Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March updates

  • If you listen to one oral argument from March 27, well, I have to say that you need to listen to Paul Clement's performance in HHS v. Florida. But if you have time for a second oral argument, and you have a hankering for Third Circuit class action action, I'd be curious about your thoughts of the argument in Dewey v. Volkswagen. See also.
  • Following up on our earlier post, the Third Circuit denied the motion for sanctions without comment, or permitting us to file a reply brief. (Mazie Slater had no explanation for the misquote; they used the passive voice in describing its mysterious appearance in the brief, and didn't explain how citecheckers missed it.) Having been given such carte blanche, Mazie Slater then proceeded to lie to the court about the terms of the settlement and settlement notice during the oral argument. I simply don't understand why courts aren't willing to do more to police the attorneys who appear before them. If the only consequence for inventing a citation out of whole cloth is the need to file an errata deleting an invented citation (i.e., the brief that should have been filed in the first place), what incentive does the Holmesian "bad actor" have to get the law right in the first place? After all, if there's a 5% chance that the fictionalized version will swing the case, 5% times $9 million in fees is a $450,000 incentive to lie to the court. If the bad actor isn't facing a proportionate downside, you can expect the bad actor to act badly.
  • We renewed our objection in Bluetooth. Details at Point of Law.
  • The Apple MagSafe settlement—$600,000 for the class, $3.1 million for the attorneys—was rubber-stamped by the district court. We plan to appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
  • In the Online DVD Rental Antitrust Litigation settlement with Wal-Mart for a class of Netflix customers, the district court agreed with the settling parties that a coupon isn't a coupon if they call it a "gift card" instead, and that the restrictions on coupon settlements in the Class Action Fairness Act didn't apply, and rejected my objection. We believe this contradicts CAFA, as well as Seventh Circuit precedent, and plan to ask the Ninth Circuit to address this problem.

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