CALIFORNIA CLASS ACTION LAW

Ninth Circuit Holds That Deadline for Objection to Class Action Fee Award Must Be Set for Date After Plaintiff’s Counsel Files Fee Motion

B. B. Law, Attorney, Bozeman, Montana. (1911)
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The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday clarified the timing of objections to class counsel’s fee requests under Fed. R. Civ. Proc. Rule 23(h), holding that objectors must be given a deadline to object after plaintiff’s fee application is submitted.  The litigation in In re Mercury Interactive Corp. Securities Litigation, No. 08-17372, — F.3d —-, 2010 WL 3239460 (9th Cir. Aug. 18, 2010), which involved stock option backdating, settled early on, at the motion to dismiss stage.

A settlement class was certified, the settlement of $117.5 million in cash was approved, and attorneys’ fees of 25% ($29.375 million) were awarded pursuant to the settlement agreement.  No objections were made to the settlement itself, but two objections were made to the proposed attorneys’ fees.  Id. *2.  The court described lead counsel’s fee application as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

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MDL Panel Centralizes BP Securities Litigation in Southern District of Texas to Judge Keith P. Ellison

Deepwater Horizon Flaring Operation
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The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation considered a motion, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407, to centralize certain securities litigation related to BP in the Western District of Louisiana.  In re BP P.L.C. Securities Litigation, MDL No. 2185, — F.Supp.2d —-, 2010 WL 3238321 (U.S. Jud. Pan. Mult. Lit. Aug. 10, 2010).  The actions all involve alleged violations of Sections 10(b) (and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. § 78a, et seq., and share allegations that BP and its executives misled the investing public concerning the company’s safety measures and commitment to conducting safe operations.  The Panel transferred the proceedings to the Southern District of Texas, to Judge Keith P. Ellison. Read the rest of this entry »