Barnes v. AT&T Pension Benefit Plan-NonBargained Program

Filing 336

ORDER re Proposed Class Notice Language. Signed by Judge Edward M. Chen on 12/18/2012. (emclc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/18/2012)

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1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 6 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 7 8 QUILLER BARNES, 9 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 No. C-08-4058 EMC Plaintiff, ORDER RE PROPOSED CLASS NOTICE LANGUAGE v. AT&T PENSION BENEFIT PLAN NONBARGAINED PROGRAM, 12 13 Defendant. ___________________________________/ 14 15 16 Both parties have agreed that there should be a class notice. Furthermore, both parties have 17 now agreed as to the exact language of the class notice. See Docket No. 334 (joint letter). The 18 Court appreciates the time that counsel have spent negotiating that language. The Court has only 19 three concerns that the parties should be prepared to discuss at the hearing on December 21, 2012. 20 1. 21 In this section (found on page 2 of the notice), the answer to the question is, in effect: “The 22 Court ordered that this Notice be sent to inform Class Members of developments in the lawsuit that 23 may impact their rights.” At the very least, this language should be bolded to draw the attention of 24 the class member. 25 Why did I get this Notice? In addition, arguably, the language should be modified so that more specifics are provided 26 about the developments. Proposed language is as follows: “The Court ordered that this Notice be 27 sent to inform Class Members of developments in the lawsuit that may impact their rights. 28 This includes a decision by the Court rejecting one of the class claims (which Plaintiff intends 1 to appeal) and a decision by Plaintiff not to pursue two claims (one an uncertified class claim 2 and one a certified class claim). If you wish to intervene to pursue the claims that Plaintiff has 3 decided not to pursue, you will need to do so by [date].” 4 8. 5 The second paragraph in this section (page 3 of the notice) states that “Plaintiff may ask the How will the lawyers be paid? 6 Court to award attorneys’ fees and expenses against Defendant. Any such award will be paid by the 7 Defendant and will not be paid by the Class.” The notice arguably should be re-worded to make 8 clear that an award will not be paid directly by the class (consistent with the sentence in the first 9 paragraph that “all attorneys’ fees and expenses are payable only out of money recovered for the Class or directly by Defendant to the extent ordered by the Court”). 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 9. 12 The last paragraph of this section (page 4 of the notice) notes that “[y]ou may seek to What do I need to do? 13 intervene in this action.” The parties should include in the notice a specific date by which 14 intervention is required. 15 16 IT IS SO ORDERED. 17 18 Dated: December 18, 2012 19 _________________________ EDWARD M. CHEN United States District Judge 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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