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Friday, August 3, 2012

Los Angeles Superior Court Implements Checklist for Preliminary and Final Class Action Settlement Approval

Last year, the Los Angeles Superior Court published a set of Guidelines for Motions for Preliminary and Final Approval of Class Settlement. The guidelines are there to help attorneys make better motions and help judges evaluate them more consistently. You can find the Guidelines on the Court's web site here.

At the State Bar's Advanced Wage and Hour Conference last week, Judge Kevin Brazile announced that the Court has been working on a check-list for evaluation of settlements. It is not yet available on the Court's web site, but he sent me a draft that I can pass along to you.

The check-list really is a tentative ruling that the court can use to request additional briefing on a list of ares that the judge can check off: "The Court Orders further briefing on the items checked below...."

The items are organized into categories: Class Certification, Case Summary, Settlement Terms and Evaluation, Submission of Claims, Cy Pres, Notice, Fees and Costs, and Exhibits to the Motion. Many of the items include authorities, such as the following, under the Attorney Fees category:
Need to provide a lodestar analysis. Consumer Privacy Cases (2009) 175 Cal.App.4th 545, 556-558. See also Dunk v. Ford Motor (1996) 48 Cal.App.4th 1794, 1809 ("Later cases have cast doubt on the use of the percentage method to determine attorney fees in California class actions.")
The blog does not allow me to attach documents, but if you call or email me, I will send the check-list to you.

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