Multi-district Litigation Roundtable

In 1968 Congress passed the Multi-district Litigation Act to address the problems associated with complex civil litigation in the federal district courts [See 28 U.S.C. Section 1407].  We are approaching the fifty year anniversary of this landmark legislation and a substantial portion of all civil cases in the federal system are now being consolidated before transferee judges selected by the seven judge MDL Panel. The James F. Humphreys Complex Litigation Center at GW Law is hosting a Roundtable discussion with some forty federal judges, professors, and leading practicing attorneys to discuss the many legal and policy issues which surround the decisions of the MDL Panel and the manner in which transferee judges are managing the thousands of cases that have been transferred to them for pre-trial purposes.


Agenda

Thursday, April 27

Faculty Conference Center on the 5th Floor of the Burns Law Library

2 - 2:15 pm - Welcome and Introductory Remarks 

2:15 - 3:45 pm - Panel One: MDL Panel Decision Making

Moderator

  • Roger Trangsrud, The George Washington University Law School

Panelists

  • Judge Sarah Vance [MDL Panel and E.D. La.]
  • Prof. Andrew Bradt [Berkeley]
  • Prof. Jay Tidmarsh [Notre Dame]
  • Prof. Abbe Gluck [Yale]
  • Professor Sam Issacharoff [NYU]
  • Dan Girard
  • Ted Mayer
  • Emery Lee/Margaret Williams [FJC]
  • John Beisner

3:45 - 4 pm - Intermission and Refreshments

4 - 5:30 pm - Panel Two: Selection and Compensation of Lead Counsel

Moderator

  • Alan Morrison, The George Washington University Law School

Panelists

  • Judge David Proctor [MDL Panel and N.D. Ala.]
  • Prof. Elizabeth Burch [Georgia]
  • Prof. Charles Silver [Texas]
  • Chris Guth
  • Jayne Conroy

6 - 7 pm - Cocktail Reception at One Washington Circle Hotel

7 - 9 pm - Dinner at One Washington Circle Hotel

April 28 
Student Conference Center on the 2nd Floor of Lisner Hall

8:15 - 9 am - Continental Breakfast

9 - 10:30 am - Panel Three: Limits on Judicial Participation in and Approval of Non-class Settlements

Moderator

  • Roger Trangsrud, The George Washington University Law School

Panelists

  • Judge Anthony Sirica [Third Circuit Court of Appeals]
  • Prof. Howard Erichson [Fordham]
  • Prof. Linda Mullenix [Texas]
  • Prof. Deborah Hensler [Stanford]
  • Prof. Judith Resnik [Yale]
  • David Bernick
  • Christopher Seeger

10:30 - 10:45 am - Intermission and Refreshments

10:45 am - 12:15 pm - Panel Four: Case Management Strategies by Transferee Judges

Moderator

  • Alan Morrison, The George Washington University Law School

Panelists

  • Judge Ellen Huvelle [MDL Panel and D.C. District Court]
  • Prof. Patrick Woolley [Texas]
  • Prof. Stephen Burbank [Penn]
  • Prof. Frances McGovern [Duke]
  • Prof. Bob Bone [Texas]
  • Sheila Birnbaum
  • Daniel Girard
  • David Herr

12:15 - 1:30 pm - Lunch

1:30 - 3 pm - Panel Five: Alternatives to MDL Practice

Moderator

  • Roger Trangsrud, The George Washington University Law School

Panelists

  • Judge Catherine Perry [MDL Panel and E.D. Missouri]
  • Prof. Linda Mullenix [Texas]
  • Prof. Deborah Hensler [Stanford]
  • Ken Feinberg
  • John Rabiej

Papers & Presentations

Robert G. Bone - "Compared to What?: A Qualified Defense of the MDL"

Andrew Bradt - "Geography, Personal Jurisdiction, and MDL Case Assignments"

Stephen B. Burbank - "The MDL Court and Case Management in Historical Perspective"

Elizabeth Burch - "Rethinking the Selection and Compensation of Lead Lawyers in Multidistrict Litigation"

Abbe Gluck - "Unorthodox Civil Procedure"

Deborah R. Hensler - "No Need to Panic: The Multi-District Litigation Process Needs Improvement Not Demolition"

David Proctor and Sam Issacharoff - "Selection and Compensation of Counsel in Multi-District Litigation" (.ppt)

Linda S. Mullenix - "Developments Relating to the European Union's Recommendations for Collective Redress, and the Opt-Out/Opt-In Problem"

Linda S. Mullenix - "Policing MDL Non-Class Aggregate Settlement: Empowering Judges through the All Writs Act"

John Rabiej - "Two Proposals to Improve How Courts Manage 'Mega-MDLS'"

Judith Resnik - "Doing the State's Business: From Collective Actions for Fair Labor Standards and Pooled Trusts to Class Actions and MDLs in the Federal Courts"

Charles Silver - "Some Questions About Lead Counsels' Appointment, Duties, and Compensation"

Jay Tidmarsh - "The MDL as De Facto Opt-In Class Action"

Patrick Woolley - "Rethinking Choice of Circuit Law in Multidistrict Litigation"


Roundtable Participants

David Bernick is an attorney at Paul Weiss.

Sheila Birnbaum is an attorney at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan LLP.

Robert Bone is a Professor at the University of Texas Law School.

Andrew Bradt is a Professor at the Berkeley School of Law.

Stephen Burbank is a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Elizabeth Burch is a Professor at the University of Georgia Law School.

Jayne Conroy is an attorney at Simmons, Hanly, Conroy.

Howard Erichson is a Professor at the Fordham Law School.

Ken Feinberg is an attorney at FeinbergRozen LLP.

Dan Girard is an attorney at Girard Gibbs LLP.

Abbe Gluck is a Professor at the Yale Law School.

Chris Guth is Litigation Counsel for Bayer US.

Deborah Hensler is a Professor at the Stanford Law School.

David Herr is an attorney at Maslon LLP.

Ellen Huvelle is a member of the MDL Panel and a federal district judge in the District of Columbia.

Sam Issacharoff is a Professor at the New York University Law School.

Emery Lee is employed by the Federal Judicial Center.

Ted Mayer is an attorney at Hughes Hubbard and Reed.

Frances McGovern is a Professor at the Duke University Law School.

Alan Morrison is an Associate Dean at the George Washington University Law School.

Linda Mullenix is a Professor at the University of Texas Law School.

Catherine Perry is a member of the MDL Panel and a federal district court judge in the E.D. Mo.

David Proctor is a member of the MDL Panel and a federal district court judge in the N.D. Ala.

John Rabiej is Director of the Center for Judicial Studies at the Duke University Law School.

Judith Resnik is a Professor at the Yale Law School.

Christopher Seeger is an attorney at SeegerWeiss LLP.

Charles Silver is a Professor at the University of Texas Law School.

Anthony Sirica is a judge on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Jay Tidmarsh is a Professor at the Notre Dame Law School.

Roger Trangsrud is a Professor at the George Washington University Law School.

Sarah Vance is a member of the MDL Panel and a federal district court judge in the E.D. La.

Margaret Williams is employed by the Federal Judicial Center.

Patrick Woolley is a Professor at the University of Texas Law School.


Attendance at the Roundtable is by invitation only. If you have questions about the program or papers, please contact Roger Trangsrud [rtrang@law.gwu.edu or 202-994-6182] or Dean Alan Morrison [abmorrison@law.gwu.edu or 202-994-7120].