Under Section 1407, the multidistrict status, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has the authority to transfer civil cases with common facts to a single judge to coordinate pretrial proceedings. As initially conceived, these cases would go back to the original court after the MDL judge resolved all common discovery issues. In practice, MDL judges remand cases back to the original court infrequently. In 2020 364 cases were remanded out of 356,379 cases involved in ongoing MDLs. Moreover, when MDL judges do remand, the cases present complex issues for the court receiving them and the attorneys handling the cases.
This study will examine the determinants of remands and what happens to remanded cases when they return to the original court. Are cases handled by lead councils in the MDL more or less likely to be remanded? In addition, using data on the remanded case’s docket, we will examine what actions take place after the cases are remanded. Finally, are cases dismissed immediately, is additional discovery conducted, how many cases involve Daubert motions, etc.
Project Partner: RAND Corporation
Faculty: Eric Helland, Co-Director
Research Assistants: Tessa Guerra, Livia Hughston, Adarsh Srinivasan