensure that judges understand the technology that is being used and how they should interact with the technology appropriately.
Second, the Center on Civil Justice is partnering with the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), one of the world's largest standards-setting bodies, to develop an ESI Protocol that will help attorneys and judges select and use AI-based e-discovery software in a way that meets the Law Committee of the IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems' four principles of the trustworthy adoption of AI: Effectiveness, Competence, Accountability, and Transparency. We hope this protocol will improve both the selection of the right AI tools to match a given case's discovery plan and the proper use of these tools.