MDL Certificate Program

(Open to Defense Bar)

Join the James F. Humphreys Complex Litigation Center as they hold an intensive three-day mass-tort MDL advanced strategy certificate program for defense practitioners. The faculty will consist of 15-20 prominent defense lawyers, five judges, and three law professors. (A similar certificate program will be held in 2022, but for plaintiff practitioners.)



The curriculum is being developed. The certificate program is intended for experienced defense MDL leadership counsel as well as defense lawyers who want to learn the reasons for key strategic-litigation decisions made in a mass-tort MDL. The curriculum will better inform not only experienced mass-tort MDL counsel, but also lawyers seeking more responsible and leadership positions. 
Defendant strategies are constantly evolving, keeping pace with changes in mass-tort MDL case-management practices. 

The GW certificate program is divided into five half-day sessions, which focus on specific strategies that address:

(1) MDL centralization -- effective arguments to support or oppose centralization, weighing in on selection of transferee district and judge, reacting to continued stream of cases filed after national tv-advertising campaigns;
(2) pre-emption, initial screening, and discovery motions -- timing, census and plaintiff fact sheets, ESI protocols;
(3) bellwether -- selection method, suggesting alternative means, weighing risks of offering settlement in individual bellwethers;
(4) settlement -- offers to selective firms with inventories, initially targeting “strong” cases for settlement, dealing with co-lead counsel and PSC, timing, developing market-settlement amounts for similarly based cases, selection of settlement special master; and
(5) remand -- decision to support or oppose setting deadline for dispositions, otherwise remand, handling remanded cases in 95 districts, alternatively support or oppose individual case disposition in MDL by supporting fact discovery.

A stellar faculty will describe and explain their tactics when they addressed these issues, engaging in a robust give-and-take dialogue with each other and all participants in an intimate environment. Judges will have an opportunity to comment on their own decision-making, commenting on counsels’ arguments that they found effective. Each session will end with a 30-minute break-out session with defense counsel only for confidential discussions.  

Attendees participating on all three days will be awarded a Certificate of Completion by the James F. Humphreys Complex Litigation Center for completing the Mass-Tort MDL Advanced Strategy Program.

The conference is held under the Chatham House Rule: "(P)articipants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), or that of any other participant, may be revealed."


Registrations will open in April 2021. The registration fee of $1,950 includes conference materials, three continental breakfasts, coffee breaks, lunches on Wednesday and Thursday, a reception on Wednesday evening, a dinner on Thursday, and grab-and-go snacks at the end of the program on Friday.


CLE will be applied for in New Jersey. Attorneys will receive a “Certificate of Attendance” and a completed “Uniform Application for Accreditation” form after the conference in order to submit CLE hours for your state.

Information will be provided soon. 

Information will be provided soon. 

Information will be provided soon. 


James F. Humphreys Complex Litigation Center