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Theodore H. Frank et al. v. Paloma Gaos

Certiorari Granted on April 30, 2018

The date for argument has not yet been set.

  • Amicus Briefs in support of Petitioner or Neither Party are due within 45 days of grant of certiorari, which would be June 14, 2018.

  • Amicus Briefs in support of Respondents are due within 30 days of the filing of the Petitioner's Merits Brief, which would be July 14, 2018 if the Petitioner files on its deadline.

Counsel for Petitioner

Andrew Michael Grossman

Baker & Hostetler LLP

1050 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20036

(202) 861-1697

agrossman@bakerlaw.com

Party name: Theodore H. Frank et al.

Counsel for Respondent

Donald Manwell Falk

Mayer Brown LLP

Two Palo Alto Square, Suite 300

3000 El Camino Real

Palo Alto, CA 94306

(650) 331-2000

dfalk@mayerbrown.com

Party name: Google LLC

Counsel for Respondent

Kassra Powell Nassiri

Nassiri & Jung LLP

47 Kearny Street, Suite 700

San Francisco, CA 94108

(415) 762-3111

kass@njfirm.com

Party name: Paloma Gaos, et al.

Question Presented

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3) permits representatives to maintain a class action where so doing "is superior to other available methods for fairly and efficiently adjudicating the controversy," and Rule 23(e)(2) requires that a settlement that binds class members must be "fair, reasonable, and adequate." In this case, the Ninth Circuit upheld approval of an $8.5 million settlement that disposed of absent class members' claims while providing them zero monetary relief. Breaking with decisions of the Third Circuit, Fifth Circuit, Seventh Circuit, and Eighth Circuit that require compensating class members before putting class action proceeds to other uses, the Ninth Circuit held that the settlement's award of all net proceeds to third-party organizations selected by the defendant and class counsel was a fair and adequate remedy under the trust-law doctrine of cy pres. The question presented is: Whether, or in what circumstances, a cy pres award of class action proceeds that provides no direct relief to class members supports class certification and comports with the requirement that a settlement binding class members must be "fair, reasonable, and adequate."