It is with great sadness that we pass on the news that Prof. Richard A. Nagareda, an expert on aggregate litigation and author of numerous publications on mass torts, passed away suddenly last week.  He was only 47.

Prof. Nagareda headed Vanderbilt law school’s Cecil D. Branstetter Litigation and Dispute Resolution Program. Readers may recall that in 2003, he was named an Associate Reporter for the American Law Institute project on Principles of the Law of Aggregate Litigation; the report, which he coauthored with three colleagues, was released earlier this year.  Before joining academia in 1994, Professor Nagareda clerked for Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.  He had been recognized multiple times, most recently earlier in 2010, with the Hall-Hartman Award for Excellence in Teaching, an award based on students’ votes at his law school, and he held the Tarkington Chair for Teaching Excellence, a three-year appointment, from 2006-09.

Among his recent works were “Mass Torts in a World of Settlement,” University of Chicago Press (2007);  “Embedded Aggregation in Civil Litigation,” 95 Cornell Law Review 1105 (2010);
“Aggregate Litigation across the Atlantic and the Future of American Exceptionalism,” 62 Vanderbilt Law Review 1 (2009);  and “Class Certification in the Age of Aggregate Proof,” 84 New York University Law Review 97 (2009).

He was indeed one of the top scholars in the field of mass tort litigation, and will be missed by all of us who practice in this area.