Vanderbilt Law Review

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Federal law requires a class action be "supcrior to alternative methods for fairly and efficiently adjudicating the controversy." This superiority requirement has gone unstudied, despite existing for half a century. Thia Article undertakes a comprehensive review of the superiority case law. It reveals a jurisprudence riddled with inconsistency as courts adopt diametrically opposed interpretations of the requirement. Originally crafted to encourage predictable, consistent class action decisions, superiority has mutated over the years into a dangerous wild card-subjectively used to stymie aggregate litigation. The solution is not adding a new requirement to the already onerous rules for class certification. Instead, judges should rely on existing yet currently underutilized case management tools and abandon the failed superiority experiment.

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