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Pocket Guides

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This pocket guide was created to provide multidistrict transferee judges with an overview of the use of fact sheets. Fact sheets (either plaintiff or defendant) are one of many case-management tools available to transferee judges. Although using fact sheets is not appropriate for every multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceeding, this guide outlines practical considerations for establishing and implementing fact sheets in proceedings where a court chooses to utilize them. Examples are provided throughout the guide as potential models for future orders and to demonstrate courts’ flexibility in using fact sheets in particular MDL proceedings, especially during discovery.

In Print: Available for Distribution

This pocket guide was created to provide transferee judges handling multidistrict litigation (MDL) with an overview of the bellwether trial process. Bellwether trials are one of many case-management tools available to MDL transferee judges. Although bellwether trials are not appropriate for every MDL proceeding, this guide outlines practical considerations for establishing and implementing bellwether protocols in proceedings where a court chooses to utilize them. Examples of past bellwether protocols are provided throughout the guide as potential models for future orders and to demonstrate the flexibility that courts have in designing bellwether trial strategies that are well-suited to the demands of particular MDL proceedings.

In Print: Available for Distribution

Social Security disability cases pose many challenges. In practice, federal court review of Social Security agency decisions differs widely from district to district and from circuit to circuit. This pocket guide is a primer for judges deciding Social Security disability appeals at the district court level. It addresses issues that regularly arise in these appeals and highlights relevant provisions in the U.S. Code, the Code of Federal Regulations, and the Federal Register.

In Print: Available for Distribution

Science tutorials have developed as a tool to assist judges in managing cases that involve complex science and technology. Such tutorials provide an early opportunity for the court to learn and ask questions about relevant science and technology outside the context of motion practice. Courts should consider holding science tutorials in cases that involve recent scientific findings or newer technologies, where scientific assertions are central to claims or defenses, or when scientific or technological information is likely to play a large role in later dispositive motions. This guide provides an overview of practical considerations to help judges plan and conduct science tutorials effectively.

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This pocket guide is designed for transferee judges managing MDL proceedings that involve multiple, related class actions.

The guide assists transferee judges from the very beginning of MDL proceedings, before the judges determine whether the main focus of the litigation will be on class-related issues. Even if no class is ultimately certified, this guide can help transferee judges organize the litigation and set it on a smooth course. Topics addressed include categorization of claims and defenses, organization of counsel, the sequencing of motions practice, and settlement.

Available Online Only

This guide summarizes issues related to third-party financing of civil litigation. It discusses how judges might manage cases involving litigation financing, including ethical issues, legal issues raised by financing agreements, and discovery issues related to such agreements. 

For more information on third-party litigation financing, visit the Third Party Litigation Financing Special Topics Page.

In Print: Available for Distribution

This third edition of the pocket guide on managing the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI) covers the December 1, 2015, amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and reflects the rise of new sources of ESI, particularly social media, and updates judges on how ESI may be searched. It also suggests case-management techniques that judges might use in smaller civil actions in which the costs of ESI discovery could hamper resolution on the merits.

In Print: Available for Distribution

This guide focuses on case-management practices that may be helpful to the courts in the adjudication of patent infringement damages. It reflects the current state of the law and the courts' evolving case-management efforts.

In Print: Available for Distribution

This guide is intended to help state and federal judges organize and maintain an active state–federal judicial council. The guide identifies different topics that can be considered and activities that can be coordinated through a council.

Available Online Only

This pocket guide is designed to offer judges an introduction to the law and practice of securities litigation. It provides an overview of the types of legal and practical issues judges may confront in litigation arising under the securities laws, and, where possible, offers suggestions. This guide also identifies the areas of securities law most prone to circuit splits or frequent change, so that judges know where to be particularly vigilant about looking at up-to-date case law and legislation.

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