Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) Conference (Invitation Only)

September 11-12, 2014
Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel

(near the Reagan National Airport [DCA])



This invitation-only conference follows up on the May 2-3, 2013, Future of MDL Conference, which identified particular MDL case-management areas in need of best practices.  (   The conferees will vet and critique a 60-page paper of best practices drafted by six blue-ribbon panels, addressing specific issues identified at the earlier conference by Professor Francis McGovern. 

The MDL Best Practices document will be revised in light of comment at the conference and will serve as the core curriculum for the judicial-training program that Duke Law plans to hold around the country for judges with Professor McGovern and experienced MDL lawyers and judges. The full document will also be posted on the Duke Law web site and serve as a resource for all courts and practitioners.

The input of federal judges is a key component of Duke Law’s Distinguished Lawyers Conferences.  The conference will consist of experienced MDL judges, including:

Judge Anthony Scirica               Judge Kathryn Vratil                   Judge Thomas Thrash
Judge Frederick Motz                Judge John Lungstrum               Judge Jerry Fogel
Judge John Heyburn                 Judge Bill Wilson                        Judge Cynthia Rufe
Judge John Tunheim                 Judge Thomas Russell               Judge David Herndon
Judge Mark Davidson                Judge Rebecca Doherty             Judge Eldon Fallon
Judge Brian Martinotti               

Experienced MDL practitioners on the panels include Chilton Varner, Elizabeth Cabraser, Sheila Birnbaum, Joe Rice, Christopher Seeger, Dianne Nast, Tom Sobol, John Thomas, Brian Pastuszenski, Malini Moorthy, John Beisner, John MacNaughton, Ellen Relkin, Daniel Girard, Joe Zonies, Sara Gourley, Mark Cheffo, Chris Levin, Bruce Parker, William Hoffman, Jeff Kruse, and Ted Mayer.

The MDL Best Practices address: (1) Centralization and Selection of Venue and Transferee Judge; (2) Role of Transferee Judge and Relationship to JPML and Transferee Case Management; (3) Selection and Appointment of Plaintiff’s Steering Committee; (4) Plaintiff’s Steering Committee Common Benefit Fund; (5) Federal-State Court Coordination; and (6) Settlement and Remands.

The conference is part of the Duke Conference: Bench-Bar-Academy Distinguished Lawyers’ Series, which is led by the Judicial Studies Center’s Advisory Council of litigation heads of 14 major corporations and 10 prominent plaintiff and defense lawyers.  (

The conference is held under the Chatham House Rule:  "When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed."

CLE - Eight and one-half (8.5) credit hours have been approved in North Carolina.  If you are a practicing attorney in North Carolina, 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 conference in order to submit CLE hours for your state.