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In approving VW deal, Judge Breyer dispatches with fee objections

Friday, October 28, 2016 10:12
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Reuters reports on CEI’s objection to the Volkswagen emissions settlement that was a bad deal for class members. 

The most provocative objection to Volkswagen’s $14 billion settlement with owners and lessees of its 2.0-liter engine clean diesel cars came, as usual, from the class action commandos at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Citing law and economics theory, CEI lawyers Anna St. John and Ted Frank argued that U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer of San Francisco should not be bamboozled by the parties’ decision to defer class counsel’s fee request until after approval of the underlying settlement.

According to CEI, any fees for the private attorneys who negotiated the VW settlement alongside lawyers from the U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission was money that should have gone to class members. Even though the fee request was to be negotiated separately, CEI argued, VW had undoubtedly factored the eventual award into its calculations of what the company was willing to pay to settle the case.

Besides, CEI asserted, class counsel didn’t obtain any benefits for clean diesel owners and lessees that they wouldn’t otherwise get from the government’s agreements with Volkswagen.

Read the full article at Reuters

Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Anna St. John
Ted Frank
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