Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

Perspectives in Asbestos Litigation

Southwestern University Law Review
presents a symposium

Perspectives on Asbestos Litigation

Friday, January 18, 2008

Coalition for Litigation Justice
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Simon, Eddins & Greenstone LLP

Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold LLP

A & B Reporting
Civil Justice Association of California
Duane Morris LLP
Jackson & Wallace LLP
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

Registration Information

asbestos removal
Asbestos litigation is America's longest-lasting mass tort phenomenon, and its importance only continues to grow. A recent study confirms that by 2009, asbestos will have killed nearly a quarter million people and injured millions more. As of 2002, approximately 730,000 people had filed asbestos claims. Although an increasing number of claimants suffer from mesothelioma, a virulent form of cancer, over ninety percent of recent claimants have nonmalignant injuries with no physical impairments. These claims have been asserted against at least 8,400 corporate and other entities through 2002, resulting in at least 73 bankruptcies and the loss of up to 60,000 jobs. All told, these firms have spent $70 billion on asbestos litigation, with only $30 billion, or forty-two percent of the total, going to the injured claimants.

This unprecedented crisis, in turn, has spawned a variety of dramatic responses, often in the name of efficiency, or fairness, or both. Counsel have experimented with large-scale group settlement processes, multidistrict litigation, class actions and case consolidations. Courts have created deferred and expedited dockets, entertained novel bellwether trials and improvised innovative approaches to complex questions of expert testimony, causation and apportionment of liability. Even Congress has become involved, amending the bankruptcy code and drafting a bill to create a public compensation fund.

This symposium places these developments in perspective. By assembling speakers with diverse experiences and viewpoints and juxtaposing them in provocative panels, Perspectives on Asbestos Litigation not only offers a comprehensive look at this unique problem, but also seeks to initiate a multilateral dialogue dedicated to synthesis and solutions - all in a unique format that moves from the most practical issues to the most theoretical, political and sociological. Thus, the discussion will begin from within the trenches of asbestos litigation with Practical and Judicial Perspectives; will turn to tort theory in Moral and Economic Perspectives; will explore the boundaries of tort, the role of complex litigation, and the viability of nontort alternatives in Private and Public Law Perspectives; and will culminate by considering the litigation's
broader ramifications and effects in Social and Cultural Perspectives. The event will conclude with a question and answer session between the speakers, panelists and the audience on this timely and important topic.


View a printable brochure, with complete agenda and registration information (PDF)

Registration fees:

$75 - Non-Southwestern Alumni seeking 7.0 hours of CLE credit
$50 - Southwestern Alumni seeking 7.0 hours of CLE credit
$40 - Those not seeking CLE credit
Complimentary - Southwestern students, faculty and staff (RSVP required)

RSVP by January 11 to the Student Affairs Office.

This Symposium offers 7.0 hours of CLE credit. Southwestern is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider.

For a map and directions to Southwestern, click here. Parking is available on campus for $6.

Questions? Contact the or the Law Review Office or the Student Affairs Office.