Perhaps it was intentional or just an amusing coincidence, but the envelope that we have all been waiting for since this whole mess began back in May 2011 finally arrived.

I assume they issued these in an entire batch, as it would not make sense to do otherwise, and the envelopes were sent out on or about December 17, 2018.

As it turns out, the final class member disbursement amount was $202.77 — $36.77 over my estimated recovery of $166 that I wrote about back on April 2013.

The Gilardi site has been updated to reflect the following:

We mailed checks to eligible Settlement Class Members in December 2018. Please be advised that the claims administration process has been completed and all settlement checks have been mailed. If you submitted a claim form and you do not receive your payment at your address of record after 15-business days or you have any questions, please contact our office at info@barbrisettlment.com or call our office at (888) 293-3337 to follow-up.

It’s been quite a trip, but this thing is finally done. For those who took part in the original objection project, thank you for your support in fighting the original garbage settlement. We won.

Enjoy your share.


Finally, after all these years, we may be finally approaching the finish line on this thing.

Gilardi updated their site on March 21, 2018, with the following:

Please be advised that as of January 11, 2018, all appeals to the Settlement have been resolved. Gilardi will proceed with the full implementation of the Settlement, including distribution to eligible Settlement Class Members. At this time, however, we do not have an estimated date of distribution. Please visit this website periodically for updates.

If your contact info has changed since July 2013, which… hopefully is a thing, you should ABSOLUTELY get in contact with Gilardi ASAP to update them at (888) 293-3337 or info@barbrisettlement.com.

If you call the number, note that you can press “3” to talk to someone about updating your address as soon as the message continues on after they get done spelling the website out. Their hours are M-F 7A-5P PST. Be prepared to have your claim number and/or be able to confirm all your previous addresses. I had to provide two prior addresses before I was able to update my address and confirm that everything was in order.

Updated estimated disbursement of funds: Sometime before the class members’ average age reaches 65.

Fee Fight Update: Perhaps the end is in sight?

Sounds like maybe, just maybe, this thing is on its way to finalization.

Another opinion came down on the ongoing fee fight situation and it appears as though some of the outstanding issues have been resolved and guidance provided on how to get things wrapped up (9th Cir. case number: 16-56313 – Opinion: Filed October 30, 2017).

Updated estimated disbursement of funds: Sometime before our Sun burns out.

Fee Fight Update: Delay Delay Delay

A little late on getting this posted, but an opinion came out on the fee fight appeals (9th Cir. case numbers: 13-57061 & 13-57159 – Opinion: Filed May 11, 2016).

Naturally the outcome is yet further delay on any finalization of this settlement.

The 9th kicked this matter back down on remand AND directed it to be reassigned to a different judge.

Sooooo disbursement of funds expected at some point prior to January 1, 2020 2025.

Fee Fight Update: Is anyone ever going to get paid?

Many have wondered and some have asked: are there any updates?

The answer is finally a most resounding sort of.

The oral argument regarding the appeal (and cross-appeal) concerning attorney’s fees that is presently holding up this case took place on 2/2/16 before Judges Stephen Reinhardt, Richard Paez, and Milan Smith. (9th Cir. case numbers: 13-57061 & 13-57159)

Perhaps this will get resolved before the close of 2016. Whenever it does get resolved, there will likely be another call for address updates for obvious reasons. If any updates are sent out, they will be re-posted on this site.

For those playing along at home: the aforementioned appeal was filed after the request for attorney’s fees was rejected over two years ago; the revised settlement was approved over two and half years ago; the proposed settlement we objected to was rejected roughly four and half years ago; and this whole fight began nearly five years ago.

Video of the proceeding is available online and linked below. Please proceed with caution as you could potentially waste up to 28 minutes of your life that could be better spent doing just about anything else.

Disbursement of funds expected at some point prior to January 1, 2020.

Gilardi Site Updated / Appeal Delaying Disbursement

Gilardi updated their site today with the following disclaimer:

Please be advised that an appeal to the Settlement has been filed. This will delay full implementation of the Settlement, including any monetary benefits to be paid to approved claimants, until all appeals are resolved.

We will continue to update this site as information becomes available. If you move or change your contact information in the interim, please contact us to make sure we have your most current information.

This is in line with what I was told a few weeks ago when I spoke with a contact at Gilardi. It’s nice to see that they’ve decided to update their website instead of just leaving everything up in the air.

If your contact info has changed since July 2013, you would be well served in taking their recommendation to get in contact and have Gilardi update their records at (888) 293-3337 or info@barbrisettlement.com.

Fee Fight

UPDATE: Fee request was rejected on November 25, 2013.

Real rejected Baker’s motion. He also granted $4,000 in incentive awards to each of the five representative plaintiffs.

Read more here from the National Law Journal. Also for those interested in a copy of the order granting final approval, a copy is now available here.

Thanks to “Joe” for drawing attention to the settlement’s preliminary approval on Monday (August 19th), but now there’s a battle over attorney fees. The absurdity of some of this is rather striking.

In one settlement, for $9.5 million, attorney George Richard Baker, who represents six objectors, seeks $578,750 in fees for his “remarkably vital role” in raising red flags over an earlier deal that involved coupons; the coupons were later were replaced with cash.

The article goes on to point out the following:

Harris & Ruble, in an August 5 objection, claim Baker’s clients were not responsible for the revised deal. He added that Baker’s firm worked fewer than 70 hours on the case and his clients, whose concerns about the coupons mirrored that of more than 200 other objectors, lack standing to object since they hadn’t submitted claims by the July 8 deadline.

Can’t argue with Harris & Ruble’s logic. Baker wants over $500k for representing six objectors or 2.88% of the objections that we made collectively. Not sure how much of a “remarkably vital role” he played as it seems highly likely the settlement would have been rejected without his contribution. There’s also that whole standing issue…

See this National Law Journal article for the whole scoop. Hopefully there will be final resolution and reward distribution in the not too distant future, preferably without undue dilution by these additional attorney fees.

Gilardi Website (Sort of) Updated

UPDATE (5/7/13 – 12:57 PM EST): Looks like Gilardi updated the rest of the site to include a way to file a claim and some… aesthetic updates too. Of particular note from Question 2 in the FAQ section is the following concerning whether or not you need to file another claim if you did so the last time around (emphasis added):

 If you wish to be eligible to receive a cash payment, you must submit a claim form even if you submitted a one under the prior proposed settlement.

Gilardi’s website (http://www.gilardi.com/barbrisettlement/) has been updated with some new information and a schedule of important deadlines. Unfortunately it appears as though things are only half-baked at the moment.

[This] is only a short summary of the relevant information. Please check this website for more details, including the settlement-related documents, and to use the Claim ID and PIN assigned to you to view the amounts that West’s records show you paid for relevant BAR/BRI courses.

Below is a copy of their updated time table which varies slightly from the proposed schedule in their court filing:

Deadline to File a Claim July 8, 2013
Deadline to File a Request for Exclusion: July 8, 2013
Deadline to File an Objection: July 29, 2013
Deadline to File a Notice to Appear: July 29, 2013
Fairness Hearing: August 19, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.

Will post an update if/when Gilardi updates their site with additional information/forms/etc. regarding this process.

New Settlement Agreement Submitted

After a long period of silence, it looks as if our efforts helped contribute to a near doubling of the settlement.

Kaplan Inc. and West Publishing Corp. have agreed to pay $9.5 million in order to settle class claims that they colluded in the bar exam prep business after a California judge rejected an earlier $5.2 million deal.

(See http://www.law360.com/articles/424204/kaplan-west-agree-to-pay-9-5m-in-bar-prep-antitrust-case for more of their “coverage.”)

Under the new proposed settlement, submitted two days ago, we are looking at all cash and none of those ridiculous discount certificates. Rough breakdown from the $9.5 M: net remainder dived pro rata based on amount paid for BAR/BRI course AFTER admin and notice costs; fee and expense awards to class counsel; and $20K to named plaintiffs. Based on estimates provided in the filing, that split looks roughly $1.6M / $7.9M.

Long story, less long: estimated per-Claimant recovery $166 vs. the prior proposed settlement’s estimated recovery of $92 per-Claimant (based on the final response rate for “Authorized Claimants” or 25.7% of the class).

However, it appears as though the efficacy of the initial approach to class notice is still an open question and it remains to be seen if there will be a substantive difference in the participation rate this time around after all of the brouhaha surrounding this case. Purportedly, Gilardi has 96% of all class members’ addresses and believes the remaining 4% will be “easy to locate at minimal expense.” Good luck to them on that one…

Proposed time table is as follows:

April 15th, 2013 – conditional certification of class, preliminary approval of settlement agreement, claims administrator appointed
May 6, 2013 – claims administrator provides summary notice to class members
July 15, 2013 – deadline for all claim forms, objections, and exclusion requests
August 5, 2013 – hearing on objections / motions for final approval, fees, and reimbursement of costs.

It appears as though this settlement is reasonable at first blush, but if there is cause for pause upon closer review – it’ll get proper attention on here. We’ll also continue to update the site with more info as it becomes available.

Please feel free to leave thoughts, opinions, etc. in the comments by clicking the “leave a comment” above.

Full filing available via PACER (2:08-cv-00810-R-E / Document 138).

Over a year later…

There have been no updates to the official class action settlement website since last June when the settlement was rejected and, to my knowledge, no new public information has been released.

Feel free to contact class counsel at:

Alan Harris & David Zelenski – (323) 962-3777
Perrin F. Disner – (310) 742-7944