Second Multidistrict Litigation Institute

November 9-10, 2015
Renaissance Arlington Capital View (Near Reagan National Airport)
Arlington, VA


The Duke Law Center for Judicial Studies will hold a 1½-day Institute on handling large and mass-tort MDLs in Washington, D.C., on November 9-10, 2015, which follows up on our successful first Institute held earlier this year.  The Institute is designed to provide practical information on how to effectively vie for management and leadership roles to lawyers who have little or no experience in litigating large MDLs.  Registration for the Institute is open to all practitioners.

Professor Francis McGovern will lead a preeminent faculty, which consists of seasoned MDL judges and distinguished lawyers well experienced in handling large mass-tort MDLs, including:

  • Hon. Kathryn Vratil
  • Hon. J. Michelle Childs
  • Hon. Edmund Sargus
  • Hon. John Tunheim
  • Chris Seeger
  • David Bernick
  • Elizabeth Cabraser
  • Malini Moorthy
  • Joe Rice
  • Chilton Varner
  • Allan Kanner
  • Mark Cheffo

Mass-tort MDLs now comprise more than one-third of all civil cases pending in U.S. courts.  The Institute is intended to help address concerns by MDL judges 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 critical knowledge and training to begin vying for management and leadership roles in these MDLs.

The 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 Standards and Best Practices for Large and Mass-Tort MDLs was developed as part of the bench-bar-academy conferences held by the Center last year.  It provides the best thinking of counsel well experienced in these types of MDLs, with significant input from 15 judges.  The Standards and Best Practices will be used as a reference source for the program and are posted at .

The registration fee for the Institute is $1,250.00 (early-bird registration before September 21 is $1,100), which includes registration, materials, two continental breakfasts, coffee breaks, lunch, and a reception on Monday evening.

CLE ─ Nine (9) credit hours will be applied for in North Carolina and Virginia.  If you are a practicing attorney in North Carolina or Virginia, your CLE hours will be submitted for you.  Attorneys from other states will receive a "Certificate of Attendance" and a completed "Uniform Application for Accreditation" form after the institute in order to submit CLE hours for their state.