Attorneys Fees in Class Actions: Too Low, Too High, or Just Right?
Above The Law features Ted Frank alongside other lawyers who spoke on a pannel at the National Lawyers Covention of the Federalist Society.
Ted Frank — who was recently profiled in the Wall Street Journal (and profiled back in 2009 in these pages) — began the discussion. He noted the conflict of interest that can arise when plaintiffs’ lawyers in class actions are simultaneously negotiating (1) the terms of the settlement to the class and (2) their own fees. Courts have the power to police excessive fees and reject unfair settlements, but historically they have generally served as a rubber stamp. Judges have incentives to sign off on settlements so these cases can get off their dockets.
This is where Frank’s organization, the Center for Class Action Fairness, comes in. As explained in Ashby Jones’s WSJ article, Frank seeks “to right the wrongs of the class-action system by upending settlements that he thinks give class members too little and give the plaintiffs’ lawyers too much.” (It’s not for nothing that we dubbed Ted Frank the Class Action Avenger.)
Read the rest of the blog post at Above The Law.