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Briefing in Cobell v. Salazar Indian trust class action

The settling parties have posted their briefing in support of final approval of the settlement; my client, Kimberly Craven, is identified in one of the briefs as "Objector #52." (Note especially an important correction regarding the hours of one of the plaintiffs' attorneys discussed in Docket No. 3763 at 58-59, regarding three days allegedly billed at 24 hours or more. One of those days reflected an error on plaintiffs' part; one reflected a mistake on my part; and one is a day where the attorney insists he billed 24 hours. I regret my error.)

Today, the Center for Class Action Fairness LLC filed our opposition (download) to the motion for settlement approval on behalf of Ms. Craven. (Exhibit 1 is Congressional testimony that is on-line.) The case raises interesting questions of statutory interpretation, the constitutional limits of aggregate litigation and class certification, whether material terms can be omitted from class notice, at what point class representative incentive payments create an impermissible conflict of interest, and whether class compensation allocation has to be rationally related to the alleged damages. The government also claims that Congress "can change the statutory rights of litigants, even where this change may retroactively eliminate an initially meritorious claim" against the government; we argue that that proposition has limits.

Earlier on Point of Law.

Center for Class Action Fairness LLC is not affiliated with the Manhattan Institute.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.