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Monday, August 15, 2011

Blame the Machines

By Kirsten E. Small

Civil Procedure was my favorite class of my first year in law school, primarily because my professor found the cases in the textbook far less interesting than the many stories he had accumulated over the years. (When it came time to study for the bar exam, I found myself less enamored of that particular teaching style.)

One thing that stuck with me from that class was my professor's theory that modern mass tort litigation was made possible by--and would not have occured without--the invention of the photocopier. Unless you can make many,  many copies of documents for many, many plaintiffs and their lawyers, litigating a mass disaster is effectively impossible.

I was reminded of this theory by the news on Friday that the Eleventh Circuit had issued a 304-page opinion striking down the individual mandate portion of the health care law.