A case for our times

Four oral arguments–all of which will happen relatively early in the day–will be the “main attractions” (as a renowned scribe referred to them) at tomorrow’s Panelpalooza in the S.D.N.Y.  But three of those qualify primarily due to the number of parties involved.  MDL 2394-captioned In re Real Estate Transfer Tax Litigation–boasts issues above and beyond the usual “where are these cases going?” raised by standard Panel fare, in addition to scores of parties and counsel.

MDL 2394 is a sad reflection on our times in that it is a product of Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s taking title to scads of foreclosed homes nationwide.  Evidently, those government-sponsored enterprises (“GSEs”) have claimed exemption from statutes in 35 states that normally require the payment of transfer taxes upon the sale of real property.  Much litigation has resulted therefrom.

Plaintiff Genesee County (Mich.) initiated the Panel action, citing common factual issues in cases which, on their faces, arguably entail only a common legal issue.  See imPaneled’s favorite statute (“When civil actions involving one or more common questions of fact are pending in different districts . . .”) (emphasis added).  The GSEs predictably raised that in opposing centralization, as did several defendants, big and small, not common to the underlying cases.  And, in yet another  unusual development, a small number of plaintiffs sided with the defendants in opposing centralization.

imPaneled looks forward to compelling oral arguments as to MDL 2394, as well as all of the other action tomorrow.  Stay tuned for coverage–maybe not in-depth coverage, but coverage nonetheless.

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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.

  • 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.

    You can contact Bart here or connect with him here.

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