There is a lot of scholarship and other material out there on issues having to do with federal multidistrict litigation (“MDL”) practice.  See, e.g., footnote three, in the article below.  But state MDL equivalents?  Not so much.  The Blog’s co-founder wrote a book about this a while ago, see Herrmann, et al., “Statewide Coordinated Proceedings: State Court Analogues to the Federal MDL Process” (2d rev. ed. 2004), but that is 17 years old, bordering on obsolescence at this point.  That’s why we recommend this new law review article, Clopton & Rave, “MDL in the States,” 115 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1649 (2021).

At “only” 87 pages (including 17 pages of appendix) the Clopton & Rave is less massive than Bexis’ off-label use opus we described not long ago.  But it’s still a significant investment of time and effort.  So here is the table of contents, to whet (or quench) our readers’ interest:

Introduction                                                          1651

I.   Taxonomy And Institutional Design                 1656

  1. Taxonomy                                                    1657
  2. Institutional Design of State MDL Systems 1663
  3. Consolidation Rules                                    1669
  4. Management                                               1671
  5. Source of Law                                             1675
  6. A Brief Comment on Variation                     1676

II.  Case Studies                                                   1676

  1. California                                                     1677
  2. Texas                                                           1686
  3. Indiana                                                         1693
  4. Other States                                                 1697

III. Assessment                                                      1699

  1. Interstate Political Economy?                       1700
  2. Intrastate Forum Shopping                           1703
  3. Intrastate Judicial Politics                             1707
  4. Federal-State Competition                            1712
  5. Interjurisdictional Cooperation                      1714

Conclusion                                                                              1718

Appendix A: State MDL Rules, Statutes, And Standards 1719

Appendix B: California Coordinated Proceedings Data    1728

Appendix C: Texas MDL Data                                           1732

We particularly enjoyed the discussions of competition and cooperation between state and federal MDLs.  Those dynamics have interested us ever since our first significant MDL experience in the Bone Screw MDL – which featured (on the cooperation side) the first known example of federal and state judges sitting side by side to hear argument and issuing a joint federal-state opinion; and (on the competition side) one plaintiffs’ counsel attempting to “park” 1500 cases in Tennessee state court to avoid the MDL, but disastrously (for those plaintiffs) not realizing that Tennessee had a peculiarly short one-year statute of limitations.

Further, for those of us (like Bexis) who actually have a copy of Mark Herrmann’s original treatise, this article – particularly Appendix A − serves as something of an update to that useful, if aging, work.