"There are some plaintiffs counsel who believe that having bellwether trials is a source of leverage to push defendants toward settlement, and, if they're not happening, that leverage is diminished," John Beisner of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York.
Advocates say the fines and fees are simply inequitable. A wealthy person can easily afford to pay while people with low income are put at risk of other punishments, like losing their driver's license, they argue.
"As professionals pledged to uphold our state and federal Constitutions and the rule of law," the report says of lawyers across the nation, "we must not stand by as mere witnesses when the most fundamental principle of our democracy is undermined by representatives of any political party."
Ishmael Osekre, who according to a lawsuit "created chaos" at the Brooklyn-based festivals while pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars, also must pay more than $310,000 in restitution and penalties.