Question: What is multidistrict litigation?
Answer: Multidistrict litigation is litigation pending in more than one federal district court involving common questions of fact. When such cases involve civil actions, they may be transferred by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (The Panel) to any federal court for coordinated and consolidated pretrial proceedings.
Question: What is the Panel on multidistrict litigation?
Answer: The panel is a group of seven federal judges designated by the Chief Justice of the United States. The Panel has the responsibility for determining which cases qualify for multidistrict litigation treatment, as well as which district court to transfer and consolidate these cases. The transfers are made pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1407, upon the Panel's determination that the transfers will result in the convenience of the parties and witnesses and will promote the just and efficient conduct of the cases.
Question: How are the cases to be transferred brought before the Panel?
Answer: Proceedings for transfer may be initiated by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation upon its own initiative or a motion filed with the Panel by a party in any action in which transfer for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings may be appropriate. Before cases are designated multidistrict litigation and transferred to one federal court, the Panel convenes a hearing and notifies all parties of the place and time of the hearing. The Panel's order of transfer is based on a record of such hearing at which material evidence may be offered by any party to an action in any federal court that would be affected by the transfer.
Question: If my case is subject to a transfer order, but the case has not yet been transferred to the District of Minnesota, where should I file documents?
Answer: Transfers under 28 U.S.C. §1407 become effective with the filing of the Panel's transfer order in the clerk's office of the designated transferee court. Thus, if the transfer order to which your case is subject has been filed in the District of Minnesota, you must make all future filings in the District of Minnesota.
Question: Do I need to file a motion in the District of Minnesota to appear pro hac vice or do I need to associate local counsel?
Answer: Counsel who appeared in a transferor court prior to transfer need not enter an additional appearance before the District of Minnesota. Moreover, attorneys admitted to practice and in good standing in any United States District Court are admitted pro hac vice in this litigation. Association of local counsel is not required.
Question: How can I be kept advised of the developments of this case?
Answer: All Court orders and current developments will be posted on the Court's website at http://www.mnd.uscourts.gov/MDL.htm . These may be reviewed and downloaded at your convenience.
Question: What information is available on the Court's website?
Answer: The Court's website contains the following:
Calendar for upcoming events
Liaison counsels' reports
Manual for Complex Litigation
Court location with directories
United States District Court's staff
Plaintiffs' Lead Counsel
Plaintiffs' Liaison Counsel
Plaintiffs' State Liaison Counsel
Defendant's Lead Counsel
Defendant's Liaison Counsel
A listing of frequently asked questions
List of Cases
Question: What procedural rules govern this litigation?