Billion-Dollar Technology Dispute Resolved with ‘Gig Judiciary’

Outsourcing aspects of ongoing federal litigation may be the new way to effectively and fairly resolve complex litigation. Recently, litigants found themselves sparring in a complex, multi-jurisdictional antitrust case over important but outdated TV technology. The litigation expanded to so many parties (over fifty) and jurisdictions (US and overseas) that it threatened to make the IBM or Microsoft antitrust litigation look like a pillow fight. The solution was reminiscent of the “gig economy”: the court designated a retired federal judge experienced in complex cases as a Special Master, who handled all discovery and eventually settled the litigation.

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