(Portland, Ore.)—For four years, Robert Klonoff, dean of Lewis & Clark Law School, has been working with a handful of top legal scholars, judges and practitioners from across the country on a project designed to improve the legal process of class action lawsuits. When the project is finished, it could dramatically change the way class-action lawsuits are handled.
As a member of the American Law Institute (ALI), an organization comprised of accomplished judges, practicing lawyers, and legal scholars, Klonoff has served on the Principles of the Law of Aggregate Litigation project, which is charged with evaluating the class action process and providing recommendations that ensure fairness to the class bringing the suit and improve the efficiency of the process. Klonoff is one of four Reporters responsible for drafting the project. He is the principal author of the chapter on aggregate settlements.
Through an arduous research and review process that takes, on average, seven years to complete, ALI drafts and publishes Principles, Restatements of the Law, model codes, and legal studies to promote the clarification and simplification of the law and its better adaptation to social needs. The organization’s recommendations carry great weight in the legal community.
While the project is still two or three years from completion, important sections of the project have already been tentatively approved by the ALI membership. In addition, Klonoff has been giving presentations on the project to members of the legal community across the United States and internationally. He has recently presented at an international class action conference in Florence, Italy; at the Practising Law Institute conference in New York City; and at a conference of 150 state court appellate judges in Chicago.