2023 Texas Law Review Symposium

Judicial Management of MDLs and Other Consolidations


Thank you to the practitioners, members of the judiciary, and members of the Academy who made the 2023 Symposium such a success. The Symposium Issue will be published in June 2023.

Friday, January 27, 2023

8:00-8:45        Breakfast at Texas Law – Jamail Pavilion

8:45-8:50        Welcome – Dean Chesney

8:50-9:00        Welcome – Symposium Co-Sponsors, Arnold & Itkin and Barnes & Thornburg

9:00-10:30      Session 1: The Political Economy of MDLs

Moderator: Jim Murdica (Barnes & Thornburg)

  • Lynn A. Baker (Texas) & Andrew Bradt (Berkeley) – “MDL Myths”
    • Commentator: Jim Pfander (Northwestern)
  • Tom Baker (Penn) – “Where’s the Insurance?”
    • Commentator: David Hyman (Georgetown)

10:30-10:45    Break

10:45-12:15    Session 2: The Judicial Role in Claim Integrity

Moderator:  Jason Itkin (Arnold & Itkin)

  • Teddy Rave (Texas) – “MDL and the Field of Dreams”
    • Commentator: Myriam Gilles (Cardozo)
  • Nora Freeman Engstrom (Stanford) & Todd Venook (Stanford) – “Harnessing Common Benefit Fees to Promote MDL Integrity”
    • Commentator: Bob Bone (Texas)

12:15-1:30      Lunch at Texas Law – Main Atrium

1:30-3:00        Session 3: Judicial Practices in Consolidations

Moderator:  Judge Lee Rosenthal (S.D. Tx.)

  • David Noll (Rutgers) & Adam Zimmerman (Loyola LA/UCLA) — Judicial Control of Lawyers in MDLs: The Appointment Process
    • Commentator: Deborah Hensler (Stanford)
  • Charlie Silver (Texas) – “The Suspect Restitutionary Basis for Fee Awards in MDLs”
    • Commentator: Sam Issacharoff (NYU)

3:00-3:15        Break

3:15-4:45        Session 4: The Role of State Courts in Mass Torts (including Federal-State Coordination)

Moderator: Zach Clopton (Northwestern)

  • Erin Copeland (Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs)
  • Judge Carolyn Kuhl (Calif. Superior Ct., L.A.)
  • Kurt Arnold (Arnold & Itkin)
  • Judge Eldon Fallon (E.D. La.) – if trial schedule permits
  • Shannon McClure Roberts (Reed Smith LLP)


Saturday, January 28, 2023

8:00-8:50        Breakfast at Texas Law – Jamail Pavilion

8:50-9:00        Opening Remarks – Conference Organizers

9:00-10:30      Session 5: Bankruptcy as a Tool for Resolution of Mass Torts

Moderator:  Jay Westbrook (Texas)

  • Jonathan Lipson (Temple) – “‘Special’: Remedial Schemes and Mass Tort

    • Commentator: Lindsey Simon (Georgia)
  • Melissa Jacoby (North Carolina) – “Sorting Bugs and Features of Mass Tort Bankruptcy”
    • Commentator: Judge William J. Lafferty, III (N.D. Cal. — Bank.)

10:30-10:45    Break

10:45-12:15    Session 6: Innovations in Resolution and Settlements

Moderator: Howie Erichson (Fordham)

  • Kendra Lounsberry (Barnes & Thornburg)
  • Elizabeth Cabraser (Lieff Cabraser)
  • Judge Robin Rosenberg (S.D. Fla.)
  • Judge Dan Polster (N.D. Ohio)
  • Judge William Orrick (N.D. Calif.)

12:15-12:20    Concluding Remarks – Conference Organizers and Co-Sponsors

12:20-1:20      Lunch at Texas Law – Jamail Pavilion

2023 Symposium Schedule + Bios

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