Friday, February 15, 2013

Objectors' Attorney to Judge: 'I Don't Believe We Should Spend More Time Without Litigation Deadlines or Court Supervision of the Settlement Efforts'

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the judge required to make some sort of response? What is the objectors' plan if he doesn't do anything?

11:37 AM  
Blogger Irv Muchnick said...

As a matter of procedure, C claims attorney Chalmers had to file a motion to be admitted to appear in the case, since he is not otherwise admitted to practice in the Southern District of New York. The court will almost certainly act on that motion. Once admitted, Chalmers will be able to file pleadings in the case just like any of the original settlement parties' attorneys. What those pleadings might entail would depend on what is happening in these new negotiations.

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is still a painful wait. If you are able to say, has the total pot for C claims been increased? Also, I keep hearing that we are making progress but still no final settlement announcement. Can you shed light on what the holdup is at present? Are we truly "very close?"

Grateful for your help.

10:31 AM  
Blogger Irv Muchnick said...

"It is still a painful wait" -- on that, I can only agree with you. Sorry, I'm not allowed to talk about specifics, but bear in mind what we are attempting to fix in these (hopefully final, end-game) negotiations: the appellate court's finding that the payment structure was unfair to the holders of unregistered claims. That is, the C's.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Melanie McManus said...

Any idea what's happened to the $14 million? Has it been eaten up in lawyers' fees? Also, if this agreement/final settlement occurs this year, is it possible to see payment this year as well?

2:00 PM  
Blogger Irv Muchnick said...

Charles Chalmers, negotiating for the C claims, responds as follows:

The reference to $14 million is unclear. The original settlement was for a maximum of $18 million, with $6.2 earmarked for various costs and attorneys' fees. So the amount available to pay claims was $11.8 million.

A brief review of claim numbers that are public. In 2011 the plaintiffs' counsel advised the court that the total value of claims that passed the Administrator's initial review was $11.56 million. That was an increase from the previously reported number of $8.9 million. The explanation of the increase in 2011 was that the Administrator had failed to apply the Amendment to the Settlement which had the effect of making some B claims into A claims. The $8.9 million number was composed of Category A: 2,795 subject works, $3,679,290.00; Category B: 5,246 subject works, $817,430.72, and; Category C: 304414 subject works, $4,405,213.95. Using some assumed average values for A and B claims, the new breakdown can be estimated at A - $6.7 M; B - $320,000 and C $4.4 million.

Remember that when a settlement proceeds the defense group gets to review the initially approved claims and challenge them. There will be a process to determine such challenges.

No money has been eaten up by attorneys' fees. The defendants pay their attorneys outside the settlement. The attorneys representing the class have not been paid anything, or compensated for the costs they advanced.

If a revised settlement is reached in the next month or so, it is possible that compensation could be mailed late in the year. From the time a settlement is reached until the time it is approved is likely to be at least 3 months. If approved the defense review and challenge procedure would take place, and that is likely to take at least four months.

We appear to be close to an agreement, but we thought that last October, so nothing is yet certain.

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any word on whether Chalmers has been allowed to appear in the case in NY? If so, any idea if there have been ddlns. established as per his request, or if such ddlns. are likely to be established?

3:05 PM  
Blogger Irv Muchnick said...

Last week Judge Daniels did admit Charles Chalmers to appear in the case. I'll be posting an update later tonight.

5:06 PM  

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