The Credit Card Merchant Fee Litigation Settlement

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6 Responses

  1. James Grimmelmann says:

    The forward-looking components of the settlement strike me as raising serious constitutional issues as well as Rule 23 concerns. I’ve argued that some similar future-conduct settlements violate Article III because the court has no jurisdiction over the absent class members’ unripe claims. I hope you’ll discuss those issues, as well.

  2. Steve Semeraro says:

    Yes. The relief provisions are extraordinary, going beyond anything I have ever seen. It will be interesting to see whether those who focus on class action settlements agree.

  3. David says:

    Fascinating dispute and attempt to achieve global peace. Thanks for the writeup, Steve.

  4. Joseph J Clancy Jr. says:

    I need them

  5. brad says:

    Class actions are usually conceived of as a mechanism for aggregating claims that would not be worth litigating individually. Here there’s a class that includes includes some of the largest corporations in the country, many of which claim millions of dollars of losses.

    It looks to me like an inappropriate use of the device. Cui bono? Well the firms that stand to get an eye-watering $800+ million fee on a case that outside of the Rule 23 context would not have been tried on a contingency basis, and — not to put too fine a point on it — would not have gone to these firms had the cases been captioned Wal Mart v. Visa and Target v. MasterCard.

  6. Steve Semeraro says:

    Brad’s point is accurate. Interestingly, the firm that litigated the 1990’s debit card class action when Walmart was the lead plaintiff is now back in the picture because Walmart is choosing to opt out and oppose the settlement. The issue of who decides which lawyers make all the money in a class action has always seemed both interesting and mysterious to me. I wonder if anyone has written about that?