The Conservative Case for Class Action Lawsuits

Professor Brian Fitzpatrick
Who is best to enforce regulations on the market?  The government or the private bar?  For the same reasons conservatives want to privatize everything else, Professor Fitzpatrick says we should also want the private attorney general over the public one. Join us for a lively discussion of the role of class action lawsuits in American jurisprudence. 

Brian Fitzpatrick's research at Vanderbilt Law School focuses on class action litigation, federal courts, judicial selection and constitutional law. Professor Fitzpatrick joined Vanderbilt's law faculty in 2007 after serving as the John M. Olin Fellow at New York University School of Law. He graduated first in his class from Harvard Law School and went on to clerk for Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. After his clerkships, Professor Fitzpatrick practiced commercial and appellate litigation for several years at Sidley Austin in Washington, D.C., and served as Special Counsel for Supreme Court Nominations to U.S. Senator John Cornyn. Before earning his law degree, Professor Fitzpatrick graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's of science in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame. He has received the Hall-Hartman Outstanding Professor Award, which recognizes excellence in classroom teaching, for his Civil Procedure course.


When:  Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 11:30 a.m. (registration), 12:00 p.m. (lunch)

Where: First Floor Conference Room, 2040 Main Street, Irvine, CA 92614 (949) 760-0404. Bring your parking ticket to the luncheon for validation.

Cost: $30/members, $35/nonmembers, $20/students, for lunch and 1 hour of MCLE credit (The Federalist Society is a California State Bar approved provider of MCLE).

RSVP and Pay: To RSVP and pay by credit card, click the Buy Now button on the right. To pay by cash, credit card or check at the door, please send an RSVP to Carol Matheis, at and make checks payable to "The Federalist Society."  

We welcome all interested attorneys and non-attorneys to our events.

Does the Fourteenth Amendment Protect Unenumerated Rights?


Mr. Gura, an expert on Second Amendment issues, has argued and won two major Second Amendment precedents before the Supreme Court, District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), and McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010). In his arguments for the plaintiff in McDonald, Mr. Gura argued that the Privileges or Immunities Clause incorporated the Second Amendment, and also protected all fundamental natural rights, whether enumerated in the Constitution or not. The Supreme Court chose to rely upon traditional substantive due process analysis in deciding the Second Amendment should be treated as a fundamental liberty.

The Privileges and Immunities clause of the 14th Amendment has a checkered past, beginning with Corfield v. Coryell and the Slaughterhouse Cases, circa 1823-1873. Many constitutional scholars view with skepticism theories put forth regarding unenumerated rights protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has written that "the demise of the Privileges or Immunities Clause has contributed in no small part to the current disarray of our 14th Amendment jurisprudence." To clarify things, "I would be open to re-evaluating its meaning in an appropriate case."

Alan Gura is a constitutional lawyer focusing on civil rights cases and adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University. Prior to private practice, he was counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and a California deputy attorney general. Mr. Gura began his career clerking for U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle in the Eastern District of North Carolina, and earned his J.D. at Georgetown (1995) and his B.A. at Cornell University (1992). National Law Journal named him among the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America and he has been a frequent contributor in the national media on Second Amendment and other constitutional issues.

When: Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 11:30 a.m. (registration), 12:00 pm (lunch)

Where: First Floor Conference Room, 2040 Main Street, Irvine, CA 92614. Parking in the structure; please bring your parking ticket for validation.

Cost: $30 member/ $35 nonmember/ $20 students/judges for lunch and 1 hour of MCLE credit. (The Federalist Society is a California State Bar approved provider of MCLE).

RSVP and Pay: To RSVP and pay by credit card, click on the “Pay Now” button at the top right. To pay by credit card, cash, or check at the door, please send an RSVP to Carol Matheis by email at by no later than COB February 21, 2017. Please make checks payable to "The Federalist Society."

The Orange County Lawyers' Chapter of the Federalist Society welcomes all interested parties to our events, including non-lawyer members of the public.