The Stanford Journal of Complex Litigation announces its second annual symposium:

2014 Symposium

"A Complicated Cleanup: The BP Oil Spill Litigation"

The Symposium will be held on Thursday, May 8 and Friday, May 9, 2014 at Stanford Law School.

The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect on April 20, 2010 claimed eleven lives and is considered one of the largest accidental marine oil spills in history. The litigation that emerged—ranging from governmental investigations into BP, Transocean, and Halliburton, to environmental suits, to individual claims—raises important questions about the nature of complex litigation.


Thursday, May 8 at 6:30 pm
Stanford Law Lounge


Dinner with Keynote Address by Kenneth Feinberg
Gulf Coast Claims Facility Administrator
The keynote speech will be given by Kenneth Feinberg, who served as the government-appointed administrator of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. He has been key to resolving many of the most challenging and widely known national disputes, serving as the Special Master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, TARP Executive Compensation Fund, and One Fund—the victim assistance fund established in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Mr. Feinberg is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, New York University, and the University of Virginia. He received his bachelors from the University of Massachusetts in 1967, and his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1970. 
Friday, May 9 from 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
Room 190
Introduction by Kenneth Feinberg
Panel Discussions with:
Elizabeth Cabraser 
Kenneth Feinberg
Francis McGovern
Linda Mullenix
Byron Stier
Maya Steinitz
Moderated by:
Nora Engstrom
Deborah Hensler
Janet Alexander
We'll also be hearing from a panel of distinguished academics and practitioners, including: 

Francis McGovern, Professor at Duke Law, has also served as Special Master in many high profile cases, such as the Dalkon-Shield controversy, and authored numerous articles on ADR, MDL, and mass torts. He is widely known for developing the concept of "mature" mass torts, a seminal contribution to the scholarship on dispute resolution of mass torts. I had the privilege of listening to him speak as a guest lecturer in my Complex Litigation class last year and can personally attest to his engaging teaching style. Professor McGovern received his Bachelors from Yale University in 1967, and his J.D. from the University of Virginia in 1973. 

Linda Mullenix, Professor at University of Texas School of Law, is an expert in mass tort litigation and aggregate and class action litigation in a global context. She has authored or co-authored nineteen books on topics ranging from civil procedure, to state class action practice, to federal courts. Professor Mullenix earned M.Phil. and Ph.D degrees in political science from Columbia University, and received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. 

Byron Stier, Professor at Southwestern Law, has extensive experience in private practice of products liability and commercial litigation. He joined the Southwestern faculty in 2005, where he has focused his research on mass tort litigation and proposing systemic reforms. He authored an article entitled, The Gulf Coast Claims Facility as a Quasi-Public Fund: Transparency and Independence in Claim Administrator Compensation, 30 Miss. C. L. Rev. 255 (2011), where he assessed the transparency of "quasi-public funds" like the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. Professor Stier received his bachelors from the University of Pennsylvania in 1993, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1996. 

Maya Steinitz, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Iowa, is rejoining us for a second symposium. Last year, Professor Steinitz spoke about third party litigation financing and transnational litigation with respect to the Chevron Ecuador Litigation. Professor Steinitz has authored scholarship on international arbitration and third party financing. We look forward to hearing more from Professor Stenitz's perspective as a litigation financing expert. Professor Steinitz received her J.D. and L.L.M. from New York University School of Law in 2005. 

For more information, please contact Symposium Editor, Michael Morillo '15 (

Sponsored by:

2013 Symposium

"Lessons from the Chevron Ecuador Litigation"

The Symposium was held on Friday, February 8, 2013 at Stanford Law School.

The ongoing litigation between Chevron and the people of Lago Agrio, Ecuador regarding alleged environmental harms from oil drilling and extraction raises many distinct contemporary issues in transnational litigation.  Twenty years after it was filed, the Chevron Ecuador litigation now spans three continents and concerns an $18 billion dollar judgment against Chevron—the largest award in an environmental suit to date.  Having been characterized as everything from “a shakedown” to “a landmark victory,” this case raises important questions about the future of transnational litigation.  

This symposium brought together leading scholars and practitioners to discuss the ethics, third party litigation financing, discovery, and enforcement implications of the Chevron Ecuador litigation for transnational litigation going forward. Those speakers included Ted Boutrous (the attorney who argued Wal-Mart v. Dukes, among others), Judith Kimerling (the originator of the claims against Chevron that started this lawsuit), Patrick Keefe (of The New Yorker), and well-known scholars such as Martin Redish, Richard Marcus and Howard Erichson. The live blog of the event is available here, and the full schedule is available below.


8:30 AM—Registration

9:00 AM—Welcome

9:15-10:00 AM—The Plaintiffs' Perspective

  • Graham Erion, Plaintiffs' Counsel for Rainforest Communities
  • Moderator: Deborah Hensler, Judge John W. Ford, Professor of Law and Dispute Resolution, Stanford Law School

10:00-10:45 AM—The Defense's Perspective

  • Ted Boutrous, Defense Counsel for Chevron, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
  • Moderator: Deborah Hensler, Judge John W. Ford, Professor of Law and Dispute Resolution, Stanford Law School

10:45-11:30 AM—The Intervenor's Perspective

  • Judith Kimerling, Professor of Political Science, Queens College
  • Moderator: Deborah Hensler, Judge John W. Ford, Professor of Law and Dispute Resolution, Stanford Law School

11:30-11:45 AM—Break

11:45 AM-12:45 PM—Third Party Financing of Transnational Litigation

  • Martin Redish, Louis and Harriet Ancel Professor of Law and Public Policy, Northwestern University School of La
  • Maya Steinitz, Associate Professor of Law, University of Iowa College of Law
  • Moderator: Burt Neuborne, Inez Miliholland Professor of Civil Liberties, New York University; Legal Director, Brennan Center for Justice; Visiting Professor, Stanford Law School

12:45-1:30 PM—Lunch

1:30-2:45 PM—Legal Ethics and Transnational Litigation

  • Morris Ratner, Associate Professor of Law, U.C. Hastings College of Law
  • Catherine Rogers, Paul and Marjorie Price Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law, Penn State Dickinson School of Law
  • Patrick Keefe, Staff Writer, The New Yorker
  • Moderator: Nora Freeman Engstrom, Associate Professor of Law, Stanford Law School

2:45-4:00 PM—Forum Non Conveniens and Judgment Enforcement

  • Howard Erichson, Professor of Law, Fordham University
  • Manuel Gomez, Associate Professor of Law, Florida International University
  • Christopher Whytock, Professor of Law, U.C. Irvine School of Law
  • Moderator: Jenny Martinez, Professor of Law and Warren Christopher Professor in the Practice of International Law and Diplomacy, Stanford Law School

4:00-4:15 PM—Break

4:15—5:30 PM—International Discovery and Arbitration

  • Michael Goldhaber, Senior International Correspondent and "Global Lawyer" Columnist for The American Lawyer and the ALM Legal Media Group
  • Richard Marcus, Horace O. Coil Chair in Litigation, U.C. Hastings College of Law
  • S.I. Strong, Associate Professor of Law, University of Missouri School of Law
  • Moderator: Janet Martinez, Senior Lecturer in Law; Director, Gould Negotiation and Mediation Program; and Co-Director, Gould Alternative Dispute Resolution Initiative, Stanford Law School

 5:30 PM—Closing Remarks