Parrish et al v. National Football League Players Incorporated

Filing 709

Response re 701 Order Class Counsels' Response to July 21, 2010 Order byHerbert Anthony Adderley. (Katz, Ronald) (Filed on 8/12/2010)

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Parrish et al v. National Football League Players Incorporated Doc. 709 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION ATTORNEYS MANATT, PHELPS & PHILLIPS, LLP RONALD S. KATZ (Bar No. CA 085713) E-mail: rkatz@manatt.com RYAN S. HILBERT (California Bar No. 210549) E-mail: rhilbert@manatt.com NOEL S. COHEN (California Bar No. 219645) E-mail: ncohen@manatt.com 1001 Page Mill Road, Building 2 Palo Alto, CA 94304-1006 Telephone: (650) 812-1300 Facsimile: (650) 213-0260 McKOOL SMITH, P.C. LEWIS T. LECLAIR (Bar No. CA 077136) E-mail: lleclair@mckoolsmith 300 Crescent Court, Suite 1500 Dallas, TX 75201 Telephone: (214) 978-4000 Facsimile: (214) 978-4044 Attorneys for Plaintiffs UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA SAN FRANCISCO DIVISION HERBERT ANTHONY ADDERLEY, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff vs. NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE PLAYERS ASSOCIATION, a Virginia corporation, and NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE PLAYERS INCORPORATED d/b/a PLAYERS INC, a Virginia corporation, Defendants. CIVIL ACTION NO. C07 0943 WHA CLASS COUNSELS' RESPONSE TO JULY 21, 2010 ORDER 11 12 13 DALLAS, TEXAS MCKOOL SMITH 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 RESPONSE TO COURT'S JULY 21, 2010 ORDER Page 1 Civil Action No. C07 0943 WHA Dallas 305695v3 300137021.1 Dockets.Justia.com 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION ATTORNEYS Counsel for the GLA Class ("Class Counsel") hereby responds to the Court's July 21, 2010 Order Approving Additional Searches and Mailings (the "Order") as follows. I. BACKGROUND Class Counsel and their claims administrator, the Garden City Group (the "Claims Administrator"), have worked diligently over the last seven months to locate and send claim forms to each member of the Class. Despite these efforts, 202 Class members were unable to be located. As a result, the claim forms for those class members were returned as "undeliverable." Following the Court's July 21,2010 Order, the Claims Administrator, with the assistance and under the supervision of Class Counsel, took the additional step of using social security information provided confidentially by Defendants to run Lexis-based searches in order to identify updated addresses for those class members whose claim forms were previously returned as "undeliverable". See Declaration of Jennifer M. Keough ("Keough Decl.") 3. Where those efforts fell short, the Claims Administrator tried additional searching using other skip tracing engines. Id at 4. The Claims Administrator conducted two separate advanced address searches in an attempt to find updated address information for all 202 unlocated Class members. Id. As a result of these collective efforts, and based on information provided by Defendants and calls received by retired players, Class Counsel have obtained updated contact information for 76 additional Class members. Attached as Exhibit A to the Keough Decl. is a list of those 76 additional Class members. In light of this development, Class Counsel now have two options. II. THE FIRST OPTION The first option, recommended by Class Counsel, is that Class Counsel be authorized to send out a third claim form (the "Third Claim Form") to these 76 class members substantially similar to Exhibit 1 to the Declaration of Ronald S. Katz ("Katz Decl."). Class Counsel recommends giving them six weeks to respond. Class Counsel will retain in the Settlement Fund enough money to pay each of the 76 Class members who returns the third claim form within the allotted time. However, rather than force the vast majority of the class who have already timely submitted their claim forms some as early as December 2009 to continue to wait, Class RESPONSE TO COURT'S JULY 21, 2010 ORDER Page 2 Civil Action No. C07 0943 WHA Dallas 305695v3 300137021.1 11 12 13 DALLAS, TEXAS MCKOOL SMITH 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION ATTORNEYS Counsel also recommends that they be authorized to distribute second payments to each class member who timely returned his claim form and who has already received his first payment. Attached as Exhibit 2 to the Declaration of Ronald S. Katz ("Katz Decl.") is a chart showing these players and the updated amount each is expected to receive. Class Counsel further recommend that they be authorized to pay the Claims Administrator all outstanding fees through completion of the project, as well as their damages expert, LECG, for confirming the accuracy of the numbers. See invoice from Claims Administrator attached as Exhibit B to the Keough Decl. and invoice from LECG attached to Katz Decl. at Exhibit 3. To the extent there remains any money in the Settlement Fund once the time to submit a third claim form has expired, such funds will be distributed to each Class member who returned a claim form at any time proportionate to his share. If it is not financially feasible to distribute this additional money (i.e., the cost of distribution exceeds the remaining funds), Class Counsel will donate such funds to an NFL charity, pursuant to the Proposed Plan of Distribution. See Exhibit 4 to the Katz Decl. Class Counsel believe that this is the fairest and most reasonable way to proceed, and that it is in the best interest of the Class. III. THE SECOND OPTION The second option is that Class Counsel be authorized to send out the Third Claim Form to the 76 class members for whom Class Counsel now has updated contact information, giving them four weeks to respond. Unlike the first option, however, Class Counsel would refrain from distributing second payments to any other Class members until the time to return the third claim forms has expired and all the claim forms have been counted. Class Counsel also would refrain from paying the Claims Administrator anything more than its monthly statements. Class 11 12 13 DALLAS, TEXAS MCKOOL SMITH 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Counsel does not recommend this option because it further delays payment to those Class members who have been waiting patiently to receive their second payments. IV. CONCLUSION For these reasons, Class Counsel respectfully requests that they be authorized to (1) send out the Third Claim Form to the 76 class members for whom Class Counsel now has updated RESPONSE TO COURT'S JULY 21, 2010 ORDER Page 3 Civil Action No. C07 0943 WHA Dallas 305695v3 300137021.1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION ATTORNEYS contact information, giving them six weeks to respond; (2) distribute second payments to each class member who timely returned his claim form and who has already received his first payment; and (3) pay the Claims Administrator for all outstanding costs through completion. Respectfully submitted, Dated: August 12, 2010 MANATT, PHELPS & PHILLIPS, LLP By:_____/s/ Ronald S. Katz______________ Ronald S. Katz (SBN 085713) Ryan S. Hilbert (SBN 210549) Noel S. Cohen (SBN 219645) 1001 Page Mill Road, Building 2 Palo Alto, CA 94304-1006 Telephone: (650) 812-1300 Facsimile: (650) 213-0260 MCKOOL SMITH, P.C. Lewis T. LeClair (SBN 077136) Jill Adler Naylor (SBN 150783) 300 Crescent Court Dallas, TX 75201 Telephone: (214) 978-4984 Facsimile: (214) 978-4044 Attorneys for Plaintiffs 300134348.1 11 12 13 DALLAS, TEXAS MCKOOL SMITH 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Dallas 305695v3 300137021.1 RESPONSE TO COURT'S JULY 21, 2010 ORDER Page 4 Civil Action No. C07 0943 WHA

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