That process streamlines the litigation when so many cases are similar, but not filed as a class-action lawsuit.
Bell is on the plaintiff steering committee, and said the first cases are important to the overall process.
"We'll try some cases and get some verdicts," he said. "You try and select cases that are the most representative of all of them, that are relevant and helpful to all parties in evaluating what makes sense."
The trials will draw attorneys from some of the biggest firms across the nation.
A federal multi-district panel selected Goodwin most likely because of his handling of the Digitek and Serzone litigation.
Once, those cases might have been heard in large metropolitan areas like Washington, Los Angeles or New York City, but it became apparent that with so many lawsuits the load had to be sent out to judges in other areas who were capable.
The economic effect can be huge - initially with hotels and restaurants enjoying the fruits of the large number of attorneys and their staffs who will descend on Charleston. Later, the Southern District could fare well in terms of federal spending and allocation of resources if it discharges so many cases efficiently.
Contact writer Cheryl Caswell at cher...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4832.