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Multi-District-Litigation FAQs

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 do not need to enter an additional appearance before the District of Minnesota. When the case is transferred to the District of Minnesota, any attorneys who have previously appeared in the case will automatically be added to the new case in the District of Minnesota. Out of state counsel do not need to associate with local counsel or appear pro hac vice in the Minnesota case.


Question: How do I obtain a CM/ECF login and password for the District of Minnesota to file electronically and receive Notices of Electronic Filings (NEFs) in MDL cases?


Answer: Counsel must complete and submit the MDL Registration Form. The specific member case in which counsel has appeared (or would like to appear) along with the party they represent must be indicated on the form. If counsel would like to file a new member case as part of a MDL, they should clearly indicate this on the MDL Registration Form when requesting a CM/ECF login and password.


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, on the MDL page . 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:

  • Current Developments
  • Orders
  • Calendar for upcoming events
  • Liaison counsels' reports
  • Local Rules
  • 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
  • Forms



Question: What procedural rules govern this litigation?