Many litigations we work on are coordinated nationally in the federal courts and on a statewide basis before a single judge for investigation, discovery, and pre-trial work, before being sent back to their home jurisdictions for trial. The federal procedure for consolidating complex civil cases involving one or more common questions of fact is called a Multidistrict litigation (MDL). Several state courts have similar procedures. For example, in California they are called Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings (JCCP). These procedures are designed to streamline the litigation process and avoid the problems posed by inconsistent rulings being issued by different courts. While similar to class action lawsuits, each lawsuit consolidated into a coordinated proceeding remains active and the merits are decided on an individual basis.
Our attorneys are often appointed leadership roles by the court in these coordinated proceedings, where we work with other select firms on litigation strategy, law and motion, and discovery. Our lawyers then take the individual cases to trial where necessary after the coordinated proceedings are concluded, or resolve the cases through settlement.
A sampling of those cases and our leadership roles include:
Lead counsel is a member of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee and authorizes and directs the work of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee. In this regard, Plaintiffs’ Lead Counsel is responsible for coordinating the activities of Plaintiffs during pretrial proceedings, which includes presenting oral arguments and motions to the court; initiating and conducting discovery; conducting settlement negotiations; and monitoring the activities of co-counsel to ensure that schedules are met and unnecessary expenditures of time and funds are avoided.
- Co-Lead Counsel in the DePuy ASR MDL
- Co-Lead Counsel in the Fosamax JCCP
Liaison Counsel is a member of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, but is appointed by the judge to act as an intermediary between the court, defense counsel, and all Plaintiffs’ counsel. The primary responsibility of Liaison Counsel is to coordinate with the court and other parties at both the federal and state level regarding all aspects of the litigation process including pretrial matters, discovery, law and motion, and settlement negotiation.
- Liason Counsel in the Zoloft JCCP
- State/Federal Liaison for California in the Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella MDL
- Liaison Counsel in the Ortho-Evra MDL and Court-Appointed Mediator
- Multi-district liaison to the Gadolinium JCCP
- Liaison Counsel in the Baycol JCCP
- Liaison Counsel in the Metabolife JCCP
- Co-Liaison Counsel in the Risperdal and Invega JCCP
- Co-Liaison Counsel in the Reglan JCCP
- Co-Liaison Counsel in the Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella JCCP
- Co-Liaison Counsel in the PPA JCCP
- Co-Liaison Counsel in the Rezulin JCCP
Executive and Steering Committees
Plaintiffs’ Executive and Steering Committees responsibilities may include: initiation and coordination of pretrial discovery; acting as a spokesperson for Plaintiffs’ at pretrial hearings; submitting and arguing motions; negotiating and entering into stipulations; and pursuing all settlement options pertaining to any claim in the litigation.
- Plaintiff’s Executive Committee in the Vioxx JCCP
- Plaintiff’s Executive Committee in the Fosamax JCCP
- Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee and Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Gadolinium MDL
- Plaintiff’s Steering Committee in the DePuy ASR JCCP
- Plaintiff’s Steering Committee for Personal Injury/Wrongful Death in the Toyota Motor JCCP
Sometimes a defendant elects to or is forced to file bankruptcy proceedings as a result of inadequate coverage for pending liabilities. Personal injury claimants are generally considered to be unsecured creditors in this bankruptcy context. To ensure protection of their interests, our attorneys often serve in an official capacity before the bankruptcy court.
- Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors for In Re: New England Compounding Pharmacy, Inc. MDL