In a federal courtroom in
If the mediation path ultimately proves successful, it could short-circuit the need for public trials related to Target's data breach -- and provide a confidential resolution for Target, which has already suffered a huge black eye with the public.
Over the holidays, cybercriminals stole credit and debit-card information from 40 million Target shoppers. Some of that stolen information was later sold online to other criminals, alarming shoppers, leading to sizeable losses, and ultimately costing Target's CEO his job.
At least 142 lawsuits -- filed by banks, consumers and shareholders in 28 states -- have been consolidated in
Wednesday was the second case-management conference since Magnuson took charge of the sprawling case, and the judge again insisted on moving things along.
"We've got an ambitious schedule," Magnuson told the 20 or so attorneys in the courtroom, a much smaller crowd than the 100 lawyers who initially gathered in
Magnuson has scheduled trials in the Target breach cases for March of 2016, with most discovery and consideration of class-action status scheduled for 2015.
That schedule "is not really slow by litigation standards," said
Neither Zimmerman nor lead plaintiffs' attorney
Magnuson said last month that he would welcome resolving the cases without a trial.
Meanwhile, Target's attorney indicated that they expect many of the consumer cases to be dismissed.
Wildung, a partner at the
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