As the stories below illustrate, our class action system is broken. But it is not beyond repair. Judges must step up their gatekeeping role and bring greater scrutiny to class action cases and settlements.


Google Pays $5.5M To No One: Cy Pres Problems & Expert Cures

Annie Dike | The National Law Review

Can you settle a case without compensating the injured party? Of course. Google is making a go of it in a privacy case. The art of negotiating is learning what the other side truly wants.

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Supreme Court Mulls Case That Would Trim Fees In Class Actions

Daniel Fisher | Forbes

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide as early as next week whether to hear the appeal of a Sixth Circuit decision upholding a class-action settlement that distributed only $1.6 million to consumers but yielded $2.4 million for the attorneys who represented them. Objectors and the attorneys general of 17 states urge the court to take the case and hand down tighter rules on how lower courts consider the value of a settlement for calculating legal fees.

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Court Orders Review Of Target Security Breach Settlement

David Pitt | Associated Press

A proposed settlement for about 100 million Target customers who were victims of a 2013 security breach is headed back to a Minnesota federal judge for hearings on whether all the customers are treated fairly.

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Lawsuit Lives On After Rejected Similasan Settlement

John Breslin | Legal Newsline

Pretrial motions are continuing in a class-action lawsuit against Similasan, a company that sells homeopathic products, after a federal court rejected a settlement that would have netted lawyers more than a half-million dollars.

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A Federal Judge Is The Latest To Scrutinize Thornton Law

Andrea Estes | Boston Globe

A federal judge plans to appoint a special master to investigate whether prominent law firms in Boston and other cities padded their legal bills by millions in a class-action lawsuit against State Street Bank, saying the lawyers may have to pay up to $2 million, in advance, to fund the investigation.

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More Cy Pres Abuse in California Class Action Litigation

Bexis | Drug & Device Law Blog

We can’t stand “cy pres” distributions of class action settlement funds to non-litigants.  We’ve blogged about this benighted doctrine many times.  We fought against cy pres at in the ALI, and we’ve been fighting against it through Lawyers for Civil Justice in the context of federal rules amendments.

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8th Circuit Hears Forum Shopping Case Involving Goodson

Mark Friedman | Arkansas Business

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments Tuesday to determine if a sanction will stand against attorney John Goodson of Texarkana and four other lawyers found to have engaged in “forum shopping” in an Arkansas class-action case. The case involved an assumed class-action case against the USAA insurance company that had been on the docket of U.S. District Judge P.K. Holmes III for nearly a year and a half before attorneys for both the plaintiffs and defendants agreed to dismiss the case. The day after the dismissal, in June 2015, the case was refiled with a settlement agreement attached in Polk County Circuit Court, where it was easier to obtain a quick settlement.

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Ninth Circuit Slams MJ for Approving ‘Worthless’ Class Action Settlement

Amanda Bronstad | The Recorder

A federal magistrate judge abused her discretion in approving a class action settlement that gave no compensation to a class of 4 million people and provided “worthless” injunctive relief, an appeals court ruled on Wednesday.

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