provide data for assessing how well different class actions serve their stated purposes.
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Notwithstanding the controversy they arouse, history suggests that damage class actions will remain a feature of the American civil litigation landscape. Whether and when to permit specific types of damage class actions will be decided by Congress and the fifty state legislatures. But it is judges -- by their willingness or unwillingness to certify cases, to approve settlements, and to award fees -- who will decide the kinds of cases that will be brought within whatever substantive legal framework emerges. Educating judges to take responsibility for class action outcomes and providing them with more detailed guidance as to how to evaluate settlements and assess attorney fee requests, ensuring that courts have the resources to manage the process and scrutinize outcomes, and opening up the class action process to public scrutiny will not resolve the political disagreement that lies at the heart of the class action controversy. But these actions could go a long way toward ensuring that the public goals of damage class actions are not overwhelmed by the private interests of lawyers.