The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has in recent years rejected a higher percentage of centralization requests than in previous years. For example, the rejection rate between 2000 and 2006 was less than 10 percent in three years, while the rejection rates for 2010 through 2012 were 48 percent, 43 percent and 38 percent, respectively. According to JPML Chair U.S. District Judge John Heyburn, part of the increase can be attributed to changes in the types of cases presented for centralization, such as patent claims and claims of false marketing against food companies, where the question of centralization is less clear. Heyburn also noted that he has prioritized studying the effects of JPML decisions since taking a lead role in 2007, with the panel consulting multidistrict litigation (MDL) judges and attorneys. “All of that information has made the panel more nuanced in its judgments, and that’s part of the reason, perhaps, for the increase in [rejections],” he reportedly said. See Law360, May 24, 2013.
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JPML Panel Chair explains increase in MDL request rejections
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