- Complex Litigation
- Mass Torts
- Law & Inequality
Alexandra D. Lahav is the Ellen Ash Peters Professor of Law. She is a nationally recognized expert on the civil justice system and tort law. She takes an institutional approach to the study of these subjects, using methods and perspectives drawn from legal analysis, history, political theory, and economics. She teaches civil procedure, torts, complex litigation, professional responsibility, and related subjects.
Her book, In Praise of Litigation (Oxford 2017), which received an Honorable Mention in the ABA Silver Gavel Award, makes the case that litigation is a social good that promotes democratic values. In other recent work on the civil justice system she has studied the changing win rate patterns in the federal courts, the effects of incentives on judicial decision-making, and the optimal design of procedural systems. She has also studied the role of litigation tactics in changing the law in the antebellum period of American history. Currently, she is spearheading a project on evaluating litigation risk.
In her work on torts, Prof. Lahav has explored the use of statistical sampling to resolve mass tort cases, the role of the jury, and how insights from epidemiology can inform the resolution of mass and toxic torts. Her articles in this area include Mass Tort Class Actions – Past, Present, and Future, 92 NYU L. Rev. 998 (2017) and The Case for "Trial by Formula," 90 Texas L. Rev. 571 (2012).
Professor Lahav is also co-author of the fifth edition of the popular civil procedure casebook Civil Procedure: Doctrine, Practice, and Context. She received her BA in history from Brown University and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, clerked for Justice Alan Handler of the New Jersey Supreme Court and practiced with a boutique civil rights firm in New York City. She was a teaching fellow at Stanford Law School before joining the UConn faculty in 2004 and has also taught at Columbia, Harvard and Yale Law Schools.
Alexandra D. Lahav, Procedural Design, 71 Vanderbilt L. Rev. 821 (2018)
Alexandra D. Lahav, In Praise of Litigation, (Oxford University Press, 2017)
Alexandra D. Lahav, The Case for "Trial by Formula," 90 Texas L. Rev. 571 (2012)
Professor Alexandra Lahav was among law professors who filed an amicus brief on November 20, 2018, asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to reconsider its decision to decertify a class in the Asacol antitrust case. A district court in Massachusetts had certified a class of buyers of the drug Asacol, which is used to treat ulcerative colitis. These buyers had alleged an antitrust conspiracy to block less expensive generic alternatives from the shelves. The appeals court decertified the class on the grounds that a small percentage, estimated at no more than 10 percent of the class members, would have bought Asacol out of brand loyalty even if a cheaper alternative had been available. The law professors argued that "Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure does not compel a court to prohibit class actions whenever a small percentage of the class may not have suffered actual damages."
Professor Alexandra Lahav has won the 2019 Civil Justice Scholarship Award from the Pound Civil Justice Institute for her 2017 book "In Praise of Litigation." The newly established award will be given every two years to recognize legal research and writing on topics in civil justice, including access to justice and the benefits of the U.S. civil justice system. The Pound Civil Justice Institute is a national think tank founded by members of the trial bar. The award will be presented at the Pound's Fellows reception in Miami Beach on February 3, 2019. Read more about the book ...
Professor Alexandra Lahav will present the paper "Against Judicial Accountability: Evidence from the Six Month List," written with fellow UConn Law faculty members Miguel de Figueiredo and Peter Siegelman, at the Civil Procedure Workshop at Stanford Law School in Stanford, California, on November 10, 2018.