So we're sitting in a coffee shop, not far from where a judge's convention happens to be taking place, minding our own business. We hear a couple talking loudly about class actions. We can't help but overhear. One of them goes on and on about a case:
- It's a sweetheart deal; company not opposing; the plaintiff's lawyers are submitting huge bills.
- They went to mediation just to get a recommendation on the fee issue, solely on the fee issue. ... It's all window dressing as far as I can see. ... had little charts with all the names of the people and the rates, and you could tell some of them weren't lawyers. Who are these people? Let's be real.
- So we had a second hearing for hours and time. They still didn't give me what I wanted. So I said I'm going to give you one more chance.
- They felt that X% was appropriate. You know how many claims were submitted? $50,000 worth. Then they submitted a request for $1.3 million in fees, talking about what a wonderful success they were.
- I can set us up for an opinion on this one.
Then the other one pipes in:
- "That's the one that bugs me sometimes!"
- I don't mind settlements; I like to have my caseload diminished. But...
We turn around to see who these people are. Yes, they are judges. They appear to realize that they are sitting within earshot of a group of lawyers who can hear them chatting about the case, so they turn the volume down immediately, and within a few minutes, they are gone.
Whether you are a lawyer, or a judge, or just a businessman, you should alway be discreet. You just never know who's sitting near you.