Objectors Seek To DQ Cotchett Firm In HP Inkjet Settlement

Law 360 reports on CCAF's objection to the HP inkjet settlement.

Objectors to a proposed settlement in a lawsuit accusing Hewlett-Packard Co. of deceptively marketing printer ink cartridges said Friday that class counsel Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy LLP should be disqualified because it’s representing the company in a separate case.

One proposed deal was already scuttled by the Ninth Circuit, which found the trial judge’s award of $1.5 million in attorneys’ fees was incorrectly calculated under the Class Action Fairness Act. After making the changes the appeals panel ordered, the plaintiffs and HP have proposed a new settlement, again featuring $1.5 million in attorneys’ fees.

The objectors, represented by attorney Ted Frank of Center for Class Action Fairness, said an attorney’s duty of loyalty prohibits him from representing parties on both sides of litigation. Cotchett’s alleged conflict of interest also requires class decertification, the objectors argued.

“Because Cotchett Pitre was lead counsel, the conflict of interest infects all of their co-counsel, none of whom bothered to notify this court of the conflict of interest, notwithstanding their affirmative obligation to do so under [the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure],” the motion said.

Read the full article at Law 360.