Friday, November 22, 2013

In re Enron Corporation Securities, Derivative & ERISA Litigation case brief

In re Enron Corporation Securities, Derivative & ERISA Litigation case brief summary
235 F.Supp. 549 (2002)


CASE SYNOPSIS
The litigation before the panel consisted of 54 actions that were pending in 5 districts. Plaintiffs in two of the actions moved the panel, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.S. § 1407, for centralization of the actions in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings. None of the parties opposed centralization. The only real dispute concerned selection of the transferee district.

DISCUSSION

  • The panel found that the actions involved common questions of fact and that centralization in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas would have served the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promoted the just and efficient conduct of the litigation. 
  • All actions shared factual questions concerning allegedly negligent and/or fraudulent conduct relating to the financial collapse of defendant corporation. 
  • All actions could have been expected to focus on a significant number of common events, defendants, and/or witnesses. 
  • Centralization under 28 U.S.C.S. § 1407 was necessary in order to eliminate duplicative discovery, prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary. 
  • Many of the parties, witnesses, and documents were found in Houston. Most of the actions had been brought in the Southern District of Texas, and the majority of responding parties had expressed a preference for that forum. 
  • The proceedings were furthest advanced in the Southern District of Texas. 
  • Finally, a litigation of this scope would have benefited from centralization in a major metropolitan center.
CONCLUSION
The actions were transferred to the Southern District of Texas for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings.


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