The D.C. Circuit is correct, I think, in holding that an attorneys' fee in a class action should be calculated as a percentage as the common fund. But does that mean that class counsel in a class action that settles immediately upon the filing of a complaint without any contested litigation is entitled to the same 25% that is the benchmark for a fully-litigated case where class counsel is actually facing risk? I argue no, and the Center for Class Action Fairness LLC filed an objection yesterday in Trombley v. National City Bank to the $3 million fee request in a $12 million settlement over debit-card overdraft fees (as well as to the odd duck of distribution scheme that shortchanged our client).
The Center for Class Action Fairness LLC is not affiliated with the Manhattan Institute.