Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cy pres in the First and Third Circuits

On Tuesday, the First Circuit issued a landmark decision on cy pres, In re Lupron Marketing. Though odd litigation decisions by the objectors led to affirmance in that case, the First Circuit (quoting CCAF's victory in Nachshin v. AOL) made clear that it had "unease" with cy pres, and set a precedent generally requiring compliance with §3.07 of the ALI Principles of the Law of Aggregate Litigation. [Legal Newsline; FindLaw]

Coincidentally, the same day, the Center for Class Action Fairness filed its opening brief relating to the yet-to-be-proposed multi-million-dollar cy pres distribution in In re Baby Products, asking the Third Circuit to adopt §3.07; the district court held that the class wasn't even entitled to an opportunity to object to the as-yet-to-be-proposed recipients. Baby Products presents the additional problem of the sort of settlement where class members were artificially deterred from making claims to expand the amount available for cy pres; indeed, under the district court's order, the class counsel will walk away with over $14 million of the $35.5 million fund, and the class millions of dollars less, likely less than half of what the attorneys got.

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