Common Abbreviations in Multidistrict Litigation

There is plenty to learn about the complex procedures of multidistrict litigation. Researching legal abbreviations should not have to take up your time. Below is a list of the most used abbreviations in multidistrict litigation to serve as a resource for you and your firm.  


Litigation Abbreviations 

ADR: Alternative Dispute Resolution

The procedure for settling disputes without litigation.

[See: The Evolution, Benefits, and Challenges of ADR and Online Dispute Resolution]

AE: Adverse Events 

Any undesirable experience associated with the use of a medical product in a patient. The event is serious and should be reported to FDA when the patient outcome is death, life-threatening, hospitalization, disability or permanent damage, or other serious medical events.  

CA: Class Action

A lawsuit in which a group of people with the same injuries are caused by the same product or action filed against the defendant as a group.  

Class I Recall 

The most urgent and serious of the FDA recalls. Products that could cause serious injury or death.

Class II Recall 

Products that might cause serious injury or temporary illness.  

Class III Recall 

Products that are unlikely to cause injury or illness, but that violate FDA regulations. 

CLC: Complex Litigation Center

The first courthouse in the United States designed exclusively for complex, multi-filed mass tort cases. 

CMO: Case Management Order 

These orders are created by the coordinating judge and counsel in every mass tort program and establish when and how actions may be filed, motion and discovery procedures and deadlines, and trial schedules.  

CMS: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

A federal agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services that administers the Medicare program and works in partnership with state governments.  

CPF: Census Plus Form 

A standardized form used in the early stages of a multidistrict litigation to supplement the initial census form. 

CPR: Civil Procedure Rules

Rules of civil procedure used by the Court of Appeals. 

DFS: Defense Fact Sheet 

A standardized form frequently used in multidistrict litigation to obtain general information about plaintiffs’ claims designed by the defendants. 

EFS: Electronic Filing System 

An electronic platform for filing and service of documents within the litigation process.  

ICF: Initial Census Form 

A short, standardized form used in the early stages of a multidistrict litigation to obtain initial plaintiff information on proof of injury to conduct early vetting of potentially unsupported claims. 

[See: Using Data Analytics in the Management MDLs]

HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

A federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge.  

JCCP: California Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings 

Civil actions sharing a common question of fact or law are sometimes filed in different courts. These cases may be transferred to a single court and become known as Coordinated Proceedings. 

JPML: Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation

A special body within the U.S. federal court system that manages multidistrict litigation.  

MCL: New Jersey Multicounty Litigation

Multicounty litigation may be distinguished from other personal injury claims by several distinct features. They involve large numbers of claims that are associated with a single product and share a commonality of factual and legal issues. 

MDL: Multi-District Litigation

A specialized procedure used by the U.S. District Court system designed to speed the process of handling civil cases. 

MMSEA Reporting: Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program) Extension Act of 2007

Section 111 of the MMSEA of 2007 requires the providers of group health care plans, liability insurance, no-fault insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance to determine the Medicare entitlement of all eligible claimants and report certain information about those claims to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). 

NPBD: National Practitioner Data Bank

A web-based repository of reports containing information on medical malpractice payments and certain adverse actions related to health care practitioners, providers, and suppliers. 

OCR: Optical Character Recognition  

A software tool that converts pictures of text into regular computer text files into editable and searchable files. 

PFS: Plaintiff Fact Sheet

A standardized form frequently used in multidistrict litigation to obtain general information about plaintiffs’ claims.  

[See: Making Facts Sheets Work For You in Litigation]

POI: Proof of Injury

The establishment of fact by evidence in relation to the alleged injury in a lawsuit.  

POU: Proof of Use

The establishment of fact by evidence in relation to the alleged use of a product in a lawsuit. 

PPF: Plaintiff Profile Form

A shortened version of the plaintiff fact sheet that asks for case-specific information about each individual’s injury. 

PSC: Plaintiff Steering Committee 

A leadership structure made up of attorneys that have applied for the committee and have been appointed by a judge to represent the common interests of all MDL plaintiffs.

PTO: Pre-Trial Order

An order setting forth the substantive and procedural framework of a case to be tried. 

RRE: Responsible Reporting Entity

The party that is responsible for funding a claim payment to an individual eligible for Medicare benefits under the provisions of the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007.  

SFC: Short-Form Complaint

An abbreviated version of the Master Complaint containing items such as venue and geographical information, plaintiff information, products used, etc. 

TC: Trial Court 

A court having original jurisdiction in which trials take place.  


How can LMI help you with multidistrict litigation?  

Our team has expansive and versatile experience in multidistrict litigation. From early case analysis to resolution, we provide effective, integrated solutions that complements your firm’s strategies. Contact us today for a free consultation.