Facing Down the Multi District Litigation (MDL) Challenge

Facing Down the Multi District Litigation (MDL) Challenge

Facing Down the Multi District Litigation (MDL) Challenge 150 150 Rakesh Madhava

As with all types of litigation, the volumes of data involved in Multi-District Litigation (MDL) and Class Actions are exploding in both volume and diversity.

Merging complex cases into one matter simplifies litigation, as in upcoming drug safety litigation over drugs like Yaz and Pradaxa. However less complicated that can make a matter from a legal standpoint, the data challenges multiply.

MDL Data Expansion

Analysts project that the volumes of data being produced will double every two years, which is consistent with the growing volumes of data hosted in Nextpoint’s litigation support service. Add to this a dramatically evolving technology landscape that is accelerating the pace of change.

Changes to the technology landscape that used to take decades now happen within years. For example, Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007 and launched the iPad just a few years later in 2010. Similarly, Facebook was founded in 2004 and within 8 years it has gained a billion users. That kind of change used to take decades to happen.

Simplifying MDL Is Possible

As a result, the increasing technical challenges in managing very large volume data sets have forced senior litigation partners to address technical challenges once left to paralegal, IT and support staff.

In our experience, these partners have a wealth of litigation and procedural expertise, but are now seeking a decision-making framework by which to determine the best technology solution for individual Multi-District Litigation (MDL).

Once responsible for setting out case strategy, senior litigators are now faced with an additional challenge that befuddle many CIO’s and CTO’s – the evaluation and selection of technology platforms within the context of highly complex litigation. Because complex litigation of this sort can take decades to resolve, decisions made today will reverberate throughout the lifetime of the litigation.

This is a daunting order, one many decide to ignore. However, finding an appropriate, durable technical platform today is far more achievable than at any time in recent history, as a result of the increasing power, capacity, bandwidth and speeds of today’s computing infrastructure.

Nextpoint has provided advice and consultation on many of the critical issues present in large-scale litigation. Over the next week, we will outline the ways law firms can streamline and simplify the data demands in MDLs. We believe there are several critical elements that should be present in any technical infrastructure specific to the demands of multi-district litigation.

When done thoroughly and with appropriate, weighted input from key stakeholders, this framework will provide a meaningful path forward regarding the major strategic technology issues for consideration by senior litigators, end-clients, their co-counsel, and their trial teams.

You can also download our free white paper, Best Practices for Directing Multi-District Litigation for more information.