Law360 (January 18, 2019, 6:25 PM EST) —
The Alabama federal judge overseeing sweeping antitrust litigation
against the Blue Cross Blue Shield network has said he can no longer wait for the insurance giant’s army of lawyers to marshal themselves into a more manageable group, ordering a dozen attorneys into a “Council of Twelve” to streamline a leadership plan.
In an unusual decision handed down Thursday, U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor took it upon himself to straighten out Blue Cross’ defense team, noting that even though it’s rare for a court to set up lead counsel on the defendants’ side in multidistrict litigation, the court had “reached that point.”
“Since the inception of this litigation, the court has repeatedly requested that the defendants organize themselves in a manner that allows the court to interact with the defendants in a more manageable, representative manner,” Judge Proctor said. “The defendants have been reluctant to scale down their ranks to operate in the streamlined manner envisioned by the court.”