they might have a legal claim and most of whom play little or no role in the litigation process. These financial incentives produce significant opportunities for lawyers to make mischief, to misuse public and private resources for litigation that does not serve a useful social purpose. How to respond to this dilemma is the central question for public policy.
The controversy about how to respond to the dilemma posed by damage class actions implicates deep beliefs about the structure of the political system, the nature of society, and the roles of courts and law in society. In democracies such as ours, such controversies often are difficult to resolve and may roil for decades. But at present, many of those on opposite sides of the political controversy over damage class actions share concerns about how class actions are litigated. These shared concerns present opportunities for reform. In the final chapter, we analyze popular proposals for damage class action reform, drawing upon what we learned in our study. Our goal is to identify the approaches that show the most promise for improving the balance between the public and private gains in class action practice -- and that offer the best opportunities for finding common ground amidst the controversy.