opinions

Midland Funding Robo-Signing Class Action Settlement Struck Down

Under the terms of the settlement reached in several class actions against Midland Funding for its (apparently past) practice of employing robo-signers to execute affidavits for debt buyer lawsuits, each class member would receive under $20 — and that’s it. The Sixth Circuit rightly decided this was unfair (pdf).

Unfortunately, the Sixth Circuit seemed to think the settlement was unfair primarily because the named plaintiffs (i.e., those whose names actually appeared on the complaints) would receive $8,000 plus the elimination of their debts. The class members who opted into the settlement just got $17.38 each, and still owed their debts:

Keep Reading »

Wells Fargo Fined $3.2 Million by New Orleans Bankruptcy Judge

Wells Fargo got in major trouble for applying payments first to fees, then to the principal of a mortgage. And because it pissed off a New Orleans bankruptcy judge by fighting the case for five years while the homeowner’s lawyers worked without pay. (From Bloomberg Law)

I Don’t Believe in Imaginary People

Corporations may be imaginary people, but last week, the U.S. Supreme Court held that imaginary people are entitled to free speech. Along with trolls and gnomes, presumably.

President Obama’s nails the problem in his weekly address:

Weekly Address: President Obama Addresses This Week’s Supreme Court Decision | WhiteHouse.gov

CNN: ” Supreme Court Upholds College Military Recruiting Law”

Law schools across the country have, in recent years, banned military recruiters from their campuses because of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays. The catch is that many law schools receive federal funding, one of the conditions to which is that the law schools must allow military recruiters on campus.

The federal law, known as the Solomon Amendment after its first congressional sponsor, mandates that universities give the military the same access as other recruiters or forfeit federal money.

The case pitted the government’s spending power against the schools’ right to associate and their right to free speech. The law schools argued that they could not survive without federal funding, and that forcing them to accept military recruiters forced them to associate against their will, and forced them to appear to advocate the military’s policies. Justice Roberts wrote the opinion, in which the Supreme Court held:

“A military recruiter’s mere presence on campus does not violate a law school’s right to associate, regardless of how repugnant the law school considers the recruiter’s message.”

Article no longer available at CNN.com.

CNN: SCOTUS “Other Rulings”

A quick summary of some of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decisions:

  • Stepped into a dispute over whether white managers can be sued for calling black employees “boys.” The court unanimously overturned an appeals court decision that said the term “boy” alone was not evidence of workplace discrimination. The decision is a loss for Tyson Foods Inc.
  • Rejected Pennsylvania’s attempt to return a convicted killer to death row for execution. The state asked the justices to overturn an appellate court’s ruling that was written by the Supreme Court’s new member, Samuel Alito. To avoid a conflict of interest, Alito did not participate in Tuesday’s high court decision.
  • Passed up a chance to decide if college administrators can censor campus newspapers. Justices declined without comment to review an appeal filed by former collegiate journalists at Governors State University, a public college in Illinois.
  • Ordered an appellate court to reconsider allowing the brother of a victim of Iranian terrorism to collect $2.8 million from a California company that owes Iran for a cancelled weapons shipment.
  • Refused to hear an appeal by two tobacco companies, R.J. Reynolds and Lorillard, who claimed California’s tough anti-smoking ads smeared their reputations.
  • Revived an attempt by Colorado Republicans to block a congressional election map. Justices gave Republicans a new chance to challenge boundaries drawn by a state judge in 2002.

Article no longer available at CNN.com.