Mass-tort MDLs dominate the federal civil docket, yet they present enormous challenges to transferee judges assigned to manage them. There is little official guidance and no rules specific to the management of mass-tort MDLs, often requiring the transferee judge to develop procedures out of whole cloth.
Beginning in 2013, the Bolch Judicial Institute (then the Center for Judicial Studies) sought to address this issue through a series of annual bench-bar conferences. From these conferences came the Guidelines and Best Practices for Large and Mass-Tort MDLs document, which is designed to help judges and legal practitioners understand and efficiently navigate complex MDL procedures.
As with any group product of this nature, where some consensus must be reached, the drafters and other participants are not individually responsible for any particular statement or provision, and may or may not agree with any particular statement or provision. The document does not necessarily represent the views of the Duke Law faculty or the Law School or University.
Duke Law School Center for Judicial Studies, Guidelines and Best Practices for Large and Mass Tort MDLs (First Edition) (2014)