Class Action Settlements: Rule 68 Offers of Judgment and Other Strategic Tools

Leveraging Rule 68 and Structuring Class Settlements to Obtain Court Approval

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A


Conducted on Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will examine how defendants in class litigation can leverage Rule 68 offers of judgment to dispose of cases early. The panel will also discuss best practices to obtain court approval of class settlements, including recent court treatment of attorneys' fees, cy pres settlements and incentive awards.

Description

The substantial costs and negative publicity risks of class action litigation incent companies to settle the cases as quickly as possible. The Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Genesis Healthcare offers defendants a potentially powerful tool to get rid of class claims early.

Genesis held that an offer of full relief to a named plaintiff under Rule 68 of the FRCP mooted the plaintiff’s FLSA claim, thereby mooting the collective action itself. The decision did not resolve a circuit split among the federal courts of appeal on whether a Rule 68 offer moots certification of a class, however, leaving counsel to continue to rely on decisions in the various circuits to determine if Rule 68 judgments will provide full relief.

Class counsel are also facing heightened court scrutiny of class settlements. Courts are increasingly tossing out class settlement agreements that include conditional incentive awards, excessive attorneys' fees or cy pres distributions, finding that they do not provide sufficient benefits to the affected class.

Class counsel must understand the current legal landscape regarding settling class actions in order to devise effective litigation and settlement strategies for their cases.

Listen as our authoritative panel of class litigators discusses how to leverage Rule 68 offers of judgment to resolve class actions as early as possible. The panel will also explain best practices to structure class settlements to obtain court approval.

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Outline

  1. Leveraging Rule 68 offers of judgment in class litigation post Genesis Healthcare
    1. Brief overview of Genesis Healthcare
    2. Implications for class litigation
  2. Structuring settlements to obtain court approval
    1. Fair, reasonable and adequate requirement
    2. Notice requirements and use of alternative media
    3. Conditional incentive awards
    4. Cy pres awards
    5. Attorneys’ fees
    6. Defending a settlement and maximizing its advantages

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What strategic advantages does a Rule 68 offer of judgment present for defendants in class litigation?
  • What is the anticipated impact of the Supreme Court’s Genesis Healthcare ruling on resolving class claims?
  • How are courts currently dealing with cy pres awards, attorneys' fees and conditional incentive awards in proposed class settlements?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.

Faculty

George J. Tzanetopoulos
George J. Tzanetopoulos

Partner
BakerHostetler

Mr. Tzanetopoulos is a widely experienced trial and appellate litigator, whose practice focuses on commercial...  |  Read More

Christina Guerola Sarchio
Christina Guerola Sarchio

Partner
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe

Ms. Sarchio concentrates her practice on commercial litigation, antitrust and white collar criminal defense matters....  |  Read More

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