No circuit split on charity-only settlements: Facebook, Public Citizen

Reuters discusses CCAF's case which objects to a settlement from a class action lawsuit against Facebook.

In a brief filed Thursday with the Supreme Court, Public Citizen said it was taking no position on whether the court should grant cert, though it said it agreed with the Center for Class Action Fairness that the Facebook Beacon settlement is fatally flawed. But the brief also undermined CCAF’s argument that there’s a split among the federal circuit on the standard for cy pres settlements. Public Citizen actually agreed with its former opponent Facebook, which filed its brief opposing cert on Tuesday: There is no meaningful difference, they both said, amongst the federal appeals courts that have issued recent rulings establishing standards for cy pres awards. So there is no reason for the Supreme Court to take up the issue.

Frank told me in an email that it would be great if Facebook and Public Citizen were right and all of the federal circuits had a uniformly high bar for cy pres settlements. But that’s not reality, Frank said. “I’d sure have a much more leisurely Labor Day weekend if that claim were true,” he told me. “I’m busy working on an 8th Circuit brief due Tuesday where a St. Louis federal court awarded $2.7 million of a national security fraud settlement to a St. Louis charity as cy pres because the St. Louis judge and St. Louis class counsel thought they could use it more than ‘institutional investors’ in the class.”

Read the full article at Reuters.