Friday, May 20, 2005

Highlights From Today's Reply Brief (Part 2)

Regarding our argument that a class member has standing to object to preliminary approval:

Plaintiffs argue that an unnamed class member has no standing to object to preliminary approval. Although they reference a long list of cases, none of them consider this issue. Like the question of requiring a personal appearance to object, this appears to be a question of first impression.

The established principles clearly indicate that standing exists. The requirements for standing are injury, causation and redressibility.... If these elements exist the Article III requirement of "case or controversy" is met.... Muchnick will be subject to the requirement to appear in person. Thus, if the requirement is improper, as he contends, he is injured. Further, if Muchnick objects, which is virtually certain because he has several C claims, Muchnick wants other class members to be able to object without the burden, because the number of objections is a factor to be considered in approving the settlement.... If a significant number of class members do object, Muchnick wants it known by the Court. That is also an injury to his interests. These injuries are caused by the Notice, which will be employed pursuant to the Court's order. That satisfies "causation." Finally, if Muchnick can convince the Court to eliminate this requirement, he achieves a redress of the threatened injury. Thus, all requirements are met.

The Manual for Complex Litigation, created by the Federal Judicial Center, suggests it is prudent to hear from class members in connection with preliminary approval.... The Federal Judicial Center is the research and education agency for the federal courts, created by Congress. While not a precedent, it does suggest skepticism about plaintiffs' argument.

The full brief can be viewed at Comments can be posted here or emailed to me at


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