Curbing Class-Action Suits That Benefit Lawyers, But Not Plaintiffs
The Washington Examiner discusses why Ted Frank objected to the AOL class action settlement.
But then Ted Frank, who heads the justly lauded Center for Class Action Fairness, challenged the settlement and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with him, over the objections of both AOL and the plaintiffs' attorneys. The court noted that the "proposed awards fail to (1) address the objectives of the underlying statutes, (2) target the plaintiff class or (3) provide reasonable certainty that any member will be benefitted."
This ruling is important for two main reasons: First, it establishes that the doctrine of cy-pres does not create a slush fund for lawyers and judges to help the charities of their choice. Second, if the ruling discourages this abuse in the future, it will prevent lawyers taking cases they know won't ever benefit their clients, in the mere hope of generating large cy-pres awards that inflate their own fees. And curbing this sort of lawsuit abuse helps everybody who cares about preserving the credibility of our courts.
Read the full article at the Washington Examiner.