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Attorneys – Fees – Class action settlement

An award of $30 million in fees to attorneys who achieved a class action settlement agreement must be vacated because the judge erred in finding that he had inherent federal equitable powers to fashion a fee award.

In Re: Volkswagen and Audi Warranty Extension Litigation (Lawyers Weekly No. 01-192-12) (37 pages) (Lynch, C.J.) (1st Circuit) Appealed from a decision by Tauro, J., in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Kenneth S. Geller, with whom Michael B. Kimberly, Mayer Brown, Michael Hoenig, Jeffrey L. Chase, Daniel V. Gsovski, Miriam Skolnik, Michael B. Gallub, Herzfeld & Rubin, David A. Barry and Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen were on brief, for appellants Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., Volkswagen AG and Audi AG; Michael B. Bogdanow, with whom Victoria M. Santoro and Meehan, Boyle, Black & Bogdanow were on brief, for appellees Peter J. McNulty Law Firm; Irwin & Boesen and Berger & Montague (Docket Nos. 11-1438 and 1857) (July 27, 2012).

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