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September 18, 2013

Company Takes Hard Line on Lawyer Fees

Starbucks recently agreed to pay $3 million to settle an employee class action, but is taking an unusual stance on attorney’s fees.  The company is insisting on negotiating the fees separately from the class settlement, Alison Frankel explains in Reuters:

Regardless of how much Judge Feess decides to grant [plaintiff’s attorney] Theriault and his fellow lawyers, I think Starbucks is onto something important. I’ve said this before: The best way to deter class actions is to make sure it’s economically irrational for plaintiffs’ lawyers to bring them. Defendants don’t send a message of deterrence when they settle cases for nuisance amounts, but then acquiesce to millions of dollars in fees and expenses for the lawyers who filed the claims.

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