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David Herr Quoted in Minnesota Lawyer Article on the Benefits of Multidistrict Litigation

December 3, 2012

David Herr, partner in Maslon's Litigation Group, is quoted in an article in the November 21 issue of Minnesota Lawyer which discusses whether the recent meningitis lawsuits, which have been filed across the country, might be consolidated and end up being litigated in Minnesota. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will meet in January 2013 to consider consolidation and transfer to one district.

The article lists a number of reasons for selecting a particular state for an MDL venue, one being the number of cases pending in that state. "The panel doesn't like to transfer a case to a jurisdiction where there are no cases pending," said David, who authored the Multidistrict Litigation Manual which discusses the selection of a transferee district. Because of the number of meningitis cases pending in Minnesota, David notes the fact that the state is already "out ahead" as a positive sign for Minnesota getting the MDL. Another good sign reported in the article is that Minnesota judges and attorneys have experience in complex MDL's which have been centered in Minnesota including several high-profile medical and pharmaceutical product liability cases. However, David also notes that if the panel suspects lobbying "[it] may throw up its hands and say, ‘A pox on all your houses. We are sending it to New York' or wherever." The same holds true if a court's caseload appears too full, the article states. "In the old days it was kind of a blue-ribbon panel of judges that did all of the MDLs, but now they spread the wealth around more. They look at the docket and at the district. If there are too few judges or they are running a long ways out to trial, that district is unlikely to get the case."

The article reports that the benefits of having the MDL come to Minnesota are both financial and intangible. If selected to the steering committee which is appointed by the judicial panel, David says "home-state lawyers can play an important role in deciding the path the case will take and usually do more work. If you are the state where the case is headquartered you bill more hours, do more discovery and file more motions," and adds that "In the end, you'll probably get paid more too."

David Herr is a highly regarded appellate lawyer and complex case litigator. He is frequently sought out to provide practical and sophisticated advice on how to resolve difficult, multi-party disputes in trial courts and arbitral forums, as well as in the appellate courts.


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