Class-suit watchdog seeks role in appeal

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette discusses CEI's Center for Class Action Fairness's challenge of an unfair class action settlement with Ted Frank. 

A Washington lawyer known for attacking class-action settlements he claims are unfair is asking to side against John Goodson of Texarkana, one of Arkansas' best-known class-action practitioners, and 14 other lawyers in their appeal of a Fort Smith federal judge's reprimands.

In a motion filed Thursday, Ted Frank asks that his Center for Class Action Fairness be permitted to argue before the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis in favor of disciplinary sanctions handed down this month by Chief U.S. District Judge P.K. Holmes III.

"We think what the District Court did is important in protecting against class-action abuses," Frank said in an interview Thursday.

"It's really a systemic problem that class-action lawyers are structuring settlements so the lawyers get all the money and the class gets nothing," he said. "It's refreshing to see someone do something about it."

The Center for Class Action Fairness, an arm of the nonprofit Competitive Enterprise Institute, should be allowed to argue in favor of Holmes' decision because all the other parties in the appeal will likely oppose it, the motion said.

"This court would not have the benefit of an adversarial appeal" without appointing the center to side with Holmes, Frank wrote.

Frank founded the Center for Class Action Fairness in 2009, according to the center's website, and has "won several landmark appeals and tens of millions of dollars for consumers and other plaintiffs through his class action work."

Frank said he wouldn't be surprised to see other groups apply to write briefs or argue in the 8th Circuit appeal, especially on behalf of the attorneys who were disciplined.

Read the full article at Arkansas Democrat-Gazette