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Federal Complex Litigation: Home

This research guide provides students, practitioners, and scholars with a variety of resources that will assist in research on complex litigation. Updated 3/2013.

What is Complex Litigation?

Definitions vary, but it usually tends to involve the extensive production of documents, collection of data and deposition of a significant number of individuals.

Black's Law Dictionary (9th ed.) defines it as "[L]itigation involving serveral parties who are separately represented, and usu[ally] involving multifarious factual and legal issues."

Some litigation can easily be called "complex." Examples include the asbestos litigation, the AT&T antitrust litigation, and Brown v. Board of Education.

Classes of potentially complex litigation include:

  • Class Actions and other multi-party litigation
  • Multiple or mulidistrict litigation
  • Antitrust cases
  • Consumer protection cases
  • Products liability cases
  • Toxic torts cases
  • Civil rights cases
  • Securities cases
  • Employment cases
  • Any other cases involving an unusual multiplicity or complexity of factual issues


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