A case before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging application of the cy pres doctrine in class action settlements has attracted a flurry of amicus briefs on both sides—and the arguments are all over the map.
Ted Frank, the director of litigation at the Center for Class Action Fairness at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, is asking the Supreme Court to overturn a settlement with Google that paid $5.3 million to six nonprofits, $2.1 million to plaintiffs lawyers and nothing to the class. In his opening brief, he argued that settlements made up exclusively of cy pres funds—which is money paid by the defendant that goes to third parties—violate Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure because they deprive the class of any benefits.
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