Or at least all the news that arose from last Thursday’s hearing that’s fit to post. The Plavix–excuse us, Plavix®–argument that opened the hearing was something of a marathon by Panel standards. But the remainder of the hearing was a sprint that ended less than two hours after Plavix® began. The Panel initially scheduled only ten proceedings for argument, and five of those fell by the wayside for various reasons.
Of the remaining four, only the first two were entertaining. Their Honors’ relative feistiness in the Plavix® argument carried over to that in MDL 2419, In re New England Compounding Pharmacy, Inc., Products Liability Litigation, as they scored movants’ counsel–at least by Panel standards–for seeking to move the proceeding to the D. Minn. rather than the D. Mass., where the alleged atrocities occurred, the defendant’s bankruptcy is pending, and all others involved want the actions centralized. Judge Furgeson tried to help movants’ counsel by suggesting “you can see where this is going” as she took the podium for her rebuttal. She apparently did not see where this is going, and dug herself deeper before the red light mercifully ended the argument.
The argument in MDL 2420, In re Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litigation, was less contentious, but entertaining nonetheless. When Judge Rendell raised the grand jury convened in the N.D. Cal., movant’s counsel Jim Cecchi* (pressing for the D.N.J.) demurred on the premise that New Jersey bows to no one where dealing with crime is concerned–which drew by a substantial margin the most laughs of the day. imPaneled encourages the Panel to award points for humor, which would surely enliven its proceedings. But unless and until it does, MDL 2420 will more likely end up in the N.D. Cal., which otherwise got the best of the argument.
* – Mr. Cecchi presumably pronounced his name correctly (CHECK-ee)–which is notable only because every attorney who followed him pronounced it otherwise.