Eight-Figure Class Action Attorney Fee Award Dissolves in the Court of Appeals

Author: Jeremy Gilman (former Partner at Benesch Law)

There’s something uniquely interesting about judicial opinions involving class action attorneys’ fees.  For class counsel, it’s the culmination of years of work.  They researched the claim, brought the case, slogged through discovery, endured motion practice, battled through class certification, lost sleep, sacrificed weekends and holidays, and waited.  If they prevailed on class certification, they high fived each other and pressed forward, preparing for a trial that might never occur, because the case may settle.  And if it does settle, class counsel can get paid for it all. Continue reading “Eight-Figure Class Action Attorney Fee Award Dissolves in the Court of Appeals”

Question: When Is a $3 Million Attorney Fee Award Painful?

Author: Jeremy Gilman (former Partner at Benesch Law)

Answer:  When your fee request was $25 million higher.

And so it was in In Re: Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, pending in federal court in San Francisco.  The case arose, in the court’s words, from VW’s “deliberate use of a defeat device – software designed to cheat emissions tests and deceive federal and state regulators – in nearly 600,000 Volkswagens- and Audi-branded turbocharged direct injection diesel engine vehicles sold in the United States.”  Continue reading “Question: When Is a $3 Million Attorney Fee Award Painful?”

A Tale of Attorneys’ Fees

Author: Jeremy Gilman (former Partner at Benesch Law)

The backdrop is simple:  Mistras Group operates a business that evaluates the structural integrity of energy, industrial and public infrastructure.  Two plaintiffs brought a class and collective action against Mistras in the Northern District of California, alleging violations of California’s Labor Code and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.  They claimed they were not paid for time spent training for and traveling on business and sought to represent “current and former non-exempt hourly employees who worked” for Mistras “as examiners and technicians.”   Continue reading “A Tale of Attorneys’ Fees”

How’d You Come Up With That? Third Circuit Vacates Class Counsel’s Fee Award

Author: Jeremy Gilman (former Partner at Benesch Law)

There are several different stakeholders in class actions.  There are the named parties, of course, and the members of the putative class, to the extent plaintiff seeks to sweep them into the lawsuit.  And then there’s the class itself, if certified, as well as opt-outs and objectors, if any.  And let’s not forget class counsel.  They get paid only if the court approves. Continue reading “How’d You Come Up With That? Third Circuit Vacates Class Counsel’s Fee Award”

The Fresh Scent of Clean Laundry

Author: Jeremy Gilman (former Partner at Benesch Law)

Our planet is plagued by many vexing problems.  For some folks, front-loading washing machines was one of them.  They claimed that certain front-loading washers manufactured by Whirlpool were defective.  They contended those machines suffered from what they called the “Biofilm defect,” which caused mold and mildew to grow inside them.  That, in turn, allegedly caused moldy odor to permeate their homes and clothes.  And that, in turn, spawned eight years of litigation in the Northern District of Ohio. Continue reading “The Fresh Scent of Clean Laundry”

Plus Feature: OUCH?

Author: Jeremy Gilman (former Partner at Benesch Law)

When plaintiffs’ counsel settle a massive antitrust class action for $244 million, they should be happy, right?

One would think so, unless their $72.3 million fee request is cut by the court to $48,825,000 in the process, and its order to that effect comes complete with pretty pointed language.  Time to hold the Champagne?

The order at issue was entered October 31, 2016 in Dial Corporation v. News Corporation, Southern District of New York, case no. 13cv6802, Judge William H. Pauley III presiding. Continue reading “Plus Feature: OUCH?”