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Private Action: Antitrust, RICO, and the Class Action (Langer/Leckman)
Fall 2019   LAW 961-001  

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Meeting Times/Location
R 4:30PM - 6:30PM
Tanenbaum Hall 320

Howard Langer

Adjunct Professor of Law

Peter Leckman


Additional Information

Skills Training
Oral Presentations
Expository Writing
Other Professional Skills: The class is taught by two practioners and spends much time on the actual litigation and planning of major cases

100% Other (The grade is made up of an undefined combination of class participation and the papers delivered by students. Fine papers may make up for reticence in class and intelligent class participation may make up for a weak paper. There is no defined proportion between the two.)

Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement


Course Continuity
Students are encouraged to stay home if you are ill or experience flu-like symptoms. If you miss a class for any reason, it is still your responsibility to make up the work missed.

I offer the following to students who miss class due to illness:

- Class sessions are regularly recorded. If you are absent due to illness or some other unavoidable circumstance, email me and I can send you an email with instructions for accessing the recording for the class session(s) you missed.



In the United States, unlike most countries, many of the largest and most important cases are brought by individuals and controlled and financed by their attorneys. Large settlements and attorneys’ fees often attract attention to this type of “private attorney general” litigation. It is occasionally criticized, but without it many important claims would never be brought.

We will study the “private action” in the context of the antitrust and RICO statutes and the class action rule. We will examine the history of this form of litigation, its theoretical underpinnings and how courts have encouraged and curtailed it. We will study how such cases are developed, prosecuted, settled, and tried. In addition, we will study such things as attorneys’ fee awards and litigation financing.

Guests will include lawyers who have tried such cases, expert witnesses who have testified in them and judges who have presided over them.

There will not be a final exam. Students will either research a topic of interest or analyze a pending antitrust or RICO class action. Students will then lead a discussion about their research.

Course Concentrations

Courts and the Judicial System Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of both substantive and procedural issues in the operation of our legal system; Perform legal analysis in the context of procedural issues and the judicial process; Communicate effectively on topics related to procedure and the judicial process; Demonstrate an understanding of how procedural issues and the judicial process affect all other area of our legal system.

Perspectives on the Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate an understanding of how the law affects, and is affected by, the individual course topic; Perform legal analysis in the context of the individual course topic; Communicate effectively on the legal and other aspects of the individual course topic; Demonstrate the ability to use other disciplines to analyze legal issues relevant to the individual course topic, including economics, philosophy, and sociology, as appropriate.