186.3. If the interests of justice so require, in particular to ensure consistent decisions, the chief judge or chief justice of the court before which proceedings are instituted, or the judge he designates, may, on his own initiative, on a party’s application or following a hearing that he convenes, order that a joint hearing be held to rule on a question referred to in subparagraph 7 of the second paragraph of article 186.1 that is raised or likely to be raised in more than one proceeding.
A question may relate to proceedings instituted under various Acts and concern more than one defendant or plaintiff.
An order made under the first paragraph must specify the proceedings in which the question must be ruled on and the parties that are to be convened, designate the judge who is to rule on the question and, if the proceedings concerned are instituted in different judicial districts, determine the district in which the hearing is to be held.
The judge so designated exercises the jurisdiction of a trial judge with regard to the proceedings specified in the order.