Texas MDL

27 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2020 Last revised: 8 Oct 2020

Date Written: June 5, 2020


Federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) gets all the attention. This mechanism for consolidating cases filed around the country in a single federal district court for pretrial proceedings has become the dominant mode of resolving mass torts in U.S. courts. But not all mass adjudications find their way into federal court. Texas, like about half of the states, has developed an MDL mechanism to coordinate proceedings within its own courts. In this Symposium Essay, we examine the history, doctrine, and data of Texas MDL. Although Texas modeled its approach on the federal MDL statute, the Texas MDL system differs in important ways from federal MDL. And when those differences are combined with Texas’s system for electing judges, we find that Texas’s MDL design choices have important consequences for parties, courts, and voters.

Keywords: multidistrict litigation, complex litigation, mass torts, civil procedure, state courts, federalism, judicial elections

JEL Classification: k41

Suggested Citation

Rave, D. Theodore and Clopton, Zachary D., Texas MDL (June 5, 2020). 24 Lewis & Clark Law Review 367 (2020), U of Houston Law Center No. 2020-A-39, Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 20-21, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3620148

D. Theodore Rave (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - School of Law ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States

Zachary D. Clopton

Northwestern University - Northwestern Pritzker School of Law ( email )

750 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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