Document Type


Publication Title

Seton Hall Law Review



Publication Date



Multidistrict litigation, MDL, aggregation, dispute resolution, mass dipsute resolution, aggregate litigation


On March 30, 2001, a somewhat surprising discussion took place among two judges, two plaintiffs' lawyers, a defense lawyer, and a legal scholar. The occasion was a Seton Hall Law Review symposium on federal multidistrict litigation ("MDL"). What made the discussion surprising was not what the participants said of their experiences with MDL, but rather the extent to which they discussed things other than MDL. Much of the discussion addressed state court litigation beyond the reach of MDL, and federal court aggregation techniques other than MDL. While the presenters left no doubt that MDL retains a central role in the resolution of mass litigation, it was clear that the only way to understand MDL's role in mass dispute resolution is to view it in light of the available aggregation alternatives in both federal and state courts. The papers in this Symposium issue of the Seton Hall Law Review reflect the contributions of four of the symposium participants. The papers offer quite different perspectives on aggregate litigation, but each in its way advances the idea that MDL's role is best understood in light of alternative or complementary aggregation mechanisms.