Class Action Dilemmas: Pursuing Public Goals for Private Gain

By Deborah R. Hensler; Nicholas M. Pace et al. | Go to book overview

ANALYSIS

We assigned two researchers to each case, one of whom drafted an initial case study report. The project leader reviewed all of the drafts and prepared lists of queries seeking clarification and additional information for each case study. Answering these queries usually required further discussion and correspondence with participants in the litigation. After several iterations, the preliminary drafts were then circulated to the key participants for review and comment. The review and comment stage generated further telephone interviews and record data collection.

In presenting the case studies, the research teams attempted to tell the story of the litigation rather than to assess the practices of the participants or the litigation outcomes. Our goal was to allow readers to draw their own conclusions.

Preparation of Chapter Fifteen, which compares and contrasts the ten cases and discusses their implications, led to further queries, discussions with participants in the litigation, and some final refinements of the case study chapters. Unlike the case studies themselves, Chapter Fifteen is interpretive. The tables accompanying Chapter Fifteen connect the analysis with the facts presented in the case studies, rather than offering new facts. This process of sifting, sorting, and interpreting qualitative information, involving multiple iterations and interactions with case participants, is characteristic of case study research.


NOTES
1
See Robert Yin, Case Study Research: Design and Methods, 2nd ed. ( Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1994).
2
We excluded securities fraud cases, which have also been a subject of controversy, from consideration because we could not identify any class action lawsuits that had been completed since the passage of the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995, and we felt that cases completed prior to this legislation would no longer be useful examples to study.
3
These included a few people whom we had already interviewed in the previous phase of data collection, but who were selected in this phase because they played a key role in one or more of the cases we selected for analysis.

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