My apologies for missing last Thursday’s post: life with a newborn occasionally catches up with one. Nonetheless, finishing out our July Class Action Summer Camp, today we’ll focus on Rule 23(e) and class-action settlements. The vast majority of class actions settle, but because class-action settlements implicate so many different interests (the lawyers, the defendant, the absent class members, the court), they require an additional level of approval from the court. In addition, a number of different settlement structures have evolved that class-action lawyers must learn to pay attention to.
Ten Cases to Educate You
- Amchem Prods. Inc. v. Windsor, 521 U.S. 591 (1997).
- Ortiz v. Fibreboard Corp., 527 U.S. 815 (1999).
- Dewey v. Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 10932 (3d Cir. May 31, 2012).
- Jones v GN Netcom, Inc., 654 F.3d 935 (9th Cir 2011).
- Klier v. Elf Atochem N. Am. Inc., 658 F.3d 468 (5th Cir. 2011).
- Carnegie v. Household Int’l, Inc., 376 F.3d 656 (7th Cir. 2004).
- In re Gen. Motors Corp. Pick-Up Truck Fuel Tank Prods. Liab. Litig., 55 F.3d 768 (3d Cir. 1995).
- In re Volkswagen & Audi Warranty Extension Litig., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30881 (D. Mass. Mar. 24, 2011).
- Arellano v. T-Mobile USA, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21441 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 3, 2011).
- Figueroa v. Sharper Image Corp., 517 F. Supp. 2d 1292 (S.D. Fla. 2007).
- Martin Redish, et al., Cy Pres Relief & the Pathologies of the Modern Class Action: A Normative & Empirical Analysis, 62 Fla. L. Rev. 617 (2010).
- Christopher R. Leslie, The Significance of Silence: Collective Action Problems & Class Action Settlements, 59 Fla. L. Rev. 72 (2007).
- Geoffrey P. Miller & Lori S. Singer, Nonpecuniary Class Action Settlements, 60 L. & Contemporary Problems 97 (1997).
Questions to Consider:
- What are appropriate attorneys fees for a settled class action?
- How much deference should courts provide to objectors?
- What indicators should courts look to in order to determine whether a classwide settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate?