Class Action Dilemmas: Pursuing Public Goals for Private Gain

By Deborah R. Hensler; Nicholas M. Pace et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Appendix E


In spite of the high level of precision found in the carefully chosen words used by attorneys drafting settlement agreements, and the centuries of AngloAmerican jurisprudence that interpret and enforce such contracts, no standard taxonomy exists for those who attempt to understand how the terms and conditions contained in a settlement's complicated provisions affect the costs paid and compensation received by parties to litigation.

Class actions are certainly no exception to this observation. While the subtle nuances of what exactly is being promised when class counsel and the defendants' attorneys reach an agreement to end the litigation might be known to the parties (and hopefully to the judicial officer approving the settlement), it is often difficult for outsiders to understand who is supposed to pay what to whom and when, and from what source, and for what in return. Indeed, some attorneys make settlement provisions deliberately vague to provide greater latitude in interpreting claiming requirements, to avoid attracting the attention of those who might object to its terms, or to defer, until the distant future, confronting potentially thorny issues that could scuttle a hard-won resolution during the sensitive period prior to court approval.

Even when the terms are crafted in such a way as to make them as unambiguous as possible, the attorneys involved employ very different language from that used in provisions in other cases with similar intentions. For example, an "incentive payment" to representative plaintiffs in one case is a "direct award" in another; "settlement funds" sometimes include class counsel fees and costs and sometimes do not; "benefits available to the class" can include payments made to charities in some situations and in others refer only to the cash claimants might pocket; an order that the "defendant shall pay for the costs of administration" in one case means that the payments will be made by the defendant out of the common fund and, in another, that the defendant will handle


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Class Action Dilemmas: Pursuing Public Goals for Private Gain
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 609

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?