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|United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation|
|Location||Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building|
|Authority||Article III court|
|Created by||28 U.S.C. § 1407 & § 2112|
|Composition method||Chief Justice appointment|
|Chairman||Sarah S. Vance|
The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (J.P.M.L. or the Panel) is a special body within the United States federal court system which manages multidistrict litigation. It was established by Congress in 1968 by Pub.L. 90-296, and has the authority to determine whether civil actions pending in two or more federal judicial districts should be transferred to a single federal district court for pretrial proceedings. If such cases are determined to involve one or more common questions of fact and are transferred, the Panel will then select the district court and assign a judge or judges to preside over the litigation. The purpose of the transfer or "centralization" process is to conserve the resources of the parties and their counsel, as well as the judiciary, thus avoiding duplication of discovery and preventing inconsistent pretrial rulings.
The Chief Justice of the United States, currently John Roberts, appoints the members of the Panel, which is composed of no more than seven United States federal judges serving on either district courts or courts of appeals. All panel members must be from different judicial circuits. In addition to their participation on the Panel, the members continue to serve as judges for the courts to which they were originally appointed. The Panel convenes hearings in various locations around the country to facilitate the participation of parties and their counsel. The Office of the Clerk of the Panel is located at the Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building in Washington, D.C.
As of September 30, 2018, the Panel has centralized 1,722 dockets involving more than 673,000 individual cases. There have been 1,131 additional docket requests that were not centralized. These dockets encompass litigation categories as diverse as securities fraud, drugs and other products liability cases, intellectual property infringement, antitrust law violations, airplane crashes, employment practices and consumer data security breaches.
The following members comprise the panel:
|Sarah S. Vance (Chair)||District Judge||Eastern District of Louisiana||John Roberts|
|Lewis A. Kaplan||Senior District Judge||Southern District of New York|
|Ellen Segal Huvelle||Senior District Judge||District of Columbia|
|R. David Proctor||District Judge||Northern District of Alabama|
|Catherine D. Perry||District Judge||Eastern District of Missouri|
|Karen K. Caldwell||Chief District Judge||Eastern District of Kentucky|
|Nathaniel M. Gorton||District Judge||District of Massachusetts|