Class Action Dilemmas: Pursuing Public Goals for Private Gain

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

NOTES
1
See, e.g., James S. Kakalik and Nicholas M. Pace, Cost and Compensation Paid in Tort Litigation ( Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND, R-3391-ICJ, November 1986). See also David M. Trubek et al., "The Costs of Ordinary Litigation," 31UCLA Law Review, October 1983.
2
However, a 1986 RAND Institute for Civil Justice study found that, of all costs and compensation paid in "typical" tort litigation (gross compensation paid to plaintiffs of about $24,000 to $29,000) in federal and state courts of general jurisdiction, 46 percent of the total was for compensation to the plaintiffs, 21 percent was for plaintiffs' legal fees and expenses, 16 percent was for defendants' legal fees and expenses (in-house and outside), the value of plaintiff's time was 3 percent of the total, 9 percent of the total was for defendant's time, and 2 percent was for the costs of processing all tort claims, and 2 percent was for government tort expenditures. James S. Kakalik and Nicholas M. Pace, supra note 1 at 71. Of course, class actions with far larger stakes and multitudes of class plaintiffs might yield different proportions.
3
See Chapter Thirteen, page 352.
4
See Chapter Thirteen, page 364.
5
Generally excluding defendant legal fees and expenses.
6
Note that the term "transaction costs" as applied to class actions is sometimes used in court documents to refer only to expenditures other than for settlement benefits or to plaintiffs' attorneys for their fees and costs.
7
Note that our concept of a cy pres award may differ from the potentially more common use that includes any "next best use" of settlements or judgments other than payments directly to plaintiffs. Under this definition, the payments to Gert Town charities or to the Texas attorney general consumer funds might be considered cy pres distributions.
8
In a couple of instances, most notably in the collateral protection insurance litigation, the benefit fund would be divided completely and checks or credits issued, but for one reason or another the class member could no longer be located, the check would not be cashed, or crediting the account was no longer possible. The small amount of money remaining from the fund usually was donated to charities as a cy pres distribution.
9
See Chapter Five.

-592-

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