Fifteen lawyers from across the country sparred before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on Wednesday morning over whether the sprawling business interruption litigation arising out of COVID-related closures should be consolidated. And although attorneys vigorously argued on numerous sides of the issue, they all agreed on one thing—time is of the essence.

“The world economy is at play here,” Mark Lanier of The Lanier Firm told the seven-member Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. “There are few cases that have this much significance and this much riding on it.”