Life After Lexecon: MDL And Bellwether Trials

Law360, New York (February 17, 2009, 12:00 AM EST) -- A decade ago, the United States Supreme Court transformed the federal multidistrict litigation (“MDL”) landscape with its decision in Lexecon Inc. v. Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, 523 U.S. 26 (1998). Or at least so most observers believed, with some reason, at the time.

Widely hailed as a “dramatic change in long-standing practices” that “substantially eviscerated the practical purposes of ... MDL [judicial] assignments,”[1] Lexecon held that transferee judges could no longer retain MDL cases for trial, using the federal transfer statute, and were instead...
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