Multidistrict Litigation Institute (CLOSED)

April 9-10, 2015
Grand Hyatt DFW (Near the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport)
Dallas, TX


We are no longer accepting registrations for the April 9-10 MDL Institute.  If you would like to be placed on a waiting list in the event of a cancellation, please send an email to Ann Yandian (  We plan to hold a future MDL Institute in late 2015 or early 2016.  If you would like to receive an email when it has been confirmed, please contact Ann.

The Duke Law Center for Judicial Studies will hold a 1½-day institute on handling large and mass-tort MDLs in Dallas, Texas, on April 9-10, 2015, for 30 lawyers on a first-come, first-served basis.  The class is deliberately small to facilitate one-on-one conversation between students and faculty in an intimate setting.  Lawyers registering after the 30 openings have been filled will be placed on a waiting list, with future institutes planned.

Professor Francis McGovern leads a preeminent faculty of experienced MDL judges, including: Judge Sarah Vance (JPML chair); Judge Eldon Fallon; Judge David Katz; and former judge and now Dean Royal Furgeson, and distinguished lawyers, including: Sheila Birnbaum; Joe Rice; Chris Seeger; David Bernick; Ted Mayer; Mark Lanier; Daniel Girard; Jeff Breit; and Malini Moorthy.

MDL judges have expressed concern that too many “repeat” practitioners are given leadership roles to manage large and mass-tort MDLs and that more should be done to expand the opportunities for and diversity of lawyers entering this practice.  Lawyers inexperienced in MDLs are at a distinct disadvantage in securing leadership roles in these cases, partially because their inexperience reflects a basic ignorance of how such litigation is managed.  The Duke Law MDL institute will provide plaintiff and defense lawyers with the necessary knowledge and training to begin vying for management and leadership roles in these MDLs.

The Standards and Best Practices for Large and Mass-Tort MDLs provides the best thinking of counsel well experienced in these types of MDLs, with significant input from 15 judges. It will be used as a reference source for the program. Our Institute will provide lessons about the establishment of common benefit funds, allocation of common benefit fee awards, appointment of Plaintiff Steering, Executive, Discovery, and other committees, selection of state court liaison counsel, selection of bellwether cases for trials, direct filing of “tag along” cases, federal/state court coordination, and resolution procedures, including pretrial dispositive motion practice, remand, and settlement.

The cost of the Institute is $1,499.00, which includes registration, materials, two continental breakfasts, coffee breaks, lunch and reception on Thursday.