"Multiple Indicia of Collusion" Doom Bluetooth Headset Class Settlement That Would Have Paid $800,000 to the Lawyers and Nothing to the Class

22 August 2011
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Key takeaways:

  • Class counsel cannot receive a lodestar-based award that is out-of-proportion to the relief they obtain for the class in a proposed class settlement.
  • "Clear sailing" agreements, where class defendants give up their right to object to plaintiffs' fee requests, must be closely scrutinized by district courts reviewing proposed settlements under Rule 23(e).
  • In this case, and two others to come involving settlements that provide non-profit contributions rather than direct payments to class members, the Ninth Circuit will help establish the outer bounds of how parties can settle lower-value class actions.