Lawyers paid in gift cards, cont’d

Among the many reactions to our item last week on a Los Angeles judge who ordered that class action counsel be paid in gift cards (having negotiated only a gift-card settlement for the class) was one from Politics Across the Pond: “This should happen a lot more often, which would make it happen a lot less often.”


  • A lot of these lawsuits do protect consumers with plaintiffs’ consumer lawyers playing the role of watchdog. Still, I too find disconcerting the fees earned by attorneys in these types of case when the recovery is a gift card or two free tune-ups. What I’m less clear on is what would be a better system that still maintains the private watchdog impact.

  • I disagree. The public is not protected when the plaintiff law firm often makes 10’s of million of dollars and the few named plaintiffs are awarded a few 1000 of dollars. The rest of the class receive coupons, substandard makeup or some other useless stuff. Its all about the money, not protecting the public.

  • Doug, I think you might be missing my point. I agreed that the scenario you set forth is far from a perfect outcome. But what I’m telling you is that there is deterrance effect – companies play things straight(er) to avoid getting sued. This is a good thing because it helps keep products safe.