More On

Settling multidistrict litigation

Creating a resolution strategy early can save time and money during settlements

As we’ve seen with several recent highly complex cases, creating a resolution strategy at the beginning of a dispute can save both time and money before litigation costs mount. Although 95 percent of cases settle before trial, the eventual settlement often takes place following a number of hours and dollars spent preparing for litigation.

Take for example when a corporation has been sued in a variety of jurisdictions, and the cases have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL), which is a federal procedure designed to consolidate and process complex cases. Typically the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL Panel) assigns one federal judge to coordinate cases spread out across the U.S. The purpose of this centralization process is to avoid duplication of discovery, prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings and promote efficiency for counsel and judges. The Panel remands transferred actions not terminated in the transferee district to their originating transferor districts at or before the conclusion of centralized pretrial proceedings. Generally, the appointed MDL judge oversees the settlement process, creating it in conjunction with the plaintiff steering committee, the defendants’ settlement counsel and a settlement special master or mediator.

Contributing Author

author image

Kim Taylor

Kimberly Taylor, Esq. is the Chief Operating Officer at JAMS, the largest private provider of mediation and arbitration services worldwide.  She oversees JAMS operations in the United...

Bio and more articles

Contributing Author

author image

Cathy Yanni

Cathy Yanni is a full-time ADR specialist with a practice that includes mediation, Special Master/Discovery Referee, arbitration, and class action settlement administration. She has successfully...

Bio and more articles

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.