Coordinating Related Banking Cases on an Intra-State Basis, 124 Banking L.J. 637 (July, 2007)

Our story begins with a lone warrior, schooled in the ancient arts, clutching her weapon, passing through enormous oak doors. Quietly, openly and deliberately our hero walks through the narrow aisle leading from the doorway. The warrior’s eyes bounce left, then right, alternating smoothly yet sharply with each step.   The warrior stops as the aisle ends and the passage opens to a spacious square area, no ornate décor, finely polished wooden floors. In short order, our hero is surrounded by multiple attackers rather than facing her opponent one-on-one. Is it the Bride coming to exact her revenge on the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad?

Is she armed with her katana fashioned by the legendary sword-smith Hattori Hanz??

Are the surrounding attackers the Crazy 88 gang ordered to attack by Deadly Viper O-Ren Ishii? Well, not so much.

Our hero is an unfortunate attorney representing a banking client, and her surrounding attackers are the opposing parties and their counsel who have filed multiple, related non-class action proceedings in state courts. While training in the tiger/crane style of kung-fu may be really cool, it isn’t going to help our hero in this instance. Our hero will need a weapon, but not even the katana fashioned by Hattori Hanz? will help her. Indeed, not even Westlaw or Lexis accounts, high-tech PDAs, or law clerks from top-tier law schools are going to be adequate to fight this battle.

The hero, a quick thinker, wonders if CAFA provides relief for defending these simultaneous attacks. It does, grasshopper. CAFA does provide relief when there is federal multidistrict litigation and related state court proceedings simultaneously. However, related non-class action state proceedings fall under CAFA’s Local Controversy exemption.

Fear not, because our hero is an avid reader of the Banking Law Journal. The elders at the BLJ have provided defendant/warriors with a weapon just as effective as the katana. In an article entitled, Coordinating Related Banking Cases on an Intra-State Basis, 124 Banking L.J. 637, the authors at the BLJ identify procedural mechanisms that our hero can utilize to coordinate this mess. The weapons include 18 state statutes that are similar to the federal multijurisdictional statutes, 19 state constitutional provisions giving the Supreme Court supervisory case management authority over lower courts, and 3 state statutory provisions giving the Supreme Court similar supervisory powers.

As the legend concludes, our warrior, armed with her weapon, defeats all of her enemies. By utilizing the wisdom imparted by the Banking Law Journal, maybe our readers can enjoy similar success against multiple attackers … and maybe they can avoid hiring a gaggle of attorneys who just may “Kill” the “Bill.”