Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital, Inc. v. Yelp! Inc.

Filing 86

Supplemental MOTION to Appoint Lead Plaintiff and Lead Counsel and Proposed Six-Month Discovery Plan filed by Astro Appliance Service, Bleeding Heart, LLC, California Furnishings, Inc., Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital, Inc., Celibre, Inc, J.L. Ferri Entertainment, Inc., Le Petite Retreat Day Spa, LLC, San Francisco Bay Boat Cruises, LLC, Wag My Tail, Inc., Zodiac Restaurant Group, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Composite Exhibit A)(Beck, Jared) (Filed on 7/26/2010)

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Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital, Inc. v. Yelp! Inc. Doc. 86 1 THE WESTON FIRM GREGORY S. WESTON (239944) 2 888 Turquoise Street San Diego, CA 92109 3 Telephone: (858) 488-1672 4 Facsimile: (480) 247-4553 greg@westonfirm.com 5 JACK FITZGERALD (257370) 6 2811 Sykes Court Santa Clara, CA 95051 7 Telephone: (408) 459-0305 8 jack@westonfirm.com BECK & LEE BUSINESS TRIAL LAWYERS JARED H. BECK (233743) ELIZABETH LEE BECK (233742) 28 West Flagler Street, Suite 555 Miami, FL 33130 Telephone: (305) 789-0072 Facsimile: (786) 664-3334 jared@beckandlee.com elizabeth@beckandlee.com 9 Attorneys for Plaintiffs and the Proposed Classes 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 YELP! INC., Defendant. Case No. 10-CV-01321 MHP Judge: Hon. Marilyn Hall Patel CATS AND DOGS ANIMAL HOSPITAL, INC.; ASTRO APPLIANCE SERVICE; BLEEDING HEART, LLC; CALIFORNIA FURNISHINGS, INC.; CELIBR, INC.; J.L. FERRI ENTERTAINMENT, INC.; LE PETITE RETREAT DAY SPA, LLC; SAN FRANCISCO BAY BOAT CRUISES, LLC; WAG MY TAIL, INC.; and ZODIAC RESTAURANT GROUP, INC., on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA CASE NO. 10-CV-02351 MHP Pleading Type: Class Action Action Filed: February 23, 2010 PLAINTIFFS' SUPPLEMENTAL MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF DESIGNATING BECK & LEE BUSINESS TRIAL LAWYERS AND THE WESTON FIRM AS LEAD COUNSEL AND PROPOSED SIXMONTH DISCOVERY PLAN 22 BORIS Y. LEVITT, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, 23 Plaintiff, 24 v. 25 YELP! INC.; and DOES 1 through 100, 26 inclusive, 27 28 Defendants. Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital, Inc.et al. v. Yelp! Inc., Case No. 3:10-CV-02351 MHP SUPP. MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF DESIGNATING BECK & LEE BUSINESS TRIAL LAWYERS AND THE WESTON FIRM AS LEAD COUNSEL & SIX-MO. DISCOVERY PLAN Dockets.Justia.com 1 I. 2 INTRODUCTION Pursuant to this Court's July 20, 2010 Order on Defendant Yelp! Inc.'s Motion to 3 Consolidate Related Cases for All Purposes and to Set Dates for Consolidated Amended 4 Complaint and Response Thereto ("Consolidation Order"), the law firms of Beck & Lee 5 Business Trial Lawyers ("Beck & Lee") and The Weston Firm ("Weston") hereby respectfully 6 and jointly move to be appointed co-lead counsel in the consolidated action and submit their 7 proposed six-month discovery plan. The grounds discussed for appointment of Beck & Lee and 8 Weston as co-lead counsel are: (1) the history of effective cooperation between Beck & Lee and 9 Weston in prosecuting class actions, and the history of their cooperation with other law firms; (2) 10 the firms' extensive contacts with members of the Class; (3) Beck & Lee's and Weston's ability 11 and proposal to streamline and effectively manage the litigation to facilitate economies for the 12 Court and the Class, including streamlining discovery; (4) Beck & Lee's and Weston's 13 considerable work on behalf of the Class and investment in this case thus far; and (5) the 14 collective experience of Beck & Lee and Weston in pursuing plaintiffs' rights. 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital, Inc. v. Yelp! Inc. (hereinafter, "Cats and Dogs") is the first-filed class action against Yelp. Plaintiff Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital, Inc. filed the Complaint on February 23, 2010 in the Central District of California. The First Amended Complaint was filed on March 16, 2010, adding 9 more representative Plaintiffs. Three of the newly added Plaintiffs, Astro Appliance Service, California Furnishings, Inc. and San Francisco Bay Boat Cruises, LLC, are located in the Northern District of California. Counsel for Cats and Dogs are the law firms of Beck & Lee and Weston. Cats and Dogs has become the public face of the nationwide fight by small businesses against Yelp's extortionate conduct. The New York Times,1 Wall Street Journal,2 ABC News,3 1 II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND Nick Bilton, Yelp Is Sued After Dispute Over a Review, N.Y. Times, Feb. 24, 2010, available at http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/24/yelp-is-sued-after-dispute-over-a-review/. 27 28 1 Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital, Inc.et al. v. Yelp! Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-01340-VBF-SS SUPP. MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF DESIGNATING BECK & LEE BUSINESS TRIAL LAWYERS AND THE WESTON FIRM AS LEAD COUNSEL & SIX-MO. DISCOVERY PLAN 1 Bloomberg Businessweek,4 Wired Magazine,5 CNET,6 TechCrunch,7 and dozens of other 2 newspapers, magazines, radio and TV shows, and online blogs, have written or broadcasted 3 about the Cats and Dogs lawsuit. Dr. Gregory Perrault, the owner of Plaintiff Cats and Dogs 4 Animal Hospital, Inc., and attorneys from Beck & Lee and Weston have been interviewed for 5 and quoted in numerous articles, and have appeared on television and radio discussing the 6 lawsuit.8 7 Levitt v. Yelp! Inc. was the third putative class action complaint to be lodged against 8 Yelp. The Levitt action began in San Francisco County Superior Court, and was subsequently 9 removed by Yelp to this Court (Beck & Lee and Weston were jointly substituted in as counsel 10 for the plaintiff in the second-filed action, LaPausky v. Yelp! Inc.). To date, undersigned counsel 11 is not aware of any other class actions against Yelp. Plaintiff's counsel in the Levitt action are 12 the law firms of Murray & Associates ("Murray") and Ongaro Burtt LLP ("Ongaro Burtt") 13 (collectively, the "Levitt counsel"). 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Ashby Jones, Real People. Real Reviews. Real Extortion Scheme?, The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 26, 2010, available at http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2010/02/26/real-people-realreviews-real-extortion-scheme/. 3 Ki Mae Heussner, Yelp Faces Extortion Claim, Class Action Suit, ABC News/Technology, Feb. 26, 2010, available at http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/TheLaw/yelpfaces-extortion-claim-class-action-suit/story?id=9944826; ABC 7 News (SF Bay Area), Feb. 26, 2010, available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_y9k4ycO08. 4 Edvard Pettersson & JosephGalante, Yelp.com Accused of Extortion by California Veterinary Hospital, Bloomberg Businessweek, Feb. 25, 2010, available at http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-02-25/yelp-com-accused-of-extortion-by-californiaveterinary-hospital.html; Peter Burrows & Joseph Galante, Yelp: Advertise or Else?, Bloomberg Businessweek, March 3, 2010, available at http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_11/b4170027355708.htm. 5 Kim Zetter, Yelp Accused of Extortion, Wired Magazine, Feb. 24, 2010, available at http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/tag/yelp/. 6 Caroline McCarthy, New Class Action Lawsuit Targets Yelp, CNET News, Feb. 24, 2010, available at http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-10459197-36.html. 7 Robin Wauters, Yelp Hit With Class Action Lawsuit For Running An "Extortion Scheme", TechCrunch, Feb. 24, 2010, available at http://techcrunch.com/2010/02/24/yelp-classaction-lawsuit/. 8 See, e.g., CBS Los Angeles, "Yelp Lawsuit," Feb. 26, 2010, available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP3OgInCsMc; G4tv's "Attack of the Show," Feb. 25, 2010, available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbPjK6cTqAc. 2 Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital, Inc.et al. v. Yelp! Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-01340-VBF-SS SUPP. MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF DESIGNATING BECK & LEE BUSINESS TRIAL LAWYERS AND THE WESTON FIRM AS LEAD COUNSEL & SIX-MO. DISCOVERY PLAN 2 1 Yelp moved to transfer Cats and Dogs to the Northern District of California, and related 2 Cats and Dogs to Levitt. Oon June 4, 2010, Cats and Dogs was assigned to this Court. The 3 Court's Consolidation Order combined the two actions and directed counsel to file a six-month 4 discovery plan and submissions in aid of the Court's lead counsel determination. 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 III. BECK & LEE AND WESTON ARE BEST SUITED TO BE APPOINTED COLEAD COUNSEL A. Beck & Lee and Weston Have a Proven Track Record of Working Together Effectively and Cooperatively on Behalf of Plaintiffs. 1. The Two Firms' Principals Have a Longstanding, Close Relationship The law firms of Beck & Lee and Weston began their formal cooperation in 2007 during a hotly contested state-court class action involving real estate in Miami, Florida, but the attorneys have known each other since their law school days. Jared Beck of Beck & Lee and Gregory Weston met and became close friends during their first year at Harvard Law School in 2001, and Elizabeth Lee Beck of Beck & Lee was introduced to Mr. Weston in 2003 (the two Beck & Lee attorneys, Jared Beck and Elizabeth Lee Beck, are husband and wife). Jack Fitzgerald joined Weston in 2010. Together, the firms have a total of four attorneys: Mr. Beck and Ms. Lee Beck of Beck & Lee, and Mr. Weston and Mr. Fitzgerald of The Weston Firm. See Composite Exhibit A (biographies of attorneys). 2. Beck & Lee and Weston Have Combined the Resources of Their Two Firms to Jointly Represent Plaintiffs in Numerous Class Actions Beck & Lee and Weston currently jointly represent plaintiffs in 17 federal actions, 14 of which are pending in California, and three of which are pending in the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. Of these, 10 are consumer class actions bringing claims under California's Unfair Competition Law and three are pending in the Northern District of California (including the instant action). The cases that Beck & Lee and Weston have successfully litigated together include: Becker v. TRG Columbus Dev. Venture, Ltd. et al., Case No. 08-05068 CA 09 (class action in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida, settled in 2009); 3 Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital, Inc.et al. v. Yelp! Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-01340-VBF-SS SUPP. MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF DESIGNATING BECK & LEE BUSINESS TRIAL LAWYERS AND THE WESTON FIRM AS LEAD COUNSEL & SIX-MO. DISCOVERY PLAN 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Adachi v. Carlyle/Galaxy San Pedro, L.P. et al., Case No. 2:09-cv-00793-MMMAJW (class action in the Central District of California, class-wide settlement reached in 2009); and Red v. Unilever PLC et al., Case No: 3:09-cv2039 WQH JMA (class action in the Northern District of California, preliminary class-wide settlement reached in 2010). 3. Beck & Lee and Weston Comprise an Effective Legal Team to Handle This Matter The working relationship between the two firms is founded on a longstanding personal 10 relationship, and in practice, they function as offices of the same law firm in many important 11 respects. The attorneys communicate regularly to discuss their various pending cases, and to 12 ensure that the firms are handling the matters in an efficient and effective manner. As a practical 13 matter, Beck & Lee and Weston submit that the cooperation of the four attorneys at the two firms 14 is little different from Yelp's team of five attorneys of record in this case, who themselves span 15 multiple offices. 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4 Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital, Inc.et al. v. Yelp! Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-01340-VBF-SS SUPP. MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF DESIGNATING BECK & LEE BUSINESS TRIAL LAWYERS AND THE WESTON FIRM AS LEAD COUNSEL & SIX-MO. DISCOVERY PLAN 4. Beck & Lee Has a Demonstrated History of Working Cooperatively With Other Counsel Beck & Lee's prior and pending co-counsel relationships include the following: Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP (formerly Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman and Robbins LLP): co-counsel in Soon Ja Chun et al. v. Korean Air Lines, et al., MDL No. 1891/Case No. CV 07-06542 SJO (AGRx), nationwide class-action for price-fixing in the passenger airline industry; Scott & Scott, LLP: co-counsel in Soon Ja Chun et al. v. Korean Air Lines, et al.; and Hulett Harper Stewart, LLP: co-counsel in In Re LTL Shipping Antitrust Litigation (N.D. Ga), MDL No. 1895/ Case No. 1:08-MD-1895-WSD, price- 1 2 3 fixing/antitrust class action against providers of less-than-truckload shipping services. In addition, Beck & Lee and Weston are presently working with Lieff Cabraser in 4 connection with a recently-filed nationwide class action against Apple Inc. and AT&T Mobility 5 LLC, currently pending in the Northern District of California. 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 B. Beck & Lee and Weston Have had Extensive Interactions With the Class, Have Been Contacted by Hundreds of Class Members, and Beck & Lee Has Been Retained by 70 Individuals and Businesses Throughout the Country to Date. Since Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital retained Beck & Lee and Weston to represent it in its fight against Yelp, the firms have formed deep and extensive contacts with the geographically dispersed Class members impacted by Yelp's conduct. 1. Beck & Lee's Contacts With the Named Plaintiffs and Potential Plaintiffs Include Interviewing Around 380 Businesses and Being Retained by 69 of Them as Counsel Since Cats and Dogs was filed, approximately 380 businesses throughout the country 16 have contacted Beck & Lee, of which 69 have formally retained the firm to represent their 17 interests. A plurality of these Class members are located in California, but as a whole, they are 18 scattered throughout the U.S., reflecting Yelp's wide-ranging impact. To this day, Beck & Lee 19 continues to receive contacts from additional Class members on a near-daily basis, and expects 20 many more to retain the firm as counsel. Currently, Beck & Lee's Class member clients include 21 the following: 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Nationwide bowling alley chain headquartered in New York Historic night club in New York Salon in California Dentist in Colorado Restaurant in New Jersey Grocery store in Maine 5 Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital, Inc.et al. v. Yelp! Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-01340-VBF-SS SUPP. MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF DESIGNATING BECK & LEE BUSINESS TRIAL LAWYERS AND THE WESTON FIRM AS LEAD COUNSEL & SIX-MO. DISCOVERY PLAN 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. Full service salon in Pennsylvania Dog walking service in California Restaurant in Washington, DC Chiropractor in California Spa in California Doctor in California Dentist in New York Restaurant in Washington Day spa in California Game store in California Coffee shop in Colorado Restaurant in Florida Tarp supplier in Illinois Property management company in California Upholstery store in California Entertainment company in New York Cruise company in California Consulting firm in California Appliance service company in California Financial services company in California Restaurant/bakery in California Dentist in California Psychiatrist in California Restaurant in Illinois Auto mechanic in California Restaurant in Massachusetts Wedding planner in California 6 Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital, Inc.et al. v. Yelp! Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-01340-VBF-SS SUPP. MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF DESIGNATING BECK & LEE BUSINESS TRIAL LAWYERS AND THE WESTON FIRM AS LEAD COUNSEL & SIX-MO. DISCOVERY PLAN 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. Dentist in California Bakery in Illinois Realtor in California Doctor in California Pet store in California Art studio in Illinois Dentist in California Auto mechanic in California Restaurant in California Doctor in California Photographer in South Carolina Yogurt shop in California Auto mechanic in California Restaurant in Washington Disc jockey in Colorado Salon in California Salon in New York Paving company in California Restaurant in California Restaurant in Florida Pet store in Illinois Moving and storage company in California Furniture store in California Caterer in Washington Spa in Massachusetts Dentist in California Wine bar in Washington 7 Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital, Inc.et al. v. Yelp! Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-01340-VBF-SS SUPP. MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF DESIGNATING BECK & LEE BUSINESS TRIAL LAWYERS AND THE WESTON FIRM AS LEAD COUNSEL & SIX-MO. DISCOVERY PLAN 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. Health center in California Restaurant in California Art gallery in Ohio Auto mechanic in California Bakery in Illinois Restaurant in California Comic store in California Financial advisor in California Realtor in Washington This list provides a window into the diversity of the Class members' vocations and far- 11 flung geographic scope. Beck & Lee has held conference calls, fielded questions, and conducted 12 interviews (both in-person and over the phone), all in an effort to gather valuable information 13 and personally address the concerns of business owners as they seek out information about their 14 claims against Yelp and look to retain legal counsel. 15 In contrast to many class actions, the Class members in this case have substantial 16 individual and personal stakes in the outcome of this litigation. Yelp has intruded into their lives 17 and livelihoods by extorting or attempting to extort them into paying for "advertising" on Yelp's 18 website; if they say "no" to Yelp's overtures, then they suffer the consequences of Yelp's 19 employees manipulating content about them on the website. As a result, the Class members 20 have incurred, and are incurring, significant disruption to their ability to run their businesses, in 21 addition to substantial monetary harm. The Class members listed above have chosen Beck & 22 Lee to represent them in righting the wrongs exacted by Yelp. 23 24 25 2. Weston's Extensive Contacts With the Named Plaintiffs and Potential Plaintiffs Include Being Contacted by Over 150 Businesses Weston has been contacted by over 150 businesses throughout the country seeking 26 additional information on the pending lawsuit, and has signed several of them as clients. The 27 firm has held conference calls, fielded questions, and conducted interviews (both in-person and 28 8 Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital, Inc.et al. v. Yelp! Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-01340-VBF-SS SUPP. MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF DESIGNATING BECK & LEE BUSINESS TRIAL LAWYERS AND THE WESTON FIRM AS LEAD COUNSEL & SIX-MO. DISCOVERY PLAN 1 over the phone), all in an effort to gather valuable information and personally address the 2 concerns of business owners as they seek out information about their claims against Yelp and 3 look to retain legal counsel. To this day, Weston continues to receive contacts from new Class 4 members on a near-daily basis. 5 6 7 3. In Contrast to Beck & Lee, the Levitt Counsel Do Not Represent any Class Members Who Paid Yelp for Advertising The sole plaintiff in the Levitt action, Boris Levitt, did not pay Yelp for any advertising. 8 Businesses which have paid money towards advertising comprise a vital subclass in this action, 9 as reflected in the Cats and Dogs First Amended Complaint which defines a "Sponsor Class" of 10 those who were extorted by Yelp into paying for advertising. By contrast, Beck & Lee's clients 11 include five businesses which have paid Yelp for advertising, and therefore are best suited to 12 adequately represent the entire class of businesses affected by Yelp's conduct. 13 14 15 4. Beck & Lee and Weston Have Also Been in Communication With Material Witnesses Beck & Lee and Weston have also been contacted by, and are in communication with, 16 several confidential informants and material witnesses in possession of valuable information. 17 These include witnesses with first-hand knowledge of Yelp's business practices, as well as a 18 state police investigator. 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 9 Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital, Inc.et al. v. Yelp! Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-01340-VBF-SS SUPP. MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF DESIGNATING BECK & LEE BUSINESS TRIAL LAWYERS AND THE WESTON FIRM AS LEAD COUNSEL & SIX-MO. DISCOVERY PLAN C. Beck & Lee and Weston are Committed to Obtaining Justice on Behalf of The Plaintiffs and the Class in an Efficient, Streamlined, and Economical Manner. 1. Beck & Lee and Weston's Proposal for Efficient Division of Tasks Beck & Lee and Weston submit the following proposal for the division of tasks to efficiently meet the demands of this action while best serving the interests of the Class: 1 2 3 4 5 6 Document Review The attorneys of Beck & Lee and Weston will review documents, assisted by staff to the extent necessary and appropriate relative to the size of productions. The firms will fully utilize appropriate technology (e.g., ftp download, electronic TIFF/PDF review) to minimize or eliminate any impact of their offices' physical locations on the efficiency of document review. Elizabeth Lee Beck and Jared Beck will take the lead in taking and defending depositions. 7 Depositions 8 9 10 11 12 Briefing and 13 Motion Practice 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Trial 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2. Court Appearances Discovery drafting Jared Beck and Jack Fitzgerald anticipate handling the bulk of discovery drafting in this matter. Jack Fitzgerald, Jared Beck and Gregory Weston anticipate handling the bulk of the motion practice and briefing. The firms anticipate that Jack Fitzgerald will appear for any discovery hearings or case management/status conferences to take advantage of his location in Northern California. To the extent that either of the Beck & Lee attorneys appear in Court, travel time and costs will not be billed (see section C.2 below) to minimize the impact of Beck & Lee's Miami location on the Class. Beck & Lee and Weston anticipate that both firms will fully participate in trial. Beck & Lee will not bill for travel time or travel costs. Beck & Lee and Weston's Proposals for Cost-Effective and Economical Case Management Beck & Lee and Weston submit the following proposal for the cost-effective and economical management of this case: 10 Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital, Inc.et al. v. Yelp! Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-01340-VBF-SS SUPP. MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF DESIGNATING BECK & LEE BUSINESS TRIAL LAWYERS AND THE WESTON FIRM AS LEAD COUNSEL & SIX-MO. DISCOVERY PLAN 1 2 3 4 Third-party legal research costs Beck & Lee and Weston will not bill any costs for Westlaw or Lexis legal research (the firms have never billed Westlaw or Lexis costs to clients, as a matter of firm policy). The attorneys of Beck & Lee will not bill travel time or costs to attend court hearings. Beck & Lee and Weston will not bill any long-distance telephone calls. 5 Travel from 6 Miami 7 8 9 Long-distance calls 10 In-house copying Beck & Lee and Weston will not charge for in-house copying. 11 12 13 14 15 16 Hearings 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Beck & Lee and Weston welcome and will consider additional proposals to economize Website No more than two attorneys will bill for attending hearings. Beck & Lee has established an interactive website (http://yelpclassaction.wordpress.com) to share information between the public and the attorneys, and will continue to maintain the website at no charge to the Class. Thus far, a large number of Class members have reached out to the firms by using the website. Depositions No more than two attorneys will bill for depositions taken (if additional attorneys attend, the hours will not be billed); and no more than one attorney will bill for depositions defended (if additional attorneys attend, the hours will not be billed). 24 the litigation for the Class. 25 Pursuant to the ADR Local Rules, Beck & Lee and Weston previously proposed to Yelp 26 that the parties engage in Early Neutral Evaluation ("ENE") with the Court. This presents a 27 number of efficiencies--it is conducted at no cost to the client (unlike private mediation, in 28 11 Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital, Inc.et al. v. Yelp! Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-01340-VBF-SS SUPP. MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF DESIGNATING BECK & LEE BUSINESS TRIAL LAWYERS AND THE WESTON FIRM AS LEAD COUNSEL & SIX-MO. DISCOVERY PLAN 1 which the mediator receives an hourly rate); the parties will be able to receive input from the 2 Court itself; and the parties will be required to bring along client representatives with authority to 3 settle. While Yelp previously proposed holding private mediation within 45 days after a decision 4 on Yelp's Motion to Dismiss, Beck & Lee and Weston believe an earlier ENE would be useful. 5 Specifically, Beck & Lee and Weston believe that engaging in an ENE after Yelp's motion is 6 fully briefed, but before the hearing and/or decision on the motion, would be useful and help to 7 potentially resolve the action. 8 9 10 3. Beck & Lee and Weston's Proposal to Streamline Discovery With the Least Amount of Contention Beck & Lee and Weston recognize that the most efficient and effective method in 11 resolving discovery disputes is through the attorneys' ongoing commitment to confer in good 12 faith with one other. They will strive to settle disagreements amicably without motion practice 13 or otherwise resorting to court intervention. In support of streamlining discovery, they also 14 propose the following six-month discovery plan. 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 12 Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital, Inc.et al. v. Yelp! Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-01340-VBF-SS SUPP. MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF DESIGNATING BECK & LEE BUSINESS TRIAL LAWYERS AND THE WESTON FIRM AS LEAD COUNSEL & SIX-MO. DISCOVERY PLAN Beck & Lee and Weston propose limiting discovery during the first six months to class certification, with the following details aimed at making the litigation most efficient: (1) Class certification discovery to close six months after decision on Yelp's Motion 4. Six-Month Discovery Proposal to Dismiss is issued; (2) Documents responsive to already-served document requests to be produced by both sides within one month after decision on Yelp's Motion to Dismiss is issued, with the parties to meet and confer with respect to any outstanding discovery requests and responses, for example, to determine which requests concern issues related to class certification; (3) Yelp to make all corporate representatives available for deposition within four months after Yelp's Motion to Dismiss is ruled upon; 1 (4) Plaintiffs will designate a total of four businesses in the consolidated complaint, 2 two each from the Sponsor Class and the Non-Sponsor class, to serve as class representatives for 3 purposes of the class certification motion; 4 (5) Plaintiffs will make the designated representatives from each class available for 5 deposition within four months after decision on Yelp's Motion to Dismiss; 6 (6) Expert discovery (related to class certification) to open four months after decision 7 on Yelp's Motion to Dismiss, and to be completed six months after decision on Yelp's Motion to 8 Dismiss. 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 D. Beck & Lee and Weston Have Already Done Considerable Work and Invested Substantial Labor and Resources on Behalf of the Class Relative to the Levitt Counsel 5. Beck & Lee and Weston Will Cap Their Attorneys' Fees Beck & Lee and Weston will not seek fees greater than 25% of any settlement or judgment if it is primarily a monetary award, or 1.5 times the lodestar if settlement or judgment is primarily injunctive relief. As a result of their pre-litigation and ongoing investigation, Beck & Lee and Weston 17 already possess a deep understanding of the case that cannot be matched by the Levitt counsel. 18 Over 500 individuals have contacted the firms, sharing valuable experiences, information, 19 documents, and data. The firms have conducted extensive interviews with Class members and 20 potential witnesses, and compiled and analyzed data and information in an effort to further 21 understand the breadth and depth of Yelp's conduct. 22 Furthermore, Beck & Lee and Weston have fully briefed a Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to 23 Dismiss filed by Yelp, affording them intimate familiarity with the key legal issues to be decided 24 in this case. The firms have also propounded and received responses to substantial discovery and 25 are now in a position to quickly exchange documents with Yelp as soon as the Court permits 26 discovery in this case to go forward. 27 28 13 Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital, Inc.et al. v. Yelp! Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-01340-VBF-SS SUPP. MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF DESIGNATING BECK & LEE BUSINESS TRIAL LAWYERS AND THE WESTON FIRM AS LEAD COUNSEL & SIX-MO. DISCOVERY PLAN 1 2 3 E. Beck & Lee and Weston Have Dedicated Practices Committed to Representing Plaintiffs Both Beck & Lee and Weston are proud to jointly represent plaintiffs in class actions The two firms are almost 100% 4 throughout the country, but predominantly in California. 5 dedicated to representing plaintiffs, and have been so since their respective inceptions. They 6 have successfully represented plaintiffs in hundreds of cases, ranging from single-plaintiff 7 matters with small-claims controversy amounts, to pro bono cases, to large nationwide class 8 actions. In every instance, Beck & Lee and Weston have pursued their clients' interests with the 9 utmost dedication and perseverance. As such, Beck & Lee and Weston's counsel vehemently 10 disagree with Levitt counsel's questioning of their qualifications and experience to represent the 11 Class in this action. In the area of pursuing plaintiffs' rights in class actions, Beck & Lee and 12 Weston submit that they have substantially more experience than Levitt counsel. 13 Indeed, the law firm of Ongaro Burtt has been in existence less than two years.9 It was 14 founded by two partners who departed Perkins Coie, a firm that is highly regarded but 15 undeniably focused on defending large companies. As for Murray and Associates, it is 16 understood that this firm's involvement in this case will be of a limited nature, if at all, based 17 upon Mr. Ongaro's representation to the Court on July 19, 2010. 18 IV. 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 9 CONCLUSION For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court appoint Beck & Lee and The Weston Firm as co-lead counsel in the consolidated action. ~signature page follows~ 28 See http://www.rao-ongaro.com/news/080801_perkins.html, accessed 7/23/10 9:23 p.m. 14 Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital, Inc.et al. v. Yelp! Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-01340-VBF-SS SUPP. MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF DESIGNATING BECK & LEE BUSINESS TRIAL LAWYERS AND THE WESTON FIRM AS LEAD COUNSEL & SIX-MO. DISCOVERY PLAN 1 DATED: July 26, 2010 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 15 Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital, Inc.et al. v. Yelp! Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-01340-VBF-SS SUPP. MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF DESIGNATING BECK & LEE BUSINESS TRIAL LAWYERS AND THE WESTON FIRM AS LEAD COUNSEL & SIX-MO. DISCOVERY PLAN Counsel for Plaintiffs and the Proposed Classes Respectfully Submitted, /s/Jared H. Beck Jared H. Beck BECK & LEE BUSINESS TRIAL LAWYERS JARED H. BECK ELIZABETH LEE BECK Courthouse Plaza Building 28 West Flagler Street, Suite 555 Miami, FL 33130 Telephone: 305 789 0072 Facsimile: 786 664 3334 888 Turquoise Street San Diego, CA 92109 Telephone: (858) 488-1672 Facsimile: (480) 247-4553 greg@westonfirm.com JACK FITZGERALD (257370) 2811 Sykes Court Santa Clara, CA 95051 Telephone: (408) 459-0305 jack@westonfirm.com

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