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Copyright (c) 2003 South Texas Law Review, Inc.
South Texas Law Review

ARTICLE: Mass Tort Litigation Management and Ethics

Spring, 2003

South Texas Law Review

44 S. Tex. L. Rev. 483


Amy Dunn Taylor*


I. Introduction
Each case and docket is different. Cases managed within the same firm are not always handled the same way. How a particular docket of cases is managed depends upon the peculiar aspects of the docket. Consequently, this article is not designed to be a complete "how to" manual for managing, preparing, settling or trying mass tort cases; rather, it is designed to assist counsel in the methodical approach of defending a mass tort case or docket of cases. This article will offer insight into the defensive issues faced by lawyer and client when the client is facing mass tort liability.

II. How Are Mass Tort Cases Different?

A. What Is a "Mass Tort?"
For purposes of this article, "mass tort" is used to refer to several different situations. The definition is broad enough to include: (1) individual suits alleging injury as a result of exposures to a single type of product (e.g., silicone implant or injection litigation); (2) one suit in which several plaintiffs join and allege similar injuries arising out of different exposures (e.g., the asbestos litigation); and (3) one or more suits brought by multiple plaintiffs alleging injuries as a result of a single event (e.g., the 1992 gas pipeline explosion in Brenham or an airplane crash). "Mass tort" as used in this article is therefore broad enough to include all situations in which one or more defendants are faced with actions by multiple plaintiffs.n1

B. Getting Started: Ethical Issues
The considerations to ...
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