Tuesday, August 15, 2017
The report is here: Download DC-_641863-v1-LCJ_Request_for_Rulemaking_Concerning_MDL_cases_2017
According to Rule 1, the FRCP ‘govern the procedure in all civil actions and proceedings in the United States district courts.’ It is widely known, however, that the FRCP do not govern key elements of procedure in many MDL cases, which now constitute 45 percent of the federal docket. The reason is straightforward: the FRCP no longer provide practical presumptive procedures in MDL cases, so judges and parties are improvising. A solution is needed, and LCJ is urging the Civil Rules Advisory Committee to undertake an effort to remedy this situation by bringing MDL cases back within the existing and well-proven structure of the FRCP. While some ad hoc procedures have more merit than others, they all share the same lack of transparency, uniformity and predictability. Many common practices also cause an unbalanced litigation environment by failing to provide protections inherent in the FRCP.