How to Feed a Lawyer (and Other Irreverent Observations from the Legal Underground)

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Al Nye

Thanks for setting the record straight!

Al Nye

Bill Childs

I actually wouldn't say he has it all wrong. While non-local cases will, of course, be remanded to the original jurisdiction once pretrial stuff is done, MDL judges do from time to time seek to try test cases to facilitate settlement processes. See, for example, the Baycol MDL, in which Judge Davis has been trying to get resident plaintiff cases tried for nearly two years, even though the cases are not being remanded any time soon.

If I were a Vioxx plaintiff's lawyer (I'm merely a well-intentioned law professor), and if I wanted to be in the MDL at all (I wouldn't), I'd love to have the MDL in south Texas and push for an early local trial in front of the MDL judge. Madison County wouldn't be such a bad place to be either. Sure, Merck could argue that any jury verdict wasn't representative or relevant for settlement purposes, but the market wouldn't listen and the not insignificant goal of putting more pressure on for good settlements would be achieved.

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