Eliot Disner

BarBri 2 bar bri bar exam review course prep course Above the Law Above the Law ATL.jpgWe reminded you on Friday, but we fear our post got lost in the shuffle. If you’re part of the plaintiff class in the Bar/Bri class action — and since you’re reading ATL, you probably are — then the deadline for filing your proof of claim is this Monday, September 17. So if you want your $125 or so, you need to act now.
Is the settlement a good deal? We largely agree with this commenter:

That settlement is a disgrace. The plaintiff class was sold up the river…. But I’ll take the money and run.

Just like most of you (see poll results), we filed a claim, knowing that we’re being undercompensated. And knowing that we’re acting against the advice of The Legal Diva — a named plaintiff in the case who now opposes the settlement. From The Recorder:

Legal Diva Loredana Nesci Bar Bri Barbri Above the Law blog.jpgLoredana Nesci, a 2005 graduate of Quinnipiac College School of Law in Connecticut, said lead attorney Eliot Disner initially convinced her he’d built a strong case against BAR/BRI and would seek to break the company apart. “We were promised the moon and stars by Disner,” she said.

But Nesci said everything changed after Disner’s former firm — Los Angeles’ Van Etten Suzumoto & Becket — was acquired by McGuireWoods.

“After that merger, I think that McGuireWoods took Eliot, gagged him [and now] he’s in a basement in their firm, because I can’t find the guy,” said Nesci, now a practicing attorney based in Studio City.

It seems that the Legal Diva — er, Ms. Nesci — was right about Disner. Her “gagged in a basement” comment appeared in a February 2007 article. A few months later, in May 2007, Eliot Disner was fired by McGuireWoods (after he criticized the settlement).
Legal Diva 2 Loredana Nesci Bar Bri Barbri Above the Law blog.jpgFor more on her Diva-ness, check out her website, which is a real trip. Her bio describes her past work as a police officer for the LAPD, explains how she earned the title of “Legal Diva,” and boasts of how she was “quickly gaining notoriety for being a colorful and cunning attorney.” It also mentions that she “enjoys working with feral cats,” which sounds apropos for a Legal Diva. MEOW!
(See especially the super-cute testimonials from her clients, including Doug Smith, at right. We don’t want to know what types of matters she handled for him….)
Bar/BRI Class Action Litigation [official website]
The Legal Diva: Loredana Nesci [official website]
$49M Disappoints Some in Lawyers’ Class [The Recorder]
Earlier: A Friendly Reminder: The BAR/BRI Proof of Claim Deadline Is Monday!

Eliot Disner Elliot Disner Elliott Disner Eliot G Disner McGuireWoods McGuire Woods Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgAs you may recall (from yesterday’s Morning Docket), Eliot Disner is the McGuireWoods partner who criticized the settlement negotiated by his firm in an antitrust class action against Bar/Bri, the giant bar exam prep company.
Actually, make that “former McGuireWoods partner.” From today’s New York Law Journal:

Mr. Disner, who was a partner in the Los Angeles office of McGuireWoods, said the firm fired him May 23. “I was terminated because [McGuireWoods] said that my work on the BAR/BRI case had hurt the [firm's] reputation,” he said. His concerns about the proposed settlement with West Publishing Corp., which offers BAR/BRI bar review courses nationwide, surfaced in an objection to the class settlement that was filed last week by three lead plaintiffs (NYLJ, May 21)….

A hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Manuel Real on whether the $49 million settlement will become final is scheduled for June 18. Mr. Disner’s brief, which was not supported by McGuireWoods, argues that the firm ought to press for at least $400 million from West Publishing, as well as for the breakup of BAR/BRI.

We titled an earlier post about the settlement You Are Probably $125 Richer Right Now. But if Eliot Disner is right, maybe another zero belongs on the end of that figure.
Study questions: Is the Bar/Bri settlement fair? Or has Bar/Bri screwed us yet again?
Law Firm Fires Partner Who Questioned BAR/BRI Settlement [New York Law Journal]
Bar/Bri Class-Action Objector is Fired [WSJ Law Blog]
The Intrigue Grows in Bar/Bri Class-Action [WSJ Law Blog]
Lawyer Who Sued BAR/BRI Now Questions the Settlement [American Lawyer]