By Deborah R. Hensler, Bonita Dombey-Moore, Beth Giddens, Jennifer Gross, Erik K. Moller, Nicholas M. Pace
Read or Download Class Action Dilemmas: Pursuing Public Goals for Private Gain, Executive Summary PDF
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Additional resources for Class Action Dilemmas: Pursuing Public Goals for Private Gain, Executive Summary
3). 6. In a Few Cases, Class Counsel Got More Than the Total Collected by Class Members Critics often use yet a third benchmark to assess plaintiff class action attorney fees: the amount the attorneys are awarded compared to the amount class members receive. Because class counsel are paid for what they accomplish for the class as a whole, their fee awards will almost certainly be greater than any individual class member’s award, even in a mass tort class action where class members sometimes receive substantial settlements.
Credited against consumers’ accounts) or class members will be required to apply for payment—and, in the latter instance, what class members will be required to do and to show in their applications. Generally, in consumer class actions involving small individual losses, automatic payments to class members should be favored when lists of eligible claimants are available from defendants and when a formula can be devised for calculating payments. • exercise heightened scrutiny when coupons comprise a substantial portion of the settlement value, and require estimates of the rate of coupon redemption • require information on the estimated actual payout by defendants, taking into account all of the above • exercise heightened scrutiny when claims regarding regulatory enforcement are put forward in support of a settlement, particularly when large dollar values are assigned to alleged injunctive effects.
In consumer class actions involving small individual losses, requiring class members to opt in would lead to smaller classes that would likely obtain smaller aggregate settlements; in turn, class counsel would probably receive smaller fee awards. The social science research on active versus passive assent suggests that minority and low-income individuals might be disproportionately affected by an opt-in requirement, a worrisome possibility. Reduced financial incentives flowing from smaller class actions would discourage attorneys from bringing suit.
Class Action Dilemmas: Pursuing Public Goals for Private Gain, Executive Summary by Deborah R. Hensler, Bonita Dombey-Moore, Beth Giddens, Jennifer Gross, Erik K. Moller, Nicholas M. Pace