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February 12, 2018

NYT: DOJ Memo Ushers in “Sweeping Limits” on Federal Enforcement Actions

Lawyers from the U.S. Department of Justice told a New Jersey judge that a class action settlement before her is “not appropriate” and should be rejected, National Law Journal reports.

The Department’s statement of interest says the proposed settlement in a false advertising case against an online wine website provides a “windfall payment” to the lawyers but “extremely limited value to consumers.” Under the proposed settlement, class members can receive between $0.20 and $2.25 credit per bottle of wine purchased, while class counsel requested $1.7 million in fees.

This is the first such statement since Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand said the Department will ramp up its efforts to review settlements last week. A fairness hearing on the settlement will be held in March, and DOJ attorneys said they plan to attend.

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