The Judges of the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
George, Tracey E.
Williams, Margaret S.
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.