Plaintiffs’ lawyers have reportedly been jockeying in full force for lead positions in multidistrict litigation over alleged sudden unintended acceleration problems with Toyota Motor Co. vehicles. More than 100 lawyers have filed more than 75 federal civil suits, which mostly seek damages for a drop in the resale value of the Japanese manufacturer’s vehicles. According to a news source, as much as $500 million in lawyers’ fees is at stake, but few will share it.

The case has been consolidated in the Santa Ana, California, courtroom of U.S. District Judge James Selna, who will pick top plaintiffs’ lawyers from a slate of applications presented by three interim lead attorneys. The judge has asked the applicants to show that they can work cooperatively and have experience handling complex cases. Some of the applications have apparently been extensive: one totals 114 pages and another attached 13 exhibits. See The Wall Street Journal, May 4, 2010.