Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ayyad v. Sprint Spectrum LLP (Cal. Ct. App. - Oct. 29, 2012)

These are the best lawyers that Sprint can hire in a huge, multi-million dollar (and successful) class action case?  Seriously?  And those lawyers -- from McGuireWoods and Kelley Drye -- can't file a brief better than the the one they filed here?  Really?

The Court of Appeal finds it pretty stunning that Sprint's arguments (and briefs) are so bad.  So do I.  This was an appeal -- and argument -- with absolutely zero chance of success, that that pretty much completely ignored fundamental principles about jurisdiction on remand and law of the case.  How a bunch of sophisticated lawyers could overlook this stuff -- deliberately or not -- is beyond me.  Nor do I see why it benefits their client to file an appeal that has no chance of success and that only serves to increase the number of hours for which class counsel gets to recover once they file their attorney fee motion.  Particularly since -- if I had any say -- class counsel would highlight in any such motion the Court of Appeal's opinion here and its repeated reference to what a fundamentally silly appeal this one is.  It demonstrates concretely both that defendants have needlessly multiplied the litigation and that a multiplier on fees might well be appropriate.

Sometimes the wisest course as a lawyer is to decide what battles not to fight.  Here's a perfect example.