The Elephant in the Room: Contingency Fees and the Future Of Coupon Settlements After In re HP Inkjet Printer Litigation

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The Ninth Circuit’s May 15 ruling in In re HP Inkjet Printer Litigation could significantly limit the use of coupons in settlements, attorneys Michael Mallow and Livia Kiser say in this BNA Insight. The authors discuss the important role that coupons play in fostering settlements, and offer a critique of the ruling for failing to consider key practical and legal considerations, removing considerable discretion from trial courts, and hindering future settlements.

In class action litigation, attorneys’ fee awards are the bane of defendants’ existence, the salt in the open wound. Defendants have to pay for their own counsel, and then, if they elect to resolve a case via settlement, they are on the hook not only for the costs of settlement, but plaintiffs’ fees as well!

Originally published in Product Safety & Liability Reporter on 7/15/2013.

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