The November 2022 conference will examine changes in MDL practices, complex litigation case management, and various issues that have arisen during and after Covid and the impact it has had on how dockets are managed both in and out of the courtroom.
This conference will highlight the impact of outsized MDL dockets such as 3M Ear-plug Litigation, as well as the now-emerging litigation management tactic of filing for bankruptcy. These developments affect filed cases, unfiled cases, other MDLs engaged in settlement negotiations, and firms’ case screening procedures.
A sense of cooperation and managing mass tort and complex commercial litigation in a bipartisan manner among plaintiffs and defense counsel with full disclosure to the judiciary is something that should be explored and part of the discussion of this conference.
There are numerous ways for the leadership and executive committee members, who will be in attendance, along with judges who are managing these cases, to open dialogue on the establishing a forum for best practices and ensuring a bipartisan and open platform to ensure effective change and removing the obstacles to managing complex dockets.
Since bankruptcy is emerging as a key defense strategy in mass tort litigation, this issue should be the subject of common discussion. The interplay between multidistrict litigation and bankruptcy becomes exponentially more complicated when (1) the transition from one court to the other is only partial; (2) the litigation involves thousands of unfiled cases; (3) case-specific prove-up is ongoing; and (4) hundreds of plaintiffs firms are involved. A common dialogue to address these concerns is timely, and the setting of the complex litigation forum would seem the appropriate venue for an in-depth discussion on these matters.
Case management discussions often concern the lack of alternative case-management platforms with the capacity to handle large mass torts and the need for all parties and the court to effectively manage a docket from a single, interactive point of view. With continuing improvements in available technology, new options for case management including: digital payments, claim administration and lien resolution continue to emerge, this conference provides a forum for stakeholders to discuss litigation support developments and options..
The conference is held under the Chatham House Rule: “(P)articipants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), or that of any other participant, may be revealed.”
The conference is expected to be held annually. Experienced practitioners attending the conference will be considered to be invited as a panelist speaker for a future mass-tort MDL conference. The conference is made possible by lawyer conference-registration fees and the generous contributions of sponsors.
Welcome to the Complex Litigation Forum 2022, held in collaboration with our conference partners, Postlethwaite & Netterville, Western Alliance Bank and DiCello Levitt LLC. Our Team is thrilled to connect with all of you after another challenging, yet motivating year—and we are honored to produce this unique event.
We would like to extend our gratitude to the program’s co-chairs, Patrick Luff and Mark York, for their thoughtful collaboration and contributions in securing an exemplary group of panelists. Their commitment to providing the legal community with insightful perspectives is appreciated beyond measure.
We are incredibly grateful to the many judges who have taken invaluable time away from their dockets to be with us, and to all the litigators and experts for their contributions and insights in this ever-changing field in the legal industry. It is truly an exceptional opportunity to learn from such prestigious legal minds.
Of course, this fantastic event would not be possible without our GW Law School hosts. As in past years, the team at has been instrumental in bringing this event to fruition and we appreciate their partnership and connecting us with some of the top legal minds in the industry.
Finally, many thanks to our generous sponsors whose proceeds benefit the James F. Humphreys Complex Litigation Center. In addition, your attendance directly impacts the scholarship fund supporting our other student programs.
We know you will find tremendous value in hearing from this year’s panelists and encourage you to share your own insights, ask questions and collaborate over the next few days.
Thank you again for joining us and enjoy!
In recent years, there has been an increasing number of very large mass torts, which raise unique litigation and management challenges. This panel will identify those challenges and examine best practices for addressing them.
Moderator: Roger Trangsrud
Erin Copeland, Fibich Leebron Copeland Briggs
Diandra Fu Debrosse Zimmermann, DiCello Levitt LLC
Michael Zogby, Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Steve Bennett, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
When complex litigations settle, the “case beyond the case” may continue for years after the parties have reached terms. This panel will propose ideas for improving lien resolution and effectively settled cases.
Moderator: Alan Morrison
Brooke Hodge, Postlethwaite & Netterville
Shery Ramezanian, LitPRO
Erin Copeland, Fibich Leebron Copeland & Briggs
The rules affecting complex litigation are in constant state of flux. This panel will review recent rule changes and perennial proposals and evaluate their effects on complex litigation.
Moderator: Richard Marcus
Amy Keller, DiCello Levitt LLC
Ellen Relkin, Weitz & Luxenberg
John Rosenthal, Winston & Strawn
Elizabeth Curtin, Sidley Austin LLP
Keynote Speaker: Ken Feinberg
Class action and mass tort trials raise special challenges due to their complexity and length. This panel will share challenges and successes in trying mass tort cases.
Moderator: Sam Issacharoff
Mark DiCello, DiCello Levitt LLC
Fidelma Fitzpatrick, Motley Rice
Jennifer Hoekstra, Aylstock Witkin Kreis Overholtz
Cliff Merrell, Greenberg Traurig
Kaspar Stoffelmayr, Bartlit Beck
This panel of experienced judges will comment on the day’s panels and the fundamental issues they raise.
Moderator: Sam Issacharoff
Hon. Michael Baylson, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Hon. Karen Caldwell, Eastern District of Kentucky
Hon. John Tunheim, District of Minnesota
Mass tort bankruptcies raise complicated procedural and strategic issues for practitioners. This panel will discuss key procedural issues in mass tort bankruptcies and their strategic implications.
Moderator: Laura Coordes
Anne Andrews, Andrews & Thornton
Matthew Dundon, Dundon Advisers LLC
Leigh O’Dell, Beasley Allen
Justin Alberto, Cole Schotz P.C.
Perhaps the most significant recent development in mass tort litigation is the increasing resort to bankruptcy as a litigation tactic. This panel will consider the main issues motivating this trend, current challenges to the tactic, and future responses.
Moderator: Alan Morrison
Mikal Watts, Watts Guerra
Jeff Lamken, MoloLamken LLP
Lee Floyd, Breit Biniazan
Craig Martin, DLA Piper LLP
With the myriad interests and parties in complex litigation comes exponential difficulties in communication among the stakeholders. This panel will evaluate barriers to effective communication in complex litigation and suggest strategies for resolving them.
Moderator: Randi Ellis, Randi S. Ellis, LLC
Sarah Johnston, Barnes & Thornburg
Adam Levitt, DiCello Levitt LLC
Alex Walsh, Walsh Law
Navan Ward, Beasley Allen
Hayden Coleman, Dechert LLP
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