Neal Marder and Mollie McGowan Lemberg Write Article for Bloomberg BNA on Proposed Rule Aimed at Professional Objectors

Akin Gump litigation partner Neal Marder and counsel Mollie McGowan Lemberg have written the article “Will Professional Class Action Objectors Be Deterred If Proposed Amendments to Rule 23 Are Adopted?” which was published in Bloomberg BNA’s Class Action Litigation Report.

The article discusses proposed changes to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(e)(5), which would require objectors to obtain court approval before any payment in exchange for withdrawing objections to class action settlements. The proposal, the authors write, is a response to the problem of “how to best deal with professional objectors who are interested solely in lining their own pockets rather than protecting absent class members.”

Marder and Lemberg proceed to provide an overview of professional objectors and how the courts have tried to “combat” them. They note there are various weaknesses in all of the proposed solutions, but that the newly proposed amendments to Rule 23 “would force objectors to object with more specificity and would require objectors to get court approval for fees paid in exchange for withdrawal of objections or appeals.” While there are some potential downsides, they add that the proposed changes “seem like the most promising solution yet to the professional objector problem.”

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