Class Action Professional Objectors: What to Do About Them?

Florida State University Law Review, Forthcoming

87 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2011

See all articles by John E. Lopatka

John E. Lopatka

The Pennsylvania State University (University Park) – Penn State Law

Brooks Smith

Penn State Law

Date Written: November 28, 2011

Abstract

Professional objectors are attorneys who on behalf of non-named class members file specious objections to class action settlements and implicitly threaten to file frivolous appeals of district court approvals merely to extract a payoff. Their behavior amounts to a kind of lawful extortion. By contrast, counsel may submit legitimate objections and appeal in good faith, conduct that helps police the settlement process. The policy challenge is to suppress extortionate behavior without deterring beneficial conduct. The solutions that have been tried or proposed are seriously flawed. We propose amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure that would in effect require objectors to post appeal bonds in amounts greater than most circuit courts believe are now legally permissible.

Keywords: civil procedure, class action, settlement

JEL Classification: K00, K19, K41

Suggested Citation

Lopatka, John E. and Smith, Brooks, Class Action Professional Objectors: What to Do About Them? (November 28, 2011). Florida State University Law Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1965577

John E. Lopatka (Contact Author)

The Pennsylvania State University (University Park) – Penn State Law ( email )

Lewis Katz Building
University Park, PA 16802
United States

Brooks Smith

Penn State Law ( email )

Katz Building
University Park, PA 16802
United States

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