On December 20th, Judge Orrick, appointed plaintiff leadership for the JUUL MDL pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Appointed as Co-Lead Counsel were Sarah London (Lieff Cabraser), Dean Kawamoto (Keller Rohrback), Ellen Relkin (Weitz & Luxenberg) and Dena Sharp (Girard Sharp). Khaldoun Baghdadi (Walkup Melodia) and Leslie LaMacchia (Pulaski Kherkher) will serve as Federal/State Court Liaison Counsel. Tom Cartmell (Wagstaff & Cartmell) was appointed as the Government Entity Liaison Counsel.
The Plaintiff Steering Committee members are Rachel Abrams, Erin Dickinson, Michelle Drake, Jonathan Gdanski, Adam Gutride, Bradley Honnold, Emily Jeffcott, Kristine Kraft, Esfand Nafisi, Matthew Schultz, Sabita Soneji, Joseph VanZandt, Mikal Watts, and Michael Weinkowitz.
Judge Orrick stated that he received “impressive array of applicants for plaintiffs’ leadership positions” and that, in an effort to not have leadership be unwieldy at the outset of the litigation, he did not appoint “many excellent counsel who offer important strengths to plaintiffs”, specifically mentioning Mark Gottlieb from Public Health Advocacy Institute, Inc. who was generally supported in his application to lead an Advisory Committee on Public Health Relief, which he said “seems to be an important role.”
Judge Orrick will have an initial meeting with Co-Lead Counsel and Defendants’ Lead Counsel on January 13, 2020.