Sunday, March 28, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
We frequently cite to Professor Lester Brickman's law review article, which is on SSRN.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The Ninth Circuit reversed. The issue, it said, was not whether phone numbers were sequentially dialed, but whether the equipment used could hypothetically sequentially dial telephone numbers. It also held that there was a disputed issue of fact whether King's publisher, Simon & Schuster, counted as an "affiliate."
Faced with the prospect of going to trial and the risk of $500 to $1500 damages assessed for each call (i.e., $30 to $90 million in damages) defendants have settled. There is a settlement fund of $10 million established, plaintiffs can submit claims that will pay $175 (or a pro rata amount if the fund is exhausted) and plaintiffs' attorneys will ask for $2.725 million from that fund.
This is superficially all well and good, but if the claim response is the all-too-typical 1%, the attorneys may well collect 27 times as much as the class will get. Indeed, assuming that $1 million for notice and administration disappears from the fund, the full $10 million won't be paid out unless over half the class signs up. There is also a mysterious $250,000 "cy pres" award whose destination is not specified in the notice or in the settlement.
If you're a class member who received the text message in 2006, congratulations, you can get free money: fill out a claim form before September 20 (and kudos to the parties for allowing claimants to do it online); if you're a class member who has concerns about the settlement, contact me.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
Late last year, in a class action claiming that tech giant AOL LLC improperly inserted footers in its users' emails, Los Angeles federal judge Christina Snyder awarded $25,000 in settlement funds to a Los Angeles legal-aid organization that has the judge's husband on its board. The mediator in the case recommended the organization, along with other charitable groups that received settlement funds, said Mark Litvack, counsel to AOL.
The Virginia-based [sic] Center for Class Action Fairness objected, claiming the settlement raised a conflict of interest. Ted Frank, president of the group, said that to avoid potential conflicts, it would be better to require unclaimed settlement funds to be deposited into state coffers. "The problem is that parties can now give money to a judge's preferred charity in the hopes that it will prompt the judge to rubber stamp a settlement," he said.
Judge Snyder declined to comment. "It did not seem logical to anyone," Mr. Litvack said, "to split a $110,000 settlement among 60 million class members."