James Copland, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, told Legal Newsline that cy pres-only settlements, which gives money to third parties rather than the actual plaintiffs, are “for and by the lawyers.”
Such settlements have gained attention after the U.S. Supreme Court heard and remanded a case called Frank v. Gaos. The case challenged a settlement that would have sent $5 million to third party groups, $3 million to lawyers, and nearly nothing to the class members. Copland said these suits “create a perverse incentive” for lawyers to bring cases that give no benefit to those allegedly harmed.
The U.S. Supreme Court remanded the case back to the Ninth Circuit, citing class certification issues.