The Judges of the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation

20 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2013 Last revised: 30 Oct 2013

See all articles by Tracey E. George

Tracey E. George

Vanderbilt University - Law School

Margaret S. Williams

Visiting Scholar; Federal Judicial Center

Date Written: July 10, 2013


The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (or "MDL Panel") is one of a small number of special federal courts created pursuant to Article III by Congress and staffed by a Chief-Justice-appointed group of Article III judges for limited terms. The MDL Panel is a powerful judicial institution with substantial discretion over complex litigation in the United States. For all practical purposes, it controls where many of the most far-reaching and significant private civil actions will be resolved which can affect procedural and substantive rights of the parties. An understanding of who has served on the MDL Panel would shed light on both its structure and its decisions. In this article, we provided an analysis of the composition of the Panel, as well as comparing Panel appointments by the Chief Justice to those of the Judicial Conference Committees.

Keywords: Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, MDL, Chief Justice, Judicial Conference

JEL Classification: K00, K41

Suggested Citation

George, Tracey E. and Williams, Margaret S. and Williams, Margaret S., The Judges of the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (July 10, 2013). Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 13-25, Available at SSRN: or

Tracey E. George (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States

Margaret S. Williams

Visiting Scholar ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States

Federal Judicial Center ( email )

Washington, DC 20002
United States
202-502-4080 (Phone)

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