Lawyers plead for mercy in Fort Smith forum shopping case | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Lawyers plead for mercy in Fort Smith forum shopping case

Posted By on Thu, Jun 16, 2016 at 7:12 AM

click to enlarge JOHN GOODSON: Arguing against sanctions.
  • JOHN GOODSON: Arguing against sanctions.
Twelve of the lawyers facing punishment by federal Judge P.K. Holmes in Fort Smith for moving a class action case against an insurance company out of his court to a state court where it was speedily settled have  filed their argument against sanctions.

The lawyers, including prominent politico, UA trustee and Washington lobbyist John Goodson of Texarkana, argue there was no improper purpose in the transfer and that other federal judges have allowed such transfers.

Although the Opinion acknowledges that “this Court is not sitting in review of the settlement”  an award of sanctions would necessarily rest on the conclusion that the state court should not have approved what the Opinion characterizes as “a settlement that primarily benefits Plaintiffs’ counsel and USAA” — otherwise, no harm would have flowed from what the Opinion terms Respondents’ actions to “evade federal review”. But the Supreme Court has recognized the right of state courts to interpret their class action rules differently than federal courts—and specifically to apply what the Opinion refers to as a “more lenient approach to certification”....

“In this day and age, sanctions are a badge of reprobation that can haunt an attorney throughout his or her career. They can have ramifications that go far beyond the particular case.” It is within this Court’s discretion to decline to impose any sanction. 
In the case, that had long been pending in Holmes' court, lawyers got a $1.8 million fee after speedy approval in Polk Circuit Court of a pool of $3.4 million to pay potential claims against USAA Insurance. Critics of the deal said the claims process wasn't likely to produce a full payout. At last report, only a tiny percentage of potential claimants had come forward.


The judge has set a hearing in the case June 24.

Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • University pay ranking puts UA System chief at 57

    The Chronicle of Higher Education recently released its survey of pay of top public and private university leaders in 2016-17. Donald Bobbitt, president of the University of Arkansas System, checked in at No. 57 on the list of 251 public university leaders.
    • Jul 22, 2018
  • Winds, race and an open line

    The open line includes power outages, Republicans and racism.
    • Jul 21, 2018
  • EPA sues over 2013 oil spill near Magnolia

    The oil spill many probably never heard about — far bigger than the Mayflower pipeline rupture — has now led to a federal lawsuit against the owner of the operation in Magnolia where the spill occurred.
    • Jul 21, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • LR Police Chief Buckner in running for Charleston, S.C. job

    KATV reports that Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner is one of five finalists for the job of police chief in Charleston, S.C., and will be visit Charleston next week as part of the process.
    • Feb 2, 2018
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017

People who saved…

Most Viewed

  • University pay ranking puts UA System chief at 57

    The Chronicle of Higher Education recently released its survey of pay of top public and private university leaders in 2016-17. Donald Bobbitt, president of the University of Arkansas System, checked in at No. 57 on the list of 251 public university leaders.

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation