Welcome

Multijurisdiction litigation poses numerous challenges to the state and federal courts.  With mutual respect and two-way communication, however, these challenges can be overcome. There is and should be mutual respect among judges, as well as respect for principles of federalism, both of which foster cooperation to advance multijurisdiction litigation.  To cooperate effectively, both state and federal judges must understand the problems facing the judiciary today, including budget constraints, docket congestion, and staffing limitations.  By achieving such an understanding, judges in both systems will be in a position to develop the joint communication and cooperation necessary to manage some of the most challenging cases.

The suggestions and recommendations in this guide resulted from an unprecedented collaboration of ten veteran federal and state judges.  Their decades of experience in managing complex, multijurisdiction litigation provide valuable lessons in the art of judicial cooperation as described in this resource.

This website is not intended as a comprehensive treatment of this important topic, but rather as a brief overview and a prompt to begin communication. There are a number of excellent resources on this topic, including the Federal Judicial Center’s Manual for Complex Litigation, Fourth, and the National Center for State Courts’ 2006 commentary on the Manual for state judges. These resources and many others are listed in the Appendix.

In addition, a pamphlet based on this website is available for download here.

Each section, listed on the right, includes suggested readings and model orders where appropriate.  Links to the material are provided where possible.

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Next section: Advantages of Coordination

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This website was created in furtherance of the Federal Judical Center’s statutory mission to develop educational materials for the judicial branch.  While the Center regards the content as responsible and valuable it does not reflect policy or recommendations of the Board of the Federal Judicial Center or any other agency or organization.