What is multidistrict litigation?
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.
What is the Panel on multidistrict litigation?
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.
How are the cases to be transferred brought before the Panel?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
How can I be kept advised of the developments of this case?
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?
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
What information is available on the Court's website?
The Court's website contains the following:
Calendar for upcoming events
Liaison counsels' reports
State court links
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
A listing of frequently asked questions
procedural rules govern this litigation?
The Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure and the Local
Rules for the Eastern District of Louisiana.