The answer is “yes” . . .

. . . to the question imPaneled posed to its readers yesterday, i.e., “is imPaneled a blog of its word?”  The “word” was that there would be a post today.  Now there’s a post today.

As imPaneled is staffed entirely by attorneys, it crossed our minds that we might add nothing more and still celebrate having posted.  But implicit in yesterday’s promise was something of a representation that today’s post would actually include substance.  And the complex litigation community bounced back from a lackluster week to give us real substance yesterday.  To wit:

  • Boies Schiller and Cohen Milstein are contesting leadership in the Blue Cross antitrust action in the N.D. Ala.  Boies Schiller shrewdly added two local firms to its proposal, and further offered a generous helping of lodestar from their friends at Hausfeld.
  • Four firms–Abraham Fruchter, Bernstein Liebhard, Robbins Geller and the Rosen Law Firm–gave notice of their intention to seek lead status in the Lone Pine Resources case pending in the S.D.N.Y.
  • Fannie Mae previewed what is likely to be a bruising battle over whether the Panel should transfer and consolidate the many cases comprising MDL 2388, the Mortgage Lender Force-Placed Insurance Litigation.

More to come tomorrow, and to all the complex litigators out there–keep up both the production and the conflict.

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We’re back . . .

. . . and hopefully new and improved.  imPaneled has spent much of its hiatus mastering the search algorithms and other data manipulation necessary to compile and process the huge amounts of information that will hopefully make imPaneled your regular destination for Panel and lead counsel news.  The idea is that posts will be coming every day (or something close to that) going forward.  We’ll see.

Anyway, last week’s filings predictably brought little in the way of substance, as complex litigators joined the real world in vacating their offices.  The Panel was flooded with notices identifying who is most likely to join us in NYC on September 20, where the main attractions will be the Mortgage Lender Force-Placed Insurance Litigation (MDL 2388), the Facebook IPO Securities Litigation (MDL 2389), the Uponor Plumbing Fittings  Products Liability Litigation (MDL 2393), and the Real Estate Transfer Tax Litigation (MDL 2394).

Plaintiffs in the Nexium Products Liability Litigation (MDL 2404) moved to be included in the fun in NYC–purely in the interests of justice, of course–despite having filed the initial motion in that proceeding just last week.  The Panel took all of one business day to deny that request earlier today.

Most of the lead counsel activity in the district courts last week was uncontested (i.e., boring).  The sole apparent exception is the General Maritime securities litigation in the S.D.N.Y., where Rigrodsky & Long is apparently duking it out with Wolf Haldenstein for all the spoils.  There were also submissions in the massive Peregrine proceeding in the N.D. Ill.  But imPaneled will need a few days and perhaps another laptop to make sense of that one.

imPaneled has promised some of its biggest fans there will be another post tomorrow.  Tune in to see if imPaneled is a blog of its word.

People in other districts do in fact know something about IT.

Based on the mass exodus of high-priced talent from the courtroom following its oral argument at last month’s Panel hearing, imPaneled can safely say that In re Carrier IQ, Inc., Consumer Privacy Litig., MDL 2330, was the main event at that hearing.  Plaintiffs favoring the United States District Court for All IT-Related MDLs (“D.A.I.M.,” a/k/a the N.D. Cal.) opened both the briefing and oral argument, the latter by Tony Shapiro (pronounced Sha-PEER-o in his native NYC) of Hagens Berman.  The usual flood of plaintiff written submissions favoring various other districts followed the initial one, but only three counsel–arguing for the C.D. Cal., the N.D. Tex. and the N.D. Ill.–spoke at the hearing.  Software developer Carrier IQ and its cell phone manufacturer co-defendants predictably weighed in for the D.A.I.M.

To the surprise of no one, that is where it went.  The only surprise–at least to imPaneled–was the Panel’s assigning the case to Judge Chen, as Judge Davila’s name arose repeatedly at the hearing.  Panelist Judge Breyer (also of the D.A.I.M.) was party to much of the speculation at the hearing as to which N.D. Cal. judge might get the proceeding, then “took no part in the decision of th[e] matter.”  imPaneled has not undertaken to complete the massive pointing and clicking effort that would be necessary to get the back story as to any of that, but welcomes further insight from any of the millions who are reading this post.

Pfizer Wins Zoloft Battle, Plaintiffs Win War

imPaneled has long bemoaned the relative brevity of Panel opinions in recent years.  Yes, Panel opinions tend to ostensibly turn on a small set of factors, which have not changed in ages.  But cookie-cutter opinions provide little grist for imPaneled, and providing grist for imPaneled should be a higher priority for the Panel.

Fortunately, certain plaintiffs in In re Zoloft (Sertraline Hydrochloride) Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2342, left the Panel no choice but to explore new territory when they repeatedly insisted that the Panel should deny Pfizer’s motion for centralization because of its allegedly improper removal of several cases on the eve of its filing the motion.  The Panel dismissed that argument:

 [T]he Panel has long held that jurisdictional objections do not overcome the efficiencies that can be realized by centralized proceedings.  The Panel also has held that centralization “does not require a complete identity or even a majority of common factual issues as a prerequisite to centralization”; nor does it “require a complete identity of parties.”

Order, at 2 (citations omitted).

So Pfizer wins.  Right?  Wrong!  Pfizer sought centralization anywhere but the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, which has in the past remanded similar cases.  The rebellious plaintiffs had accused Pfizer of seeking to evade those precedents.  If that claim is in fact true–and imPaneled would never accuse a Panel litigant of doing something so underhanded–Pfizer’s effort failed.  But Pfizer did succeed in establishing new Panel precedent, so they have that going for them.

The San Diego Zoo . . .

. . . had no more teeth bared as of last Thursday than did the local federal courthouse, where the Panel held its most recent round of oral arguments.  Before imPaneled delves too deeply into any particular proceeding, a few highlights will serve as an appetizer:

  • Without explanation, the clerk’s office  asked counsel to sign in at 8:00–90 minutes before the initial argument–rather than 8:30, which has been the recent standard.  Conspiracy theorists posit that the move was intended to limit the widespread evening socializing that has preceded the last several hearings, thanks in part to our good friends in the claims administration business.  (Note to those friends: Don’t let them push you around.  Turn it up at future hearings.)
  • Judge Vratil ably presided in Judge Heyburn’s absence.  Coincidentally or not, their Honors’ questioning was more pointed than usual.
  • As to that pointed questioning, in two instances–to be identified in future posts–the Panel substantially accused defendants arguing against consolidation of groundlessly pressing a “divide and conquer” strategy.  imPaneled welcomes such plain speaking to what others might generally perceive to be bland arguments.  In an ideal world, these hearings would be so dramatic and entertaining they would have to be held in sports arenas rather than courtrooms.

More to come soon . . . or at least soonish.

 

Will the Panel be disapproving removing followed by moving?

As fascinating as they are, even imPaneled has to admit that most Panel proceedings proceed in a similar fashion, and that there is minimal variety in either the substance or the style of the written submissions.  MDL 2342–In re: Zoloft (Sertraline Hydrochloride) Products Liability Litigation–is decidedly an exception to the rule.  Defendant Pfizer started the ball rolling blandly enough, seeking the consolidation of 59 pending cases on its home turf in New York City (albeit with three alternative districts, including two in the anti-NYC, Mississippi).  Several plaintiffs followed with the usual requests for alternative forums (E.D. Pa., S.D. Ill., E.D. La.), but were generally–and strangely–silent as to the merits of consolidation generally.

That silence was shattered–nay, disintegrated–by a series of last-minute filings by plaintiffs who excoriated Pfizer for procedural gamesmanship above and beyond the usual Panel shenanigans.  Those plaintiffs claim that Pfizer “wrongfully removed” over 40 of the 59 cases to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania the day it filed its Panel motion, and demanded that those cases be excluded from the proceeding.  They further accused Pfizer of seeking to “evade unfavorable precedent” by requesting consolidation anywhere but that district, as that district’s judges have twice remanded cases naming a Pennsylvania-based defendant common to the Pennsylvania cases.  Most unusually, the plaintiffs made those charges in four substantially identical briefs filed over the course of several days, rather than in a single brief–just to make sure the Panel gets the point.

All of this is apparently another chapter in a long-running battle between the plaintiffs’ bar and the defense bar over the latter’s claim that the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court has become a plaintiff-friendly magnet for claims bearing no relation to the city.  imPaneled takes no side in the battle, but appreciates any opportunity to see “friendly” and “Philadelphia” in the same sentence.

Head-bashing Panel action

We commence imPaneled’s resurrection with news of a proceeding that has actually been covered by the mainstream mediaIn re National Football League Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation, a/k/a MDL 2323.  But what is of interest to imPaneled as to MDL 2323 is decidedly not of interest to writers lacking for an “Esq.” after their names.  To wit, Paul Weiss’s heaviest of heavyweights (Brad Karp and Ted Wells) initiated the Panel proceeding by moving for consolidation in the Cradle of Liberty to File Class Actions, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, under the decidedly uninformative caption In re National Football League Litigation.  Someone in Washington must have objected, as the next filing—also by Paul Weiss—added the unpleasant “Players’ Concussion Injury” to the name.  (On a related note, humor regarding other Panel defendants’ efforts to sanitize Panel captions almost caused a laugh riot at the Miami Panel hearing in late January.)

In any event, the subsequent battle fell other than along the usual lines, as most of the plaintiffs supported the NFL submission.  But defendant helmet-maker Riddell asked the Panel to abstain, on the premise that three California cases naming only Riddell lacked sufficient common questions of fact.  A relative handful of plaintiffs thereafter pressed for the District of New Jersey.  Others—including Fulton “Kaptain Krazy” Kuykendallpressed the Northern District of Georgia as an alternative.  But the Panel hearing was a veritable Philadelphia-centric love-fest, the only drama being the disposition of the Riddell cases.  Less than a week later, the Panel wisely left that to E.D. Pa. Judge Anita Brody, to whom all the cases were transferred.  (And less than a week after that, the NFL undertook to influence the jury pool by running a slick Super Bowl ad touting its long-standing commitment to player safety.)

Nothing has been made public about who will coach the plaintiffs’ team, so to speak.  But Hausfeld LLP, which is representing ex-players in unrelated litigation, is in the mix and not known for agreeing to take a back seat to anyone.  Stay tuned.

The repercussions of the Milberg Weiss saga . . .

. . . will be with us forever.  And, no, we are not referencing their using tainted plaintiffs to sue securities fraudsters who might have otherwise been sued (perhaps more successfully) by others.  At imPaneled, we’re concerned only with the saga that resulted in Lexecon Inc. v. Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, 523 U.S. 26 (1998), the only instance in which the Supreme Court has considered 28 U.S.C. § 1407 in any depth.  Strategic issues arising from Lexecon were the subject of an interesting post earlier this week on Above the Law, of all places. ATL, as even its infrequent visitors likely sense, generally  features what passes for gossip in the legal community, punctuated by commentary worthy of only the most debauched fraternity brothers–not that there’s anything wrong with that.

As for today’s news, imPaneled is now on the scene of tomorrow’s Panel hearing in Savannah, and expecting to post some semblance of a preview before then, amidst whatever Panel-centric revelry transpires tonight. The sponsors of that revelry were at their best in September in Philadelphia. We’ll see if they brought their “A” game south with them.

Yes, imPaneled is alive and well

Please pardon imPaneled’s apparent moribundity in recent weeks.  The rush to get online for the last Panel hearing did not allow for a plan to do research and posts when those pesky billable matters get busy.  Fortunately, the pendency of another Panel hearing has resulted in such a plan, and imPaneled will never again lapse into a coma of similar duration.

Before we get to next week’s proceedings in the “Hostess City of the South” (which is not so nicknamed due to any abundance of Twinkies), an epilogue of sorts for September’s fun is in order.  Let’s start with MDL 2274, the CitiMortgage HAMP Contract proceedings, the background of which is here.  The Panel sent all of the actions to the Central District of California, citing the pendency of “[f]our first-filed actions” there, and Citi’s designation of the district as its consolation prize.  Judge Fischer, anticipating a leadership dispute, laid out the criteria that would guide his decision, which vaguely parallel those in Rule 23(g)(1)(A): “(1) willingness and ability to commit to a time-consuming process; (2) ability to work cooperatively with others; (3) professional experience in this type of litigation; and (4) access to sufficient resources to advance the litigation in a timely manner.”  Alas, no such drama was forthcoming.  The sole lead counsel motion sought co-lead positions for Milberg (representing the West Coast plaintiffs) and Roddy Klein & Ryan (previously in the East Coast contingent).  Counsel should be lauded for their cooperation—but not by imPaneled.  A dispute would have been more interesting.

The Panel’s disposition of MDL 2291, the Wesson Oil Marketing and Sales Practices proceedings, was about as compelling as the non-action that preceded it.  To the surprise of no one, that went to Judge Morrow in the Central District of California. Then the action started.  The Panel’s order required the transfer of only one case, the Scarpelli action, from New Jersey to the C.D. Cal.  Judge Morrow consolidated that case with the five cases already pending there, and ordered the parties to submit lead counsel papers.  Wolf Haldenstein and Milberg, who had spoken for the California plaintiffs from the outset, moved for their appointment as co-leads.  The New Jersey plaintiffs sought the appointment of Bursor & Fisher as a third co-lead.  But two weeks later—before resolving the motions—Her Honor determined that her consolidation of the Scarpelli action with the others had been “in error,” for reasons that appear nowhere in any of the dockets.  She subsequently granted the Wolf/Milberg motion in the consolidated cases.  The Scarpelli docket has since been idle.  If anyone has any insights as to this odd turn of events, feel free to forward them.

Finally, the recent record in MDL 2290, the JPMorgan Chase Mortgage Modification Litigation, has been light in both volume and intrigue.  The Panel hearing proved telling, as the Panel transferred all of the pending cases to the District of Massachusetts, based primarily on the pendency of the first-filed action there.  Defendants’ apocalyptic vision as to what would have otherwise befallen our federal courts thus will not come to pass.  Plaintiffs’ counsel played nice as to lead positions, agreeing to co-leadership for Levin Fishbein, Keller Rohrback (who had both filed in and moved for California), Roddy Klein & Ryan (who signed onto the others’ motion for California despite filing first in Massachusetts) and Cuneo Gilbert (who filed “me too” papers supporting California after filing their case in New Jersey).

More to come in coming days as we close the book (for now) on the other September arguments, tackle more recent news, and preview next week’s Slugfest in Savannah.

Co-co-co-leads appointed in MDL 2275

To the surprise of no one, the Panel assigned to Judge Scheindlin the procedural morass that is MDL 2275, In Re: Gerova Financial Group, Ltd., Securities Litigation.  The Rosen Law Firm won the race to the courthouse, filing state and federal claims in the E.D.N.Y. on behalf of a class of private investors subsequently deemed the “Stillwater Investors.”  Kaplan Fox and Murray Frank later filed only state claims for the same class in the S.D.N.Y.  Much motion practice followed, resulting in the appointment of Kaplan Fox and Murray Frank as co-leads in the S.D.N.Y. only, and as to the state claims only.

Meanwhile, Pomrerantz Haudek filed the first complaint on behalf of “Open Market Investors” in the S.D.N.Y., followed by Harwood Feffer and Spector Roseman (the latter on behalf of a “Warrant Subclass”).  The Rosen Law Firm moved for control of all the cases, while Pomerantz Haudek (then joined by Wohl & Fruchter) and others pressed for the maintenance of separate leads for separate groups.  After Harwood Feffer and Spector Roseman backed off, Judge Scheindlin appointed Pomerantz Haudek and Wohl & Fruchter as co-leads for the Open Market Investors.  Kaplan Fox and Murray Frank remain co-leads for the Stillwater Investors as to their state claims.  All involved expect The Rosen Law Firm to be appointed lead counsel for the Stillwater Investors only as to their federal claims.

Got all that?  I didn’t, until Lee Albert of Murray Frank graciously clarified it for me.  Let’s hope Her Honor is able to coordinate and consolidate all of this for the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of all of the actions.

Panel hearing recap

As usual, the Panel heard a great deal, but ruled as to none of it.  To the extent that there might be “highlights” of any Panel hearing, these might qualify:

MDL 2274 (CitiMortgage):  Movant/defendant CitiMortgage was hard-pressed to deny that the action pending before Judge William Young in the District of Massachusetts is relatively advanced.  The East Coast plaintiffs, who had previously suggested New York as an equal alternative to Massachusetts, seized on that and pressed Massachusetts, adding that Judge Young is willing to take the cases.  Other plaintiffs briefly pressed California courts as alternatives.

MDL 2282 (Home Depot Wage & Hour Litig.):  After Judge Heyburn disclosed his recusal, Judge Vratil presided over an argument that went strictly to whether consolidation is appropriate.  Judges Barbadoro and Damrell grilled plaintiffs’ counsel over the existence of common issues, citing a class decertification opinion holding that they are few.  Judge Vratil added that the Panel sees its role as facilitating coordinated discovery rather than avoiding inconsistent rulings (which is in fact consistent with § 1407(a)), and pressed plaintiffs’ counsel to speak to that.  Counsel for defendant Home Depot reiterated the key language in its brief, i.e., plaintiffs’ motion is a misguided attempt to revive the “remnants” of a failed case.

MDL 2284 (Imprelis): The main event proceeded with the disclosure of Judge Rendell’s recusal, ostensibly due to her father’s long-time executive position with sole defendant duPont.  The several plaintiffs who had collectively favored various Third Circuit district courts united under the banner of the “Delaware Valley Plaintiffs,” and pressed for consolidation in any one of those courts, with emphasis on the District of Delaware.  The Ohio plaintiffs used the Delaware Valley Plaintiffs’ map to argue that the Northern District of Ohio is the “center of gravity” based on the extensive damage there.  Indiana plaintiffs argued to similar effect, and a Michigan plaintiff suddenly determined that Ohio was preferable.

Counsel for Minnesota plaintiffs cited the fact that travel there entails no red-eye flights, and the Minnesota court’s high-tech courtrooms, before seeking to create new law.  As a result, we know now that Minnesota is in fact the “land of trees,” and that its state tree is particularly susceptible to Imprelis damage.  After and during a series of “state tree” asides from the bench and the bar, other counsel for the Minnesota plaintiffs suggested that, if both his clients and duPont prefer consolidation in Minnesota, there must be something to it.  Counsel for duPont cited extensive Imprelis damage claims in western states, leaving aside why duPont would not prefer the convenience of litigating in a courthouse a few city blocks from its headquarters.

Finally, counsel for the Ohio plaintiffs asked for an additional “15 seconds” after duPont was finished.  Judge Heyburn bluntly denied that request.  Within seconds after that, the courtroom substantially emptied.

MDL 2290 (Chase Mortgage Modification):  Counsel for certain plaintiffs suggested that Judge David Carter of the Central District of California will ensure that aggrieved class members are afforded prompt relief because only the case before him alleges a national class.  Counsel for certain other plaintiffs agreed, but acceded to the District of Massachusetts as well.   Defendant Chase for its part argued for Massachusetts, as the case there was filed six months before others and was most advanced.  The Panel did not speak to that, but Judge Heyburn had noted earlier in the day that the Panel typically transfers cases to the district in which the first-filed case is pending under that circumstance.

MDL 2291 (Wesson Oil Marketing & Sales Litig.):  This was a rare instance in which all counsel present agreed as to the proper disposition of the pending motion. Counsel for defendant ConAgra and for most of the plaintiffs agreed that all pending cases should be transferred to the Central District of California.  Counsel for certain plaintiffs who had belatedly filed an interested party response seeking consolidation in the District of New Jersey failed to appear at the hearing.  The Panel resisted the temptation to end the hearing in favor of lunch, considered the merits of the present parties’ arguments (ConAgra added a pitch for the District of Nebraska as an alternative)–and then ended the hearing in favor of lunch, less than two-and-a-half hours after it started.

The Panel gathers again in Savannah on December 1.  The relative proportions of Panel news and lead counsel news on imPaneled will swing towards the latter in the interim.

Comings and goings

Judge Heyburn attended to news concerning the Panel itself before turning to the pending proceedings this morning, and imPaneled will do the same.  He welcomed to her first hearing Judge Marjorie Rendell of the Third Circuit (and formerly resident in the Pennsylvania Governor’s Mansion) and honored departing Judge Frank Damrell, Jr. of the Eastern District of California, who is stepping down from the federal bench next month.  Chief Justice Roberts has appointed his brother’s brother, Judge Charles Breyer of the Northern District of California, to take Judge Damrell’s place on the Panel.

Judge Heyburn did not reference the absence of Judge W. Royal Furgeson, Jr. from today’s hearing.  Judge Furgeson’s mother passed away earlier this week.


Chaos, Panel-style

The clerk’s nightmare that is In re: Imprelis Herbicide Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2284, surely tops the bill for the September 27 oral argument in Philadelphia.  According to the Panel, that proceeding encompasses 45 actions in 18 courts.  The competing motions and responses are little less extensive.  Even defendant duPont hasn’t settled on a single district, favoring Minnesota, but–shockingly–amenable to Delaware.

Plaintiffs are predictably more scattered in their views.  The several camps are generally focused on the following possibilities:

  • Delaware: Labaton filed the initial motion seeking consolidation in Delaware, then acceded to New Jersey and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in its reply.  Chimicles, Lieff Cabraser, Berger & Montague and others are on board.
  • N.D. Ohio: Wolf Haldenstein, Climaco Wilcox and others filed the second motion, seeking consolidation in the Northern District of Ohio.  They were followed by a slew of other midwestern plaintiffs, some of whom seek assignment to other judges in that district.
  • Minnesota: Robins Kaplan seeks consolidation on its home turf.  Relatively few other plaintiffs join them, and several of those are amenable to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
  • Indiana:  A relatively small group of plaintiffs, led by Cohen & Malad, seek consolidation in the Southern District of Indiana.
  • E.D. Pa.: Another relatively small group of plaintiffs, led by Fox Rothschild, Weinstein Kitchenoff and Seeger Weiss, seek consolidation in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

There will be more to come as to this one as it develops.

Update:  It turns out that there should have been more to come immediately upon the initial posting of this preview.  I missed a submission from Wilentz Goldman favoring the District of New Jersey (with Delaware as the alternative) and another favoring the Eastern District of Michigan (with the N.D. Ohio as the alternative).  Kudos to Mr. Lüthi and his staff for doing a better job of keeping these things straight than I apparently do.

To fly over or not to fly over

MDL 2274, In re: CitiMortgage, Inc., Home Affordable Modification Program (“HAMP”) Contract Litigation, features a motion by defendant CitiMortgage for consolidation in “a centrally-located jurisdiction, such as the Northern District of Illinois.”  By the time of its reply, Citi determined that the Eastern District of Missouri is also a “centrally-located jurisdiction.”

Plaintiffs are generally averse to “a centrally-located jurisdiction,” at least as Citi defines it.  One group including Berger & Montague and Cuneo Gilbert, equally favors the Southern District of New York and the District of Massachusetts.  Another group, led by Milberg, adds the Central District of California to that list.  The Eastern District of California is on the short list as well.

I would add only that the Panel is currently split 4-3 in favor of coastal judges.

If at first you don’t succeed . . .

MDL 2282, In re: Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., Wage and Hour Litigation, does not encompass a battle over venue, but one over whether centralization is in fact appropriate.  Home Depot claims “[t]hese seven actions are the remnants of an unsuccessful effort to certify a nationwide federal FLSA opt-in collective action and 25 state law classes pursuant to Rule 23 in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.”

Plaintiffs, led by Squitieri & Fearon, seek to consolidate five actions pending in other courts with two already pending in the D.N.J., and note that “a court’s class determination and the Panel’s determination under 28 U.S.C. § 1407 are ‘entirely different.'”  That’s certainly the case, at least in the Third Circuit.  A Panel motion doesn’t entail hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of expert evidence and multiple trips to the appellate court.

Those scheming trial lawyers!

The plaintiffs in MDL 2290, In re: JPMorgan Chase Mortgage Modification Litigation, led by Keller Rohrback, Levin Fishbein and Holland Groves, are united in their support of the Central District of California, with the District of Massachusetts as an alternative.  The Chase defendants claim that the plaintiffs are forum-shopping by virtue of filing their Panel motion after the 12(b)(6) stage, and seek consolidation in the District of Massachusetts or the Northern District of California.  As MoFo puts its, “[t]ransfer to the Central District of California would have the perverse effect of encouraging counsel to file copy-cat actions all over the country, wait a year, and then ask the Panel to solve their self-created multi-district ‘problem’ by transferring the actions to the court they view as most favorable.”  (Note that I am not endorsing that view by quoting it.  I’m just a reporter.)

Go west?

MDL No. 2291, In re: Wesson Oil Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, may be substantially lacking for drama.  Defendant ConAgra started the action by moving for consolidation in the Central District of California, with the District of Nebraska as an alternative.  Four plaintiffs already on file in the C.D. Cal. (led by Wolf Haldenstein) concurred as to consolidation there.  Plaintiffs on file in a single case in the District of New Jersey belatedly filed a response seeking consolidation there.

  • About the blogmaster

    Bart Cohen is the principal of the Law Office of Bart D. Cohen, where he represents his clients in class actions and other complex litigation, and Winning Briefs, where he polishes, edits and drafts written work product for overextended lawyers.

    His unnatural appetites for rules and research of all kinds have made him an expert on proceedings before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. He feeds those appetites and chronicles the battles to land lead counsel appointments that are fought in part before the Panel on imPaneled.

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