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Zimmerman's Research Guide


Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (a/k/a the "MDL Panel" or the "JPML") determines whether Federal cases brought in two or more Federal courts should be consolidated ("centralized") for purposed of discovery and other pre-trial matters. The JPML web site provides contact information, the Panel's Rules of Procedure, a list of current hearings, a list of current cases, the full text of recent Orders, and a list of Legal Resources (including a list of articles and treatises) on JPML practice.

The JPML Rules of Procedure are also published in the United States Code Annotated (following 28 USCA 1407), United States Code Service (in the Court Rules volume following the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure), in volume 1 of Moore's Federal Rules Pamphlets, in West's Federal Civil Judicial Procedure and Rules, in O'Connor's Federal Rules: Civil Trials (Jones McClure), and probably lots of other places too.

JPML Orders and other Decisions are published in the Federal Supplement, and some are available on Lexis (GENFED;CLSDRV -- add "and court(judicial panel)" to retrieve only JPML materials). The JPML posts a list of recent Orders on their web site. For older orders, you can contact the JPML (phone: 202-502-2800; fax: 202-502-2888).

Docket sheets and case information: You can get MDL docket sheets and case information on PACER and Courtlink (passwords required for both; a Lexis password can work for Courtlink).

To search for an MDL docket by case number, use the year the case was transferred to the MDL court, a dash and then the MDL number (e.g., 03-129). If that doesn't work, try "-MDL-" between the numbers (e.g., 03-MDL-129).

For assistance searching PACER, call the JPML CM/ECF Help Desk at 202-502-2822. For assitance searching Courtlink, call Courtlink customer service (888-311-1966).

See Also
Docket Sheets
United States Code

For comments, questions and suggestions, email the author
Copyright 2015 Andrew Zimmerman