Remember receiving notice after notice in the mail about the Bar/Bri class action settlement, which (or was that just us) you kind of ignored? Frankly it didn’t look worth filling out.
So while our check is definitely not going to be in the mail, apparently the check for plaintiffs’ counsel McGwire Woods hasn’t made it to them, either.
The National Law Journal: Plaintiffs lawyers who obtained a $49 million settlement in an antitrust class action against the parent company of BAR/BRI are gearing up for another fight before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — this time, involving their attorney fees.
Class counsel McGuire Woods, which settled the litigation in 2007, filed a notice of appeal on March 8 after U.S. District Judge Manuel Real of the Central District of California eliminated all the firm’s attorney fees over an apparent conflict of interest. Two other firms serving as class counsel, New York’s Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling and Washington’s Finkelstein Thompson, whose fees the judge reduced, filed a separate appeal on March 15.
The suit involved 300,000 Bar/Bri takers who alleged they paid, on average, $1,000 more than they should have because West, Bar/Bri’s parent company, conspired with Kaplan to monopolize the market. The settlement amount was pegged at $49,000,000.
At issue with McGuire Woods is whether or not they properly informed class members about incentive awards five class representatives were awarded in the settlement. Woods has been granted payment for their expenses in the case, which totaled $1.2 million.
This means, the NLJ noted, that the case could be heading for its second trip to the 9th Circuit. The appeals court previously remanded the case to California Central District Judge Manuel Real to address the attorney fee issue following its decision that, “both sides of the case had created a ‘disturbing appearance of impropriety’ because of the incentive awards that ‘tied the promised request to the ultimate recovery and in so doing, put class counsel and the contracting class representatives into a conflict position from day one.'”
The National Law Journal’s full report is here.
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