Thomas E. Willging & Shannon R. Wheatman, Attorney Choice of Forum In Class Action Litigation: What Difference Does It Make?, 81 Notre Dame L. Rev. 591 (2006).

How do you know you’re not a figment of someone’s imagination or a two-bit player in someone else’s dreams? Ok, granted – your life is probably not going on all inside someone named Carl’s head, but it never hurts to question some of your beliefs and prejudices, right? Well, this article may just force you to do that.

Willging, a Senior Researcher with The Federal Judicial Center, and Wheatman, a former research associate with The Federal Judicial Center, put pen to paper on several common assumptions made by attorneys regarding forum based advantages in class action litigation. Particularly challenged by this article/study is the premise that federal court is a superior forum to adjudicate multi-state class actions – characterized by the authors as a “major premise” of the Class Action Fairness Act. The article takes on attorneys’ general perceptions regarding judicial predispositions, judicial rulings, and monetary recoveries in state and federal court, and then does the research – producing some surprising results: attorney expectations only proved to be accurate in 50% of the cases. What else are we getting wrong half of the time?

Bottom Line: Interesting article questioning “common sense” perceptions made by attorneys on a daily basis – and answering those questions with cold, hard, and unexpected facts.

Added Bonus for Our Faithful Readers:  You may also access the Interim Progress Report on the Class Action Fairness Act Study by Willging and Emery Lee for the Federal Judicial Center Research Division dated May 22, 2006 by clicking here.