daumierOne of the legal issues that attracts continuous  vigorous debate is the question of whether or not class actions in general, and securities class actions in particular, produce a social benefit sufficient to justify their sometimes enormous costs. This question receives an interesting and readable analysis in an article in the November 19, 2015 issue of The New York Review of Books entitled “The Cure for Corporate Wrongdoing: Class Actions vs. Individual Prosecutions” (here) in which Southern District of New York Judge Jed Rakoff reviews Columbia Law Professor John Coffee’s new book, Entrepreneurial Litigation: Its Rise, Fall, and Future (here).  While Judge Rakoff provides his (quite positive) assessment of Professor Coffee’s book, he also  delivers his own analysis of the issues Professor Coffee raises, as well as of the prescriptions Professor Coffee proposes for the class action defects he has identified, as discussed below.
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In a strongly worded November 28, 2011 opinion (here), Southern District of New York Judge Jed Rakoff rejected the proposed $285 million settlement of the enforcement action that the SEC brought against Citigroup Capital Markets. But while he emphatically rejected the proposed settlement, his opinion may also suggest how the SEC might salvage