Federal judges in recent weeks have fired off some sharply-worded decisions involving cases from the plaintiffs bar which suggests increased scrutiny for settlement agreements and fee applications.
In one case a unanimous three-judge panel from a federal appellate court has put the kibosh on a derivative action brought on behalf of shareholders by the law firms Vianale & Vianale and Sarraf Gentile against retailing giant Sears as reported by Daniel Fisher for Forbes. The appellate court in its opinion held "this litigation is so feeble that it is best to end it immediately," and "the only goal of this suit appears to be fees for the plaintiffs' lawyers." Court Decision
And in another case a federal district judge wasn't pleased that law firm Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd was "claiming excessive hours for producing filings and failing to provide documentation for some $125,000 in 'investigator' expenses" in a securities fraud class action on behalf of shareholders against student travel company Ambassadors Group as reported by Daniel Fisher for Forbes. The court expressed its "concern . . . that a pattern of conduct in such matters may exist, at least in two instances" and stated that it intends to sanction the firm with opportunity for it to first contest the findings. Court Decision
At least some judges have a backbone.