Mass-Tort MDL Certificate


Below you will find the agenda for the 2020 mass-tort MDL certificate course. All courses, times, dates, and faculty are subject to change for the 2021 program.

Monday, November 9, 2020 

Time (EST) Description
10:25 am – 10:30 am Welcome and Opening Remarks
10:30 am – 11:30 am Session 1: The Decision to FilePurpose and timing of MDL; strategic decisions re timing, venue, and choice of law
11:30 am – 12:30 pm Session 2: Initial Stages and the JPML – JPML hearing and lawyer presentations; how panel chooses transferee judge; trends in centralizing cases; role of Rules of Procedure; early steps of an MDL case; expectations of judges; broader goals of MDL and JPML
12:30 pm – 12:45 pm Break
12:45 pm – 1:45 pm Session 3: Breakout – Case Management:
Plaintiff Conferring with individual plaintiffs: appointment of PSC and executive committees, organization of subcommittees; superior duty to the court and confidentiality limitations
Defendant Strategy and management of MDL from General Counsel and outside counsel perspectives; joint defense groups; financial responsibility among multiple parties (trial expenses and settlement); organization of tasks
1:45 pm – 2:45 pm Session 4: Case Management Order – Scope of order and detailed procedural roadmap; master pleadings; time and expense reporting; discovery coordination
2:45 pm – 3:00 pm Break
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Session 5: Breakout – Discovery: Discovery goals and priorities; litigation holds; ESI protocols; custodian lists; discovery negotiations; document review and privilege logs; responding to requests; experts
4:00 pm – 4:15 pm Break
4:15 pm – 5:30 pm Session 6: Settlement – Timing; role of judge; use of mediators; project management, e.g., negotiations, principal players; remand
5:30 pm  Parting Reflections – Revisit general topics from the course, including any questions
MDL Certificate Program Ends
Advanced Certificate Program Continues


Tuesday, November 10, 2020 – Advanced Certificate Students Only

Time (EST) Description
10:25 am – 10:30 am Welcome and Opening Remarks
10:30 am – 12:30 pm Strategy DiscussionFaculty will discuss strategy and lessons from their own experiences in open dialogue with students.
12:30 pm – 12:45 pm Break
12:45 pm – 1:45 pm Leadership Roles – Faculty will discuss approach to gaining leadership roles in MDLs.
1:45 pm – 2:00 pm Assignment – Students are asked to provide, in 8 weeks’ time: (1) a reflection paper on the lessons discussed and (2) a draft application to serve as lead counsel/serve in a leadership position. Faculty will provide feedback on both.