TRENTON, N.J. –– Judge Freda Wolfson, the judge selected to preside over the federal multidistrict litigation docket established for claims related to the use of Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products, has set an in-person organizational conference on November 17, 2016 in order to address the various motions in the individual cases.
In an Oct. 20 letter to all counsel involved in the talcum powder cases, Judge Wolfson of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey noted that there are currently 37 active member proceedings –– with additional cases to be transferred. She is requesting that counsel on both sides work together to discuss and iron out several topics for the Court’s Initial Case-Management Order.
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
C H A M B E R S O F
C larkso n S . F isher F ed eral B u ild in g
F R E D A L . W O L F S O N
& U .S . C o u rtho u se
U N IT E D S T A T E S D IS T R IC T J U D G E
402 E ast
S tate S treet
T ren to n , N ew Jersey 08608
October 20, 2016
TO ALL COUNSEL
RE: Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Products Marketing,
Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation,
MDL No. 16-2738 (FLW)(LHG)
The above-referenced MDL proceeding has been initiated by Multidistrict Litigation Panel
on October 4, 2016. There are currently thirty-seven (37) active member cases associated with this
proceeding, with additional cases to be transferred. With respect to each of these matters, there may
be various motions pending in some of the cases and other housekeeping issues to address. In order
to better acquaint myself with counsel and the status of these individual cases, I am scheduling an
in-person Organizational Conference on November 17, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. While I am directing all
counsel to appear, I understand that some attorneys may not be able to attend the Conference; in that
regard, the parties with similar interests can be represented at the Conference by a single attorney.
Please indicate, in your Status Report (see below), whether you intend to appear at the Conference,
and if not, which attorney is appearing on your behalf.
In advance of this Conference, I am also directing counsel to submit a Status Report by no
later than November 10, 2016, for the case(s) you are handling. In that Report, please address the
- Whether any discovery has taken place, and if so, at what stage is discovery;
- Whether the parties have discussed settlement, and whether those discussions are ongoing;
- What, if any, motions are pending before this Court, or motions that have been decided by the transferor judge;
- Suggestions regarding lead/liaison counsel; and
- Propose any agenda items that may be discussed during the Organizational Conference.
In addition to the Status Report, all counsel are required to confer with one another and be
prepared to discuss the following topics related to this Court’s Initial Case-Management Order:
- Deadlines for joinder of parties, amendment of pleadings, filing of motions, and completion of discovery;
- Modifications to the time set by Rule 26(a)(1) for initial disclosures and setting dates for its supplementation under Rule 26(e)(1);
- A schedule for amending discovery responses as required by Rule 26(e)(2);
- Dates for future conferences and, if bellwether trials are planned, the final pretrial conferences and trials; and
- Any other matters appropriate in the circumstances of this proceeding.
Counsel are urged to familiarize themselves with the best practices and procedures in a multi-
district litigation proceeding, and be prepared at the Conference to suggest procedures to expedite
this MDL. The Hon. Lois H. Goodman, U.S.M.J., will also be joining me in presiding over the
Conference, and as such, please send Judge Goodman all reports in advance of the Conference.
I look forward to meeting all of you.
/s/ Freda L. Wolfson
FREDA L. WOLFSON
United States District Judge