Multidistrict Litigation Law and Legal Definition

Multidistrict litigation refers to a procedure that permits civil lawsuits pending in different federal district courts, with at least one common question of fact, to be transferred and consolidated for pretrial proceedings before one judge.

Pursuant to 28 USCS § 1407, when civil actions involving one or more common questions of fact are pending in different districts, such actions may be transferred to any district for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings. Such transfers shall be made by the judicial panel on multidistrict litigation authorized by 28 USCS § 1407 upon its determination that transfers for such proceedings will be for the convenience of parties and witnesses and will promote the just and efficient conduct of such actions. Each action so transferred shall be remanded by the panel at or before the conclusion of such pretrial proceedings to the district from which it was transferred unless it shall have been previously terminated.

The multidistrict litigation system aims to simplify pretrial proceedings in multidistrict cases. [United States ex rel. Chyrissa v. Columbia/Hca Healthcare Corp., 587 F. Supp. 2d 757, 759 (D. Va. 2008)].