Tuesday, January 22, 2019

In re Volkswagen Clean Diesel Litigation (9th Cir. - Jan. 22 2019)

You're an attorney and, on behalf of your clients, you filed one of the many lawsuits against Volkswagen about its fake "clean diesel" claims.  The class action of the century.  The class eventually recovers a settlement of $10 billion.  You're going to make a mint, right?!


Because the overwhelming majority of these lawyers are not appointed class counsel.  So they do work.  Lots of it, allegedly.  After the settlement, these non-class lawyers file not one, not two, but 244 motions for attorney's fees.  Every single one of these lawyers wants to get paid.  Because the recovery is massive, right?  Their view is that they helped.

The district court refuses to give these counsel even a penny.

The Ninth Circuit affirms.

You know it's going to be a significant case when you scroll through the caption.  I've never seen one this big before.  Even on appeal, it's 35 pages long.  Just the caption.

Big case.  Big recovery.  For some.

Not so much for others.