Judicial Panel Grants Request, Unopposed by Defense, for Pretrial Coordination of Class Action Lawsuits Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 but Rejects Plaintiff’s Request to Transfer Class Actions to District of Delaware
Three federal securities class action lawsuits (two in Delaware and one in Illinois) were filed against JP Morgan Chase alleging fraudulent misrepresentations relating to its merger in 2004 with Bank One Corp. In re JP Morgan Chase & Co. Securities Litig., 452 F.Supp.2d 1350, 1351 (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. 2006). Plaintiff’s lawyer in the two Delaware actions filed a motion with the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) requesting centralization of the class actions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 in the District of Delaware. Defense attorneys agreed that pretrial coordination was appropriate, but argued that the Southern District of New York was the appropriate transferee court. The Illinois plaintiff opposed the motion, but alternatively argued that the class action should be transferred to the Northern District of Illinois. Id. The Judicial Panel granted the motion to centralize the class actions and selected the Northern District of Illinois because “[t]he action pending there, which is the earliest filed of the three actions, is more procedurally advanced than the two Delaware actions.” Id.