Antitrust, Bar Exams, BARBRI, Ted Frank

Signing Up For, Or Objecting To, The BAR/BRI Class Action Settlement

Did you take a BAR/BRI bar exam review course sometime in the past five years? Or are you taking BAR/BRI now, having paid for it prior to March 21? If so, keep reading.

As we recently mentioned, the deadline for joining or objecting to the proposed class action settlement in Stetson v. West Publishing Corp. is fast approaching (May 30). The lawsuit, alleging antitrust violations, was filed against West Publishing, which owns (but is selling) BAR/BRI, and Kaplan, the test prep company owned by the Washington Post. The class is defined as “[a]ll persons and entities who paid for a BAR/BRI full-service bar-review course from August 1, 2006, through and including March 21, 2011.”

Are you a class member? Let’s review your options….

UPDATE (5:30 PM): Please note the updates added to the end of this post.

As we mentioned earlier, if you want to sign up for the settlement, here’s what you have to do — very soon, before the deadline passes:

To receive a cash payment from the Settlement Fund, you must complete and submit a Claim form and mail it, postmarked no later than May 30, 2011. You may download the form [via this website]. If you would like a Notice and Claim Form mailed to you, you can call the Settlement Administrator at 888-293-3337.

If you want to object to the settlement, you can do that too. One option is to join the objection of class member Daniel Greenberg, who works at the Center for Class Action Fairness with Ted Frank (aka the Class Action Avenger). Ted Frank explains:

Daniel Greenberg of the Center for Class Action Fairness LLC will today file an objection to the coupon settlement in Stetson v. West Publishing Corp., which fails the requirements of the Class Action Fairness Act, as well as requests excessive attorneys’ fees.

Class members who wish to join the objection (or write the court in support of the settlement) can do so by spending $2.64 on postage and sending six copies of your papers to the addresses on the settlement notice; the notice asks objections to be postmarked by May 30, but it might need to be received by May 30—and since the court is closed on May 30, it is unclear whether that means May 31 or May 27.

The Center has quickly established expertise in analyzing and successfully challenging dubious class actions, so if you’re a dissatisfied class member, you might want to check out the CCAF objection and consider joining.

In addition, a Stetson class member named Jonathan Hutcheson also plans to object, and has launched a website to coordinate objectors. You can review Hutcheson & Co.’s draft objection over here.

If you haven’t done so already, you can learn more about the Stetson class action lawsuit at the official website. Just remember: the deadline of May 30 is coming soon, so whatever you decide to do, do it quickly!

UPDATE (5:30 PM): To follow up on some of the (very helpful) comments:

1. Yes, you can both object and make a claim under the settlement. You cannot opt out and object (these approaches are mutually exclusive).

2. Should you object? That’s entirely up to you. Says Ted Frank: “I cannot advise them on whether they should object, as I’m not their attorney. That’s a decision individual class members have to make individually.”

3. To the commenter who was looking for it, here is a PDF of the Center for Class Action Fairness objection.

CCAF objection in Stetson v. West Publishing BAR/BRI class action [Point of Law]
BAR/BRI Settlement Objection [Jonathan Hutcheson]
[official class action website]

Earlier: BAR/BRI Class Actions: Open Thread

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