$57 million price award for client legal professionals scratched in rooster antitrust attraction

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Federal decide’s ruling “fell brief”, appeals court docket discovered


calendar icon 31 August 2023

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2 minute learn

A US appeals court docket has vacated a $57 million authorized price award to plaintiffs’ legal professionals who represented rooster customers in antitrust litigation, after discovering a federal decide’s ruling on legal professional compensation “fell brief” and have to be revisited, reported Reuters.

In its ruling, a three-judge panel of the seventh US Circuit Courtroom of Appeals mentioned the Chicago federal district decide overseeing the case didn’t correctly think about out-of-circuit price awards and likewise sure bids made by the category attorneys in different instances.

The order was the newest in long-running litigation over claims from customers and others that Tyson Meals, Pilgrim’s Pleasure and others conspired to repair rooster costs. The Hamilton Lincoln Legislation Institute led the problem to the legal-fee award.

The appeals court docket panel, led by Circuit Choose Michael Brennan, didn’t say what quantity can be applicable for the plaintiffs’ corporations Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro and Cohen Milstein Sellers and Toll. US District Choose Thomas Durkin final yr awarded them 33% from $181 million in settlement funds.

Brennan mentioned in Wednesday’s ruling that “the arrived-upon determine of one-third of the online settlement warrants better clarification and consideration.” Brennan heard the case with Chief Circuit Choose Diane Sykes and Circuit Choose Doris Pryor.

Ted Frank, director on the Hamilton Lincoln Legislation Institute and the Heart for Class Motion Equity, on Wednesday mentioned they hoped the ruling “will in the end outcome within the class getting more cash.”

Steve Berman of Hagens Berman mentioned he was “assured after consideration of the components outlined by the court docket decide Durkin will come to the identical place” of the prior price quantity.

The buyer attorneys mentioned Durkin was “properly positioned” to find out an inexpensive price after “having overseen dozens of associated instances producing over 6,000 docket entries, over six years.”

The appeals court docket directed Durkin to take a more in-depth have a look at price bids that class counsel had made in pursuit of court docket appointments to steer litigation. These bids, Brennan wrote, “mirror the worth of co-class counsel’s authorized companies in antitrust litigation.”

The panel additionally mentioned Durkin ought to give applicable weight to sure price awards class counsel received in different non-chicken litigation on the San Francisco-based ninth Circuit. That circuit follows a rule that caps authorized charges in sure instances, and so litigating there “informs the worth of sophistication counsel’s authorized companies.”

The case is In re Broiler Hen Antitrust Litigation, seventh US Circuit Courtroom of Appeals, No. 22-2889.

For objector John Andren: Ted Frank of Hamilton Lincoln Legislation Institute and Heart for Class Motion Equity

For plaintiffs: Steve Berman and Shana Scarlett of Hagens Berman; and Brent Johnson and Benjamin Brown of Cohen Milstein



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