U.S. District Judge Legrome D. Davis of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, most recently known for presiding over Philadelphia’s Amtrak multidistrict litigation, is taking senior status, the clerk of courts announced Thursday.
Davis, who has been on the federal bench for roughly 15 years, was a judge in the Criminal Division of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas from 1987 to 2002. Before becoming a judge, Davis was a prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.
A call seeking comment to Davis’ chambers was not returned Thursday.
U.S. District Chief Judge Lawrence F. Stengel, Davis’ boss and colleague, had only good things to say about him.
“He is a very successful and respected trial judge, he has a wealth of experience in the state and federal courts,” Stengel said. “Judge Davis has been well regarded by the lawyers who tried cases in front of him.”
He added, “He has always been productive, he’s thoughtful in his decisions, and he’s very hardworking and has always seemed to me to have a commitment to achieving a just result.”
Stengel called Davis’ handling of the Amtrak derailment MDL a model for presiding over complex civil litigation.
It is unclear whether Davis will continue with a full caseload, or take a reduced schedule, which is an option for senior judges.
If he opts for the latter, Stengel said the court’s ability to handle cases efficiently will not be affected.
“The plan simply is that a senior judge takes cases under our random assignment process and if he or she elects to take a reduced caseload, then there are more cases that go on the assignment wheel for the rest of the bench,” Stengel said.
In the Amtrak MDL, Davis was responsible for coordinating the flow of a case that had thousands of pages of documents and plaintiffs from multiple states.
Davis approved the $265 million settlement in the Amtrak multidistrict litigation Oct. 27, 2016, which reflected the “present value” of the federally capped $295 million damages limit for which Amtrak can be held liable.