In many ways, multidistrict litigations (MDLs) occupy a legal territory all their own. Their governing statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1407, empowers the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to transfer “civil actions involving one or more common questions of fact . . . to any district for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings,” in order to “promote the just and efficient conduct of such actions.” Since section 1407’s enactment in 1968, the MDL landscape has expanded to encompass nearly 40 percent of all civil actions pending in federal court. See Andrew D. Bradt, “The Long Arm of Multidistrict Litigation,” 59 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1165, 1168 (2018).
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