The U.S. Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has already finished its work from the January 21st session in New Orleans.
See the results:
In re Enfamil LIPIL Mktg. & Sales Prac. Litig., MDL No. 2222
In re Camp Lejeune, North Carolina Water Contamination Litig., MDL No. 2218
In re Discover Card Payment Protection Plan Mktg. & Sales Prac. Litig., MDL No. 2217
In re Prudential Ins. Co. of Am. SGLI/VGLI Contract Litig., MDL No. 2208
In re Regions Bank ATM Fee Notice Litig., MDL No. 2202
In re Gaceau VitaminWater Mktg. & Sales Prac. Litig. (No. II), MDL No. 2215
In re Am. Express Anti-Steering Rules Antitrust Litig. (No. II), MDL No. 2221
In re Commodity Exchange, Inc., Silver Futures & Options Trading Litig., MDL No. 2213
N. D. Ohio
In re Kaba Simplex Locks Mktg. & Sales Prac. Litig., No. 2220
In re Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Programs Litig., MDL No. 2203
In re Schneider Nat'l Carriers, Inc., Wage & Hour Empl. Prac. Litig., MDL No. 2204
In re Webloyalty.com, Inc., Mktg. & Sales Prac. Litig (No. II), MDL No. 2206
In re Hungarian Holocaust Litig., MDL No. 2207
In re Equinox Fitness Wage & Hour Empl. Prac. Litig., MDL No. 2209
In re Abbott Labs., Inc., Similac Prod. Liab. Litig., MDL No. 2211
In re Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Litig., MDL No. 2212
In re Crystal Poole IRS Summons Litig., MDL No. 2216
In re Boehringer Ingelheim Pharm., Inc., Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Litig., MDL No. 2219
Blawgletter wonders whether the fact that the Panel rejected motions to centralize cases in fully half of the MDL matters — nine out of 18 — made for quicker decisions. We doubt it. But we do think the denials fit with a trend we've spotted with this newish Panel.
Panel members now seem more skeptical about the desirability in general of centralization. Perhaps it reflects their collective concern that section 1407 transfers tend to favor certain kinds of outcomes or certain types of parties or lawyers. As Chairman Heyburn noted in March 2010, the Panel has undertaken a study whether "centralization decisions may have the (unintended) tendency of benefitting certain groups of lawyers over others". We'd guess that the Panel felt a need to test that hypothesis because, well, their honors already tended to believe it.
Or maybe parties and lawyers have just started filing weaker centralization motions.
What do you think?