By Christopher P. Gramling, Assistant General Counsel for Eli Lilly and Company, based in Indianapolis, IN; and Matthew J. Hamilton, a Partner, Mary Margaret Spence, a Senior Attorney, and Jason A. Kurtyka, an Associate, all resident in the Philadelphia, PA office of Pepper Hamilton LLP.

Summary: Defense counsel must educate courts on the asymmetrical burdens multidistrict litigation (MDL) imposes on MDL defendants, urge MDL judges to use existing techniques to vet plaintiffs’ claims, and advocate for civil rules revisions that can help the aggregation device meet its original goal of a just and efficient determination of litigation.

Note: WLF submitted this Working Paper along with a letter to the Administrative Office of the United States CourtsCommittee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, which is evaluating proposals for new civil procedure rules for multidistrict litigation.