We are nearly a quarter of the way through 2021, and it does not look like things will slow down much compared with last year. One of the big storylines heading into 2021 was the bankruptcy of Girardi Keese, a giant within the plaintiffs bar, and allegations that firm founder Tom Girardi failed to disburse settlement funds to members of the Lion Air crash litigation.

The allegations, and the firm’s subsequent bankruptcy, have some lawyers calling for more judicial oversight of certain types of mass tort settlements. A key issue discussed in our cover story by Amanda Bronstad is that judges currently have no power to review settlements in mass tort cases, unlike in class action litigation. One potential sticking point, though, is some people are not sure reforms would have helped with the Lion Air settlement given how much control Girardi exercised over his firm.