Professor Adam Zimmerman presented at the University of Kansas' 50th Anniversary Perspectives on the Modern Class Action. An excerpt from his presentation, "The Intersection of Agencies and Class Actions," appears below.
Agencies have many different tools to regulate class actions, and in turn, private enforcement of law. Relying on varying degrees of authority—statutes, funding, licensing and litigation positions—agencies can enable, disable or de-stablize litigation.
First, agencies may enable litigation in several ways. They may bar companies from mandating arbitration with others; create evidentiary presumptions or require disclosures that minimize the number of individual issues required to group together cases in federal courts; and they may even hear class actions and other kinds of aggregate litigation, themselves, reducing backlogs and improving opportunities for judicial review.