Despite rising concerns about clogging federal courts with massive numbers of cases, multidistrict litigation dockets are on track for 2021 to reach the lowest number in the past decade.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, which heard oral arguments Thursday in its last hearing of the year, created only 17 new proceedings so far in 2021, compared to 26 in 2020. The lowest record for the past decade was 19 in 2017. But, as of Dec. 1, lawyers filed only 37 motions to transfer cases into multidistrict litigation this year, fewer than any other year since 2011.