INTRODUCTION

LINKS










DISCLAIMER
 

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Question:   What is multidistrict litigation?

Answer:   Multidistrict litigation is litigation pending in more than one federal district court involving common questions of fact. When such cases involve civil actions, they may be transferred by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (The Panel) to any federal court for coordinated and consolidated pretrial proceedings.

Question:   What is the Panel on multidistrict litigation?

Answer:   The panel is a group of seven federal judges designated by the Chief Justice of the United States. The Panel has the responsibility for determining which cases qualify for multidistrict litigation treatment, as well as which district court to transfer and consolidate these cases. The transfers are made pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1407, upon the Panel's determination that the transfers will result in the convenience of the parties and witnesses and will promote the just and efficient conduct of the cases.

Question:   How are the cases to be transferred brought before the Panel?

Answer:   Proceedings for transfer may be initiated by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation upon its own initiative or a motion filed with the Panel by a party in any action in which transfer for coordianted or consolidated pretrial proceedings may be appropriate. Before cases are designated multidistrict litigation and transferred to one federal court, the Panel convenes a hearing and notifies all parties of the place and time of the hearing. The Panel's order of transfer is based on a record of such hearing at which material evidence may be offered by any party to an action in any federal court that would be affected by the transfer.

Question:   If my case is subject to a transfer order, but the case has not yet been transferred to the Eastern District of Louisiana, where should I file documents?

Answer:   Transfers under 28 U.S.C. §1407 become effective with the filing of the Panel's transfer order in the clerk's office of the designated transferee court. Thus, if the transfer order to which your case is subject has been filed in the Eastern District of Louisiana, you must make all future filings in the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Question:   Do I need to file a motion in the Eastern District of Louisiana to appear pro hac vice or do I need to associate local counsel?

Answer:   Counsel who appeared in a transferor court prior to transfer need not enter an additional appearance before the Eastern District. Moreover, attorneys admitted to practice and in good standing in any United States District Court are admitted pro hac vice in this litigation. Association of local counsel is not required.

Question:   How can I be kept advised of the developments of this case?

Answer:   All Court orders and minute entries will be posted on the Court's website at http://vioxx.laed.uscourts.gov/ . These may be reviewed and downloaded at your convenience. These documents will also be served on liaison counsel whose duty it is to receive and distribute them via overnight courier service or telecopier within two days of receipt unless such service has been waived in writing by receiving counsel.

Question:
How can I access the docket sheet?

Answer: You may access the docket sheet in two ways. First, you may purchase a docket sheet from the Clerk’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana located at the United States Courthouse, 500 Poydras Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130. Second, you may access the docket sheet online by purchasing a PACER account through the PACER Service Center’s website at http://www.pacer.uscourts.gov.

Question:   What information is available on the Court's website?

Answer:   The Court's website contains the following:

Admin Orders

Calendar for upcoming events

Liaison counsels' reports

State court links

Electronic servicing

Local Rules

Manual for Complex Litigation

Court location with directories

United States District Court's staff

Plaintiffs' Liaison Counsel

Plaintiffs' Steering Committee

Defendants' Liaison Counsel

Defendants' Co-Lead Counsel

State Liaison Committee

Current developments

A listing of frequently asked questions

Question:  What procedural rules govern this litigation?

Answer:   The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Local Rules for the Eastern District of Louisiana.