Since its founding two years ago, the non-profit Center for Class Action Fairness LLC has stepped in to object to 30 class action settlements on behalf of consumers and shareholders who feel the class’ attorneys have negotiated settlements that primarily benefit themselves. In the process, the center has won half its cases thus far, with a number still pending, and yielded more than $120 million in attorneys’ fee reductions.

Most recently, the center won a major decision in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the distribution of cy pres proceeds to charities unrelated to the class in question. The decision vacated a settlement previously approved by a district court, the second time this year the Ninth Circuit has vacated a settlement in response to an appeal from the center.

In this week’s episode of the FIRE Podcast, CCAF founder Ted Frank discusses why he started the center, what sorts of precedents he hopes to set and why even some defense attorneys seem to suffer from a form of Stockholm Syndrome when it comes to settlements that unfairly enrich the plaintiff’s bar.


Featured Publications