Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered, so the saying goes. As we’ve noted before on Oct. 7, June 5, and Dec. 18, courts are starting to examine attorney fee awards in class action settlements much more closely, and the results often aren’t exactly pretty.
The most recent example is the case of Lofton v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Case No. A136626 (Cal. App. Oct. 22, 2014). The Lofton case really involved two cases with a convoluted procedural history, but bear with us and we’ll try to skip any unnecessary details.
The underlying matter was a garden-variety wage and hour dispute over whether California home mortgage consultants were properly classified as exempt. The Lofton case was brought in state court in San Francisco, and purported to cover the entire state of California. A second similar action was brought in Los Angeles Superior Court by a different set of attorneys. The second case, of course, should have been consolidated with the first or stayed—a matter the court noted but for which there was no explanation. Continue Reading