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Quo Vadis Civil Justice?
Filling the Gaps in Civil Justice in the U.S. and Europe

Spring 2021 -- A Three-Part Zoom Event

First panel discussion: "Current Trends in Civil Litigation"

Friday March 26th 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Eastern U.S. time

The ‘Filling the Gaps’ series of Zoom events gather lawmakers, policymakers, scholars, business representatives and legal practitioners who, in the span of three panel discussions, will offer insights into the seismic shift the contemporary civil justice systems in Europe and the U.S. are experiencing. They will reflect on the search for just, efficient and effective civil justice mechanisms, trace the trajectories of reforms, assess the reasons for differences in trajectories, and attempt to answer the perennial question: can we learn from one another?

The first panel discussion explores developments in civil litigation. The recent trends in civil litigation in the U.S. have been the subject of some concern in academia and legal practice. The civil process and courthouses are affected by the growing pressures towards better case management and the omnipresent goal of efficiency. Some key elements of the ‘American procedural exceptionalism’ lost a great deal of their potency. European civil justice policy, while also under pressure from the efficiency advocates, continues to focus on encouraging more litigation. Reforms across Europe reflect movements towards some elements of the American-style (or common law-style) litigation. European lawmakers are looking into, or have already established, new mechanisms encouraging litigation, both on an individual and collective basis.

This panel discussion takes on the developments mentioned above and assesses their viability.


Mary Anne Bobinski (Dean of Emory Law School)

Sean Farhang (Berkeley Law, University of California)

Richard Freer (Emory Law)

Christopher Hodges (the University of Oxford)

Xandra Kramer (Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam)

Malgorzata Posnow-Wurm (European Commission)

John Sorabji (UCL Faculty of Laws)

Stefaan Voet (KU Leuven)


8:45 am – 9:00 am – Log-in and (virtual) coffee, housekeeping by Magdalena Tulibacka (Emory Law)

9:00 am – Welcome by Mary Anne Bobinski (Dean of Emory Law School)

9:10 am – Introducing the series and the discussion: Rich Freer (Emory Law), and Christopher Hodges (the University of Oxford)

9:30 am – Start of the panel session: Moderator: Richard Freer (Emory Law)

9:30 am – 9:50 am - Sean Farhang (Berkeley Law, University of California)

9:50 am – 10:10 am - Xandra Kramer (Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam)

10:10 am – 10:20 am – ‘Top-off your coffee’ Break

10:20 am – 10:40 am - Malgorzata Posnow-Wurm (European Commission)

10:40 am – 11:00 am - John Sorabji (UCL Faculty of Laws)

11:00 am – 11:20 am - Stefaan Voet (KU Leuven)

11:20 am – 11:50 pm – Q&A and Discussion

11:50 pm – 12:00 pm – Conclusion of the panel session by Rich Freer (Emory Law) 

12:00 pm – Panel session ends