EDITORIAL: Lawyering unto perdition

The Washington Times reports on the AG settlement that will provide little to no benefits to the class members, Ted Frank provides more information on the subject.

Consider the May approval by St. Louis Circuit Judge Angela T. Quigless of a class-action settlement against the mutual fund formerly known as A.G. Edwards (now Wells Fargo) for making hidden – but not illegal – payments to investment advisers Edward D. Jones and Co. Lawyers led by the infamous Milberg plaintiffs firm – four of whose leading former partners were convicted several years ago for running an illegal kickback scheme – made off with $21 million in cash. The 294,000 investors in whose name the suit was filed split $6 million, just more than $20 per person, plus three coupons worth $8.22 each for paying the mutual fund’s annual “management fees.” Ted Frank of the Center for Class Action Fairness says the coupons are nearly worthless because so few of the intended beneficiaries will find it worthwhile to fill in all the necessary paperwork. According to Daniel Fisher of Forbes magazine, the judge’s ruling contains “not a trace of the inquiry a judge is supposed to perform into the fairness of the settlement.”

Read the full article at the Washington Times.