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What is the process when filing within a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) case?

CM/ECF Category: 
Multidistrict Litigation

MDL Case Proceedings for the Southern District of Florida (SDFL):

  1. An important objective with MDL cases is to have a complete record of the proceedings. To achieve this, most SDFL transferee judges will generally mandate that all filings be entered ONLY in the master case.
  2. The transferee judge will usually enter an order consolidating all associated (“consolidated” or “member”) cases into the master case.
  3. Attorneys should review the Order of Consolidation and may also want to inquire as to the judge’s preferences concerning case management.
  4. MDL counsel of record from the transferor district courts can call the MDL Clerk to inquire about receiving a User Name and Password to file via CM/ECF but, each judge determines whether User Names and Passwords are given to MDL attorneys.
  5. Attorneys rarely file documents with the SDFL in SDFL cases that have been transferred to another court where an MDL is proceeding.
  6. If directed by the Court to file in an associated case, your filings will ONLY be in that particular case and will not have a docket entry in the master case.

** Remember: If counsel from a transferor district wishes to have his/her case transferred to a litigation in SDFL, they must request this from the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (JPML) first unless they are requesting that the judge transfer the case via another statute. Upon notification of the request, the JPML will review the case and probably issue a Conditional Transfer Order in that particular case or group of cases. They should not initially file a case in SDFL unless there is appropriate jurisdiction to file there.