Center for Class Action Fairness argues selection of Volkswagen MDL court is ‘critical’

Legal Newline discusses CEI's filing of an amicus brief over the litigation against Volkswagen, the group cites Ted Frank for more details on the case.

The nonprofit argues it is “critical” that the panel emphasize the importance of judicial scrutiny to protect absent class members’ rights “to promote a just and efficient outcome.”

“Plaintiffs and defendants will each argue for jurisdictions they perceive as favorable to their interests (perhaps because of previous rulings on class-certification or state-law issues) to maximize their leverage in settlement negotiations,” wrote Ted Frank, attorney for and director of the center. “But there is one critical area where both plaintiffs’ counsel and defendants have a common but perverse interest in proposing transferee courts: neither wishes the transferee court to closely scrutinize the class action settlements that will inevitably be reached to resolve the litigation.

As Frank notes, there is no incentive for a plaintiff’s attorney or a defendant to ask the panel to ensure that the transferee judge will closely scrutinize a class action settlement — as doing so will benefit absent class members at the expense of class counsel’s fees and the defendants’ attempt to minimize litigation expense.