Robinson Bradshaw

Topic: Settlement

Merger Litigation Continues in North Carolina

Last month, we previewed the challenge to a settlement of litigation involving the Reynolds-Lorillard merger. The Business Court has helpfully made available the transcript of the hearing on approval of the settlement, which took place on February 12. At the hearing, the Court made clear that it was quite familiar with recent changes in merger […]

Disclosure-Only Settlements Face Scrutiny in Business Court

When two public companies announce an intention to merge, class litigation follows like the night the day. These complaints usually request some sort of preliminary injunctive relief which, if successful, can derail the merger. Rarely, however, do plaintiffs press for this relief. Instead, they opt to resolve the claims, which requires court approval under Rule […]

Fourth Circuit Upholds (B)(2) Settlement Covering 200 Million People

Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Wal-Mart, courts have been struggling to breathe life into Rule 23(b)(2) when monetary damages are a possibility. Wal-Mart held that back pay constituted the kind of individualized monetary relief that was hardly “incidental” to claims of injunctive relief, upon which (b)(2) classes are essentially founded. In Berry v. LexisNexis […]

NC Court of Appeals Approves Payments of Attorneys’ Fees in Class Action Settlements

Can a class action settlement agreement contain a fee-shifting provision that provides for a payment of attorneys’ fees? In a question of first impression, the North Carolina Court of Appeals said yes, subject to a trial court’s approval of the settlement at a fairness hearing. In the long-running Ehrenhaus v. Baker case, the Plaintiff brought […]

Settlement Approvals: Like Selling a Boat?

There is a well-known quip about the two best days for boat owners: the day when the owner buys it and the day when he sells it. We’ve previously referred to case law emphasizing the need for more active supervision of settlements, particularly with respect to commonality issues, but the fact remains that judges are […]

Business Court Approves Non-Opt-Out Class Settlement in Merger Case

The North Carolina Business Court has seemed to settle upon a methodology in approving “disclosure only” settlements in merger cases. Following Judge Gale’s decision in In re Harris Teeter Merger Litigation, Judge Bledsoe certified a non-opt-out settlement class last week in In re PokerTek Merger Litigation, No. 14-CVS-105679 (Jan. 22, 2015), observing that such classes […]

Court Denies Certification of Settlement Class Where Settlement Only Benefited Named Plaintiff

The Second Circuit has observed that “[t]he [trial] judge [in a class action] should not regard himself as an umpire in typical adversary litigation. He sits also as a guardian for class members who have not received a notice or who lack the intellectual or financial resources to press objections.” Weinberger v. Kendrick, 698 F.2d […]

Controversy over Cy Pres Settlements

Funds from a class action settlement are generally distributed to class members. But in some cases, not all funds are claimed. In others, it may not even be possible or practical to distribute any funds to individual class members. A “cy pres” distribution is one way of dealing with this issue. The concept comes from […]