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How Does a lawyer avoid having a case consolidated under multidistrict litigation rules?

Only federal cases may be sent to one judge under the federal multidistrict litigation statute and rules. If a lawyer wants to have a case heard in a state court, he must carefully draft the lawsuit to avoid "federal question" claims and to avoid what is known as federal "diversity jurisdiction." Under certain circumstances, a case filed in state court may be removed to federal court by a defendant. After a case is removed to federal court it is then subject to being transferred to one judge as any other federal case.

The MDL rules provide that when a consolidation occurs all cases of a similar nature then filed as well as all later cases that may be filed are to be sent to one judge. These later cases are call "tag-a-long" cases. Therefore, what sometimes occurs is a lawyer will file a case in a state court, have it removed to the federal court in the state where it was filed, and then, have the case subsequently transferred to a distant state. To avoid this scenario, the complaint filed in state court must assert claims over which a federal court does not have jurisdiction.
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