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).

4 thoughts on “New Settlement Agreement Submitted”

  1. I got on this band wagon late and am having trouble finding the claim form. Since the deadline to file the claim is July 8 shouldn’t the claim form be available still? I found nothing on the Gilardi website

  2. According to the updated website info at Gilardi (http://www.gilardi.com/barbrisettlement): “The foregoing 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.”

    Looks like they are slow rolling the release of information & forms or whatever. I’ll post an update on here if/when Gilardi gets everything going.

    J

  3. Looks like the new Question 2 in the Gilardi FAQ section addresses 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.

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