In a class action settlement, the defendant agrees to make "available" $9.5 million to the class—but the settling parties negotiate a claims process so burdensome (and relief so miniscule) that only a small fraction of the class files claims, resulting in $117 thousand going to the class. In calculating attorneys' fees, should that be valued at $9.5 million or $117 thousand? The class counsel in the Classmates.com settlement argues for the former in seeking $1.05 million in fees; the Center for Class Action Fairness begs to differ. We even get a shout-out from ESPN.com's Gregg Easterbrook.
The objection also objects to the creation of a $500,000 cy pres slush fund.