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Multidistrict litigation continues to grow in significance. Estimates show that nearly half of all civil cases in the federal courts are consolidated in MDL proceedings. Recently, however, there have been significant criticisms of MDL litigation and accompanying proposals for reform. Critics maintain that aggregation in MDL proceedings only provides an incentive for the filing of meritless claims and that courts frequently fail to provide sufficient scrutiny to individual cases. However, despite these widely-discussed problems with multidistrict litigation, several MDL courts have effectively and efficiently employed procedures to weed out claims that should never have been filed and resolve issues that are common to cases consolidated in MDL proceedings.
Please join Douglas G. Smith of Kirkland & Ellis LLP as he addresses:
- The growth in multidistrict litigation as a mechanism for resolving mass tort and product liability claims
- Recent criticisms of MDL procedures and proposals for reform
- Decisions in which MDL courts have used omnibus motion practice to address common issues and resolve large numbers of claims
- Additional mechanisms employed to resolve claims in MDL proceedings on a case-by-case basis, including voluntary dismissal, orders imposing certain evidentiary requirements for asserted claims, orders imposing or threatening sanctions, and case-specific motion practice