Ever since my clerkship, I've truly enjoyed watching the status of class action lawsuits, especially in the antitrust context. Today I received my Class Action Notice for the class action lawsuit against BAR/BRI and Kaplan as I purchased a BAR/BRI bar review course between August 1997 and present. Class action plaintiffs allege that BAR/BRI violated the federal antitrust laws by agreeing with Kaplan, Inc., to prevent competition in the market for full-service bar review courses. For more information see www.barbri-classaction.com.
Every time I get a Class Action Notice or Notice of Settlement, I wonder: (1) If I exclude myself from the class, could I, with additional effort, improve upon my monetary recovery?, and (2) If I object to the settlement, might this precipitate an offer from the defendants in exchange for withdrawal of the objection?
Simply, will exclusion or objection lead to pecuniary gain worth more to me than a 5% off coupon for my next BAR/BRI course? (For the record, the most I've ever received as a class action plaintiff is $12.00.)
Are there any data or studies dealing with settlement amounts in the class action context?