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Russell Paul, shareholder at Berger Montague Russell Paul, shareholder at Berger Montague

In cases where the judicial panel on multidistrict litigation (JPML) has consolidated both class actions and mass tort cases in the same multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceeding, a critical question arises regarding the leadership structure for that MDL—should leadership be composed of an undifferentiated group of counsel who have, collectively, asserted claims on behalf of individual personal injury plaintiffs and also on behalf of putative classes, or should leadership be tracked such that separate leadership is appointed for the individual and class claims? Going one step further, if an undifferentiated group is appointed, should appointed counsel be allowed to represent both individuals and the putative class? Or if leadership is tracked, is it permissible for any of the appointed counsel in one track to represent clients in the other track?

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