Verdict - Fall 2015 - (Page 34)
> FeatUre story
Friend or Foe?
BY PatriCk wheale
wise man once told
me that opportunities
do not simply add up
- they multiply. in the
legal context, this
principle is realized
setting multidistrict litigation (mdL). too
often, mdL is feared as a thing to be avoided.
if fear is born out of things unknown, the feeling can be merited when viewed in the light of
the perceived complexities that mdL seemingly presents. instead of viewing mdL as a
proverbial black hole,1 it should be thought of
as an additional option in your legal tool box.
By shedding light on this area of advocacy,
you may gain stronger control of your claims
and improve your likelihood of maximizing
restitution for your clients.
MDL IN A NUTSHELL
multidistrict litigation is a procedural tool
used to, in the interest of judicial efficiency
and fairness, dispense of pretrial matters for
an aggregate of cases. 2 unlike class actions,
with which mass torts are often confused, the
threshold to qualify for an mdL is extraordinarily low. 3 "[C]ases need to share but one
common question of fact. that factual question need not predominate or determine the
outcome; it simply must exist."4 Also, unlike
class actions, factual and legal issues that are
not shared in common have the opportunity to
be litigated individually after pretrial matters
have been concluded.
As of 2012, multidistrict litigation
accounted for approximately 15 percent of
total federal litigation for civil cases. 5 despite
how it is perceived by the solo practitioner,
the mdL process was actually developed to
simplify and streamline pretrial procedures
Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
[Where] the case is to be tried is, without
question, one of the most significant
factors...in the outcome of the case.
-William D. Underwood
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Verdict - Fall 2015
What’s New at HQ
Tips for Selecting and Implementing a New Case Management System
How I Obtained Justice for My Client
What You Need to Know About Mass Torts & Multidistrict Litigation
London Calling: Navigating the Waters When Taking a Deposition Overseas
Ethical and Practical Considerations of Co-Counseling
Avoiding Landmines: Identifying, Locating and Serving the Non-U.S. Corporate Defendant
Powerful Weapons: Public-Private Alliances Between State Attorneys General and Private Lawyers
Multidistrict Litigation: Friend or Foe?
Civil Lawyers Against World Sex Slavery
Getting Out-of-State Evidence: Domesticating a Subpoena
New Lawyers’ Corner: Five Tips for Hanging your Shingle
Case Updates: What’s New?
Workers’ Comp Updates
Welcome New GTLA Members!
Index to Advertisers
Verdict - Fall 2015