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OpenMarket: Class Action Fairness

  • In re Apple MagSafe Power Adapter Litigation oral argument in the Ninth Circuit Tuesday

    April 7, 2014
    Class counsel collected $3.1 million in the Apple MagSafe Power Adapter Litigation, but their putative clients received less than $900,000, and perhaps even less than $500,000—the district court never bothered to make findings. The settlement was structured to pay the attorneys double their lodestar but make it difficult for class members to make claims, and few of them did. We represent objector Marie Newhouse, who received $0 under the settlement, and appeals the approval of the self-dealing settlement and the district court's imposition of a punitive appeal bond. We've also moved for sanctions in response to class counsel Mehri & Skalet's Rule 28(j) letter that claimed Newhouse had never made an argument that was in her first issue presented.

  • Interested in co-authoring a law review article?

    March 28, 2014
    I keep a list of law review articles I'd like to write. That list has grown to thirteen, ten of which are about class action settlements. The problem is that the time it would take me to write a law review article by myself would take away from my litigating time, and I'm already in a position where I can't prosecute every appeal I would like to prosecute. There are hundreds of professors writing law review articles, and only one non-profit focusing on enforcing the law of class-action settlement fairness, so comparative advantage suggests that I shouldn't change my mind about this. But perhaps you're an academic or an aspiring academic who'd like to build upon the skeleton of my outlines and ideas and jump through the hoops of submitting to law reviews. Happy to have your name go first so long as you take the laboring oar on the second draft. Drop me a line if you're interested.
  • "Muscle Milk Magnificence"

    March 6, 2014
    A former CCAF intern files an entertaining objection to a bad lawyer-driven settlement that doesn't comply with Ninth Circuit Law, and Above the Law is ON IT.
  • Wherein thousands of insomniacs watching C-SPAN learn my thoughts about class action settlements

    February 19, 2014
  • Abusive appeal bonds

    January 15, 2014

    Over at Public Citizen's blog, Scott Michelman posts about the attempt by class attorneys in the Facebook Sponsored Stories settlement to impose $32,000 appeal bonds against each of the 15 appealing objectors in that case. (As you'll recall, CCAF represented objectors in this case, but chose not to appeal when the settlement was improved and the district court substantially cut attorneys' fees. The improvements made the settlement somewhat less objectionable, and given that we have limited resources and can only take on so many appeals each year, we'd rather devote them to a case where we can make more of a...

  • Urban Active Fitness class action settlement

    November 20, 2013
    The class in Gascho v. Global Fitness Holdings LLC, Case No. 2:11-cv-436 (S.D. Ohio), consists of the 606,246 individuals who signed a gym membership or personal training contract with Urban Active Fitness between January 1, 2006 and October 26, 2012. You might be one of the people who received a postcard.

    The fact that the parties can identify the number with specificity suggests that a settlement is simple: give money to the allegedly injured class members. But instead one must make a claim (by mail or by the settlement website, www.urbanactivelawsuit.com). The reasoning for that is simple: class counsel would rather that the money to go to settle the lawsuit go to themselves and their friends, the settlement administrator company, rather than the class.

    Earlier this year, the Sixth Circuit in In re Dry...
  • November 4 Press Release

    November 4, 2013
  • October 15

    October 14, 2013
    Tomorrow morning, the Supreme Court will announce orders relating to two cert petitions we filed (with substantial and critically necessary pro bono assistance) that it considered at its October 11 conference: Martin v. Blessing (which long-time readers remember as the Sirius XM case) and Marek v. Lane (the Facebook Beacon cy pres case). Both petitions made SCOTUSblog's "Petitions We're Watching" list, which means that the experts there think that those petitions have a better than average chance of being granted--but since "average" means "less than 1%," odds are still long.

    I'll be speaking at the University of Chicago Law School at lunchtime, and...
  • Marek v. Lane cert petition in the Wall Street Journal

    October 1, 2013
    In The Wall Street Journal, David Rivkin and Lee Casey write about Marek v. Lane, arguing that it's time to end class-action settlements that only reward lawyers, not plaintiffs. Earlier.
  • Mid-September update

    September 17, 2013

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