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Multidistrict Litigation: Advanced Strategies for Managing and Defending MDLs

Voluntary Dismissals, Orders Imposing Evidentiary Requirements for Asserted Claims, Sanctions, and Case-Specific Motion Practice

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, August 15, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will discuss the latest trends in multidistrict litigation (MDL), favorable defense decisions where MDL courts have used omnibus motion practice to address common issues, and additional strategies and tools available to successfully resolve MDL claims.


With nearly half of all federal civil cases docketed in MDLs, companies of all sizes are facing the increased threat of large-scale litigation. Once only common in product liability actions, MDLs now cover a growing number of areas--from opioids to NFL concussions--including pharmaceutical, antitrust, disasters, employment, intellectual property, sales practices, data security, and securities litigation.

The number of MDLs is accelerating, having tripled in the last 15 years. So has the size of cases--24 MDLs have over 1,000 plaintiffs, and some have over 10,000.

Key to successfully managing and defending MDLs and consolidated class actions is an informed understanding of the discrete challenges they present, including discovery, scheduling, case management, pre-trial motions, and bellwether strategies unique to consolidated proceedings.

Listen as our authoritative panel of attorneys discusses strategies for effectively managing and defending MDLs, identifies recent trends and developments, and provides insights into successfully formulating defense strategies that can significantly minimize client exposure.



  1. Overview
  2. Recent MDL trends
  3. Strategies and trial tactics
    1. Discovery
    2. Scheduling
    3. Case management
    4. Pre-trial motions
    5. Bellwether strategies
  4. Settlement issues in the MDL context
  5. Best practices and practical considerations


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the most effective tools for defending MDLs?
  • What factors inform the strategic choices when defending a client faced with a consolidated class action or MDL proceeding?
  • What are the considerations and best practices for counsel for managing discovery, evidentiary issues, and expert witnesses in these suits?
  • What are the unique challenges that MDLs present?
  • What are the most effective methods for discovery, scheduling, case management, and pre-trial motions?
  • What have been the most successful use of bellwether strategies?


Smith, Douglas
Douglas G. Smith, PC

Kirkland & Ellis

Mr. Smith has litigated cases at both the trial and appellate stage in state and federal courts throughout the country,...  |  Read More

Oliss, Philip
Philip M. Oliss

Jones Day

Mr. Oliss represents clients in complex, high-stakes civil litigation, with an emphasis on consumer class action...  |  Read More

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