D.C. Circuit Examines $3.4B Settlement In Native American Trust Case

Legal Times reports on the case in which Ted Frank represents Kimberly Craven who claims that a settlement was not fairly distributed.

Theodore Frank of the Center for Class Act Fairness, representing a class member who is opposed to the settlement, said the government and counsel for the plaintiffs took “procedural shortcuts” to reach the deal. He rejected the notion that there are sufficient similarity among class members to allow the group to be certified.

Frank argued today that inter-class conflicts—among other things, the potential for arbitrary monetary awards—undermines the fairness of the settlement. The “fatal flaw” in the settlement, Frank declared, is that not every class member is fairly compensated by a $1,000 payment.

Frank pointed to Cobell’s testimony before Congress, in which she talked about claims worth millions of dollars. Frank said his client, Kimberly Craven, has a variety of trust interests whose value remains undetermined.

“You can’t know whether it’s worth $1,000 until you have the actual accounting,” Frank said at the hearing today.

Read the full report at Legal Times.