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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Comments

Dan

Scott,

Did you hear anything back from Justice re their policies and procedures?

I am just starting a project where I am trying to determine the best procedures for State attorneys generals to use in reviewing CAFA notices. My next step was going to be to contact different State AG offices. Do you know of an easy way to find the FTC's procedures? (I just started this project a few minutes ago).

Thank you for your post.

Best,

Dan

Scott Nelson

I'm no better positioned than anyone else to speculate about the motives of the Act's sponsors. In an article published immediately after the Act's passage, however, I noted the irony that the FTC - the one federal agency with a project devoted to scrutinizing the fairness of class action settlements, was not included in the notice provisions. See "A Section-by-Section Analysis of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005," at 13 (www.citizen.org/documents/TheClass%20ActionFairnessAct.pdf).

My guess is that the backers of the Act weren't thinking too much about who within the federal government would be most interested in scrutinizing class action settlements. With a few exceptions, the settlement provisions are largely window-dressing designed to add a pro-consumer veneer to legislation designed principally to serve the interests of defendants. I suspect that whoever drafted this section thought it sounded impressive to require that notices be sent to the Attorney General of the United States, without regard to what he or she might actually do with them.

Deepak

Any insight into why CAFA didn't just require that the notices be sent to the FTC--an agency that actually monitors settlements and files objections? The cynic in me says it's because the lobbyists that wrote CAFA didn't really want robust federal oversight of settlements. But if that's the case, why did it require notification to the federal government at all?

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