The Economist (August 11 edition) has an article discussing the rise in the value of securities class action settlements.
Quote of note: "America's new Class Action Fairness Act seeks to curb frivolous class-action lawsuits against companies in areas such as product liability and labour law, mainly by redirecting more of them to federal courts and so denying lawyers scope to “forum-shop” among biddable state courts. But before companies declare victory, they should reflect that the law of unintended consequences can sometimes be stronger than the law itself. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 was meant to curb frivolous class-action suits within the field of securities law. But in forcing class-action lawyers to raise their game, it has contributed to a new era of big lawsuits and even bigger settlements."