While many victims of the MF Global collapse are still waiting on various government investigations to lead to a prosecution of those responsible, civil litigation involving losses incurred by former MF Global commodity customers can move forward as a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) Panel consolidated most of those actions. On May 21, U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero for the Southern District of New York assigned interim co-lead counsels for the various civil MF Global commodities customer lawsuits. The judge assigned law firms Berger & Montague P.C. and Entwistle & Capucci LLP as interim co-lead counsels “responsible for the tactical management and coordination of all legal work done on behalf of the putative commodities futures customer class.”
There were 22 civil cases filed in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Montana, Michigan and New York according to court documents. All of the suits name former MF Global Chairman and CEO Jon Corzine as well as numerous other officers of the firm. Attorneys for Corzine had asked an MDL Panel to consolidate the various cases in one jurisdiction back in January basically freezing them from moving forward.
“The cases were on hold, the Corzine litigation now will be moving forward again,” says John Witmeyer attorney for Sapere CTA Fund.
Sapere’s motion to carry on a separate suit was also granted and the lead counsels were directed to cooperate with Sapere counsel Ford Marrin Esposito Witmeyer & Gleser LLP.
Berger and Entwistle were also designated as members of the executive committee along with Nisen & Elliot LLC, Susman Godfrey LLP, Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. and the Fleischman Law Firm. The executive committee will decide all issues of case strategy according to the MDL ruling.
Five of the law firms representing the 22 cases applied for lead counsel status. This was later pared down to three before a decision was made. The ruling states, "The Consensus Plaintiffs have already begun to create the infrastructure necessary to effectively and efficiently conduct the commodities action by organizing a leadership structure to include other plaintiff's counsel in decisionmaking and work assignements."
The Commodity Customer Coalition had supported attorney's representing "the Accomazzo Plaintiff's" be chosen.