Some class action settlements are highly questionable. Think of a case where, say, the victimized consumers get a stupid coupon, so they can purchase even more goods or services from the company that victimized them — while the lawyers representing the plaintiffs walk away with a big payday. One man is out to change all that. Ted Frank — lawyer and blogger extraordinaire, from Overlawyered and Point of Law (and also Above the Law) — has left his perch as a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He’s starting a new public interest law firm that specializes in pro bono representation of consumers unhappy with class action settlements. Ted is already handling two class actions in California.
The Law of Unintended Consequences holds that almost all human actions have at least one unintended consequence. In other words, each cause has more than one effect, including unforeseen effects. Who would have imagined that a positive externality of the largely right-leaning law and economics movement would result in reducing transaction costs for class-action victims of bad settlements?