Welcome to the Journal of Mass Claims

Authors D.R. Hensler 1

In a world awash with academic journals, practice notes and blog posts, do we really need a new journal devoted to mass claims? Yes! Oddly, as mass claims increase in frequency in countries worldwide – the result of natural catastrophes, man-made disasters, defective products, questionable financial practices and a host of other activities that cause widespread personal injury and financial loss – they have not been the focus of traditional scholarly and professional journals. Although "mass torts" may come to mind when we read the words "mass claims," not all mass claims are founded on tort law, so they do not fit neatly in journals analyzing developments in tort doctrine. Although "collective redress" may come to mind when we read about claimants seeking compensation through the legal system, not all mass claims are resolved within the courts. Often governments and private corporations create special administrative compensation systems to deliver redress to mass claimants. And although traditionally we think of arbitration as a process for resolving one-on-one commercial claims, we are beginning to see attempts to use contract-based arbitration to resolve mass claims. Despite these diverse approaches to resolving mass claims, most scholarship devoted to dispute resolution focuses on courts or on alternative dispute resolution ("ADR") or on arbitration. In sum, "mass claims" are the proverbial "square peg" that does not fit into the traditional pigeonholes of scholarship and practice.

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