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Archive for June 17th, 2008

Class action settlement issues provided fuel for commentary in the class action blogosphere this week, and there was still plenty of analysis and debate about the recent class action lawyer scandals.  Here are links to those and other blog postings that might be of interest to class action practitioners:

Class Action Settlements

Wage Law analyzes a series of recent decisions by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California reluctantly approving a settlement in a wage and hour class action, ultimately granting final approval, but reducing the fee award requested by plaintiffs’ counsel.  The opinions offer a warning to both sides in making sure to tend to the details negotiating and implementing a class action settlement:

http://wagelaw.typepad.com/wage_law/2008/06/the-emerging-tr.html

Trial Ad Notes has an interesting discussion of a provision of the Washington State version of Rule 23 that requires that a portion of “residual funds” from class action settlements be paid to the state’s legal aid foundation.

http://trialadnotes.blogspot.com/2008/06/cy-pres-and-class-action-funds-in.html

Unusual Activity profiles a “professional objector” to class action settlements.

http://www.unusualactivity.com/2008/06/profile-of-a-pr.html

The D&O Diary comments on the social utility of a changes made to the terms in a settlement in a options backdating derivative action that reportedly was preliminarily approved last week after an earlier settlement had been rejected:

http://www.dandodiary.com/2008/06/articles/corporate-governance/restatements-clawbacks-and-cfo-career-consequences/

Class Action Scandals

Overlawyered offers a rebuttal to disgraced class action lawyer William Lerach’s recent essay “I am guilty.”

http://overlawyered.com/2008/06/rebutting-bill-lerach-in-portfolio/

See the full rebuttal article on Portfolio.com here…

http://www.portfolio.com/executives/features/2008/06/16/Walter-Olson-Answers-Bill-Lerach 

…and the original essay here:

http://www.portfolio.com/executives/features/2008/06/02/Bill-Lerach-Essay

WSJ Law Blog reports on the testimony of class action “guru” Stan Chesney in the trial of two Kentucky lawyers accused of wire fraud in connection with the settlement of a fen-phen diet drug class action.

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2008/06/17/class-action-guru-stan-chesley-takes-stand-in-fen-phen-trial/

Letter of Apology reports on the settlement reached between class action firm Milberg Weiss and the Department of Justice to resolve various criminal charges arising out of illegal kickback schemes involving several of its former partners.

http://letterofapology.com/2008/06/17/milberg-settles-criminal-case/

Class Action Decisions

The Complex Litigator comments on recent California authority on shifting of the burden of proof in wage and hour class actions.

http://www.thecomplexlitigator.com/2008/06/more-on-amaral.html

Technology Law Update discusses a recent class certification decision by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in a case filed against several online travel companies involving occupancy taxes.

http://brownraysman.typepad.com/technology_law_update/2008/06/texas-district.html

Virtually Perfect 3.0 discusses recent decisions on both class certification and the merits of a lawsuit filed under the Americans with Disability Act and several California laws against an online retailer for allegedly failing to make its Website accessible to the blind.

http://fritzboyle.edublogs.org/2008/06/11/legal-precedent-set-for-web-accessibility/

CAFA Issues

Classified offers multiple recent entries discussing CAFA (Class Action Fairness Act) removal decisions:

http://www.carltonfields.com/classactionblog/blog.aspx?entry=220

http://www.carltonfields.com/classactionblog/blog.aspx?entry=219

How Appealing details a Seventh Circuit opinion authored by Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook on the proper interpretation of the time limitation for appealing remand orders under CAFA.

http://howappealing.law.com/061108.html#029130

Civil Procedure

SCOTUSBlog recaps a recent U.S. Supreme Court addressing complex sovereign immunity and FRCP 19 indispensable party issues in an interpleader action brought to resolve a dispute over assets attached by a class of human rights victims who had previously obtained a judgment against former Philippines President, Ferdinand Marcos where the same assets were also being claimed in a separate action under Philippine law by the Republic of the Philippines.  If you think that description is complicated, read the opinion!

http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/opinion-recap-republic-of-the-philippines-v-pimentel/

Class Action Defense Blog reviews a recent order of the Federal Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) granting a home lender’s motion centralization of related subprime class action lawsuits filed in various federal courts.

http://classactiondefense.jmbm.com/2008/06/class_action_defense_casesin_r_96.html

Other Representative Actions

Mass Tort Litigation Blog and Drug and Device Law Blog review a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision addressing the concept of nonparty virtual representation:

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mass_tort_litigation/2008/06/taylor-v-sturge.html

http://druganddevicelaw.blogspot.com/2008/06/taylor-v-sturgell-on-virtual.html

Canadian Class Action Trends

thespec.com summarizes recent trends in Canadian class actions.

http://www.thespec.com/article/385060

The Bizop News discusses an unsuccessful Canadian class action in which the defendant was awarded a more than $200,000 in costs.

http://www.bizop.ca/blog2/canlii-2008-canlii-27822-on-sc.html

Class Action and Tort Reform

See these links for a spirited debate between the authors of American Courthouse and AttorneyButler.net about the merits of a proposed $1.6 billion tax break for lawyers who front expenses in contingent fee lawsuits.

http://americancourthouse.com/2008/06/05/a-16-billion-earmark-for-trial-lawyers.html

http://www.attorneybutler.net/2008/06/dan-pero-americ.html

and more on the news on the same proposed legislation from Point of Law:

http://www.pointoflaw.com/archives/2008/06/tax-break-for-trial-lawyers-bl-1.php

Law and More offers an analysis on possible ways to combat mass food contamination, offering litigation, including “the threat of class-action, individual, and shareholder lawsuits” and the imposition of strict liability against manufacturers. 

http://lawandmore.typepad.com/law_and_more/2008/06/a-lawyers-perspective-on-global-food-poisoning—bill-marler-in-london.html

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