Welcome to the
BAR/BRI Class Action Website
(Last Updated on March 22, 2012)
The pending appeals before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
were heard and/or submitted on March 5, 2012. These 13 appeals are related to
the District Court’s determinations regarding fee requests from a number of
Objectors as well as the fees awarded to Class Counsel. Final distribution of
the remaining Net Settlement Fund cannot be made until all appeals have been
A summary of events since the Final Approval of the Settlement is set forth
below, followed by a summary of the litigation.
Summary of Events Since Final Approval
Over 88,000 Claim Forms representing claims for over 130,000 BAR/BRI courses have been processed by the Claims Administrator. On September 10, 2007, after a preliminary approval hearing and multiple final approval hearings, the District Court granted final approval of the Settlement. A few class member Objectors appealed this order.
On April 23, 2009, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (the "Ninth Circuit") affirmed the Settlement and remanded to the District Court for further proceedings the award of attorneys' fees to Class Counsel and Objectors' Counsel.
On August 7, 2009, the District Court issued an order awarding certain Objectors' counsel a total of $16,250. In August and September, 2009, a few class member Objectors filed Notices of Appeal with the Ninth Circuit regarding the District Court's order. Those appeals are currently pending. No date for argument has been set by the Ninth Circuit.
On December 7, 2009, Settling Plaintiffs' Motion for Final Distribution of the Net Settlement Fund and Approval and Distribution of Attorneys' Fees and Expenses came on for hearing before the Honorable Judge Manual L. Real. On February 3, 2010, the District Court entered an order granting final distribution of the Net Settlement Fund upon resolution of all appeals (the "Final Distribution Order"). In the Final Distribution Order the Court (1) approved the determinations of the Claims Administrator rejecting and accepting claims and determining the amount of each Authorized Claim, (2) resolved all requests for Court review of disputed claims, and (3) denied attorneys' fees to Class Counsel McGuireWoods LLP ("MW"), granted attorneys' fees to Class Counsel Finkelstein Thompson, LLP ("FT") and Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, LLP ("ZSZ") in a reduced amount, and awarded expenses to all Class Counsel.
A motion for reconsideration of the portion of the Final Distribution Order relating to attorneys' fees was scheduled for hearing before the District Court on March 29, 2010. Six groups of objectors filed motions requesting attorneys' fees as a result of the District Court's overall reduction of attorneys' fees to Class Counsel.
On February 24, 2010, MW filed a Notice of Appeal of the portion of the Final Distribution Order denying MW attorneys' fees. On March 1, 2010 FT and ZSZ filed a Notice of Appeal of the portion of the Final Distribution Order reducing the attorneys' fees awarded to FT and ZSZ. No hearing date has been scheduled for these appeals.
On March 2, 2010, the District Court took all pending motions off calendar pending the determination of all appeals. On March 9, 2010, Class Counsel asked the District Court to reconsider its decision removing all motions from the Court's calendar and to reinstate the March 29, 2010 hearing on the motions. On March 10, 2010 the District Court denied Class Counsel's request to restore the motions to the Court's calendar.
On March 31, 2010, Class Counsel filed a motion with the Ninth Circuit to consolidate all pending appeals and to expedite the briefing schedule and hearing of the appeals.
On May 6, 2010, The Ninth Circuit issued an order holding the appellate proceedings in abeyance until the District Court resolved the pending motions. The District Court scheduled a hearing on all of the pending motions for July 19, 2010. The District Court subsequently rescheduled the hearing for August 9, 2010.
On August 9, 2010, the District Court issued an order denying the Motion for Reconsideration of FT and ZSZ. The Court ordered further briefing on the Motion for Reconsideration of MW and continued the hearing on that motion and all of the Objectors' motions for attorneys' fees until September 27, 2010 at 10:00 a.m.
On September 27, 2010 the District Court modified its order denying attorneys' fees to McGuireWoods, LLP by awarding McGuireWoods $500,000 in attorneys' fees for the period from July 10, 2007 through September 10, 2010. The District Court also denied all pending motions filed by Objectors seeking attorneys' fees or an equitable award.
A number of these orders have been appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Class Counsel made a Motion for Partial Distribution of the Settlement Fund in the amount of $30,000,000 to Authorized Claimants as determined by the District Court in its Order dated February 3, 2010. Any remaining balance in the Settlement Fund would be distributed upon the final resolution of all appeals. The motion also sought the distribution of certain fees and expenses which are also not subject to any further appeals.
On December 6, 2010, the District Court approved a partial distribution from the Settlement Fund of $30,000,000 to Authorized Claimants. This sum was distributed on February 9, 2011 according to the Plan of Allocation, which provides that each Recognized Claim (the amount paid by an Authorized Claimant as determined by the Claims Administrator and approved by the Court) is divided by the total of all Recognized Claims ($215,965,244.63). The result was multiplied by $30,000,000 (the "Partial Award"). For example, an Authorized Claimant with a Recognized Claim of $2000 received a Partial Award of $277.82 ($2000 divided by $215,965,244.63 times $30,000,000).
The balance of the Settlement Fund will be distributed when all outstanding appeals have been resolved and the matter has become final.
Copies of the key motions, objections, and orders may be viewed by clicking the appropriate link at the right. This website will be updated upon further developments.
PLEASE NOTE: THE DEADLINE FOR FILING CLAIMS HAS PASSED.
The Court has determined that no claim submitted after August 18,
2009 shall be accepted for any reason whatsoever.
Summary of the Litigation
If you purchased a bar review course from BAR/BRI in the United States anytime
from August, 1997 through July 31, 2006, this settlement may affect your
If you purchased a bar review course from BAR/BRI anywhere in the United States
anytime from August, 1997 through July 31, 2006 (the "Class"), you may be
affected by a settlement of a class action lawsuit pending in the United States
District Court for the Central District of California called Rodriguez, et. al
v. West Publishing Corp., d/b/a BAR/BRI, and Kaplan, Inc.,
Case No. CV-05-3222 R (MCx). This is to inform you of the nature of Plaintiffs'
claims, the Court's approval of the settlement and your right to file a claim
for a portion of the Settlement Fund.
What Is This Case About?
August 1, 1997 through
July 31, 2006
|Proof of Claim:
Postmarked no later than September 17, 2007
BAR/BRI provides full-service bar review courses throughout the United States,
which are aimed at assisting would-be attorneys in their preparation for taking
one or more bar examinations required by each state and the District of
Columbia prior to the issuance of a license to practice law. 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.
Please see the Notice on the links at the right for a full description of
West Publishing Corporation is the owner of BAR/BRI and is a
defendant. The other defendant is Kaplan, Inc. (BAR/BRI, and Kaplan, Inc., are
hereinafter collectively referred to as "Defendants.") Defendants deny
Plaintiffs' allegations and contend that their conduct was legal.
On February 2, 2007 the parties entered into a Stipulation and
Settlement Agreement ("Settlement Agreement"). A copy of the Settlement
Agreement may be viewed by clicking the appropriate link at the right.
Am I Affected By This Settlement?
Class Members are those that purchased a full-service bar review
course from BAR/BRI anywhere in the United States anytime from August, 1997
through July 31, 2006. If you paid the entire purchase price for a BAR/BRI bar
review course in the United States during this period, and did not previously
request exclusion from the Class, you are entitled to a portion of the Net
Settlement Fund as described below. If you paid part of the purchase price
(e.g., either on behalf of someone else or yourself) and someone else paid a
portion of the purchase price (e.g., a law firm, employer, family member, etc.)
on your behalf during this period, and did not previously request exclusion
from the Class, each party that paid would be entitled to a portion of the Net
Settlement Fund as described below.
What is the Benefit of the Settlement to Me?
The Settlement provides both monetary and non-monetary relief.
Under the terms of the Settlement, Defendants deposited forty-nine million U.S.
dollars ($49,000,000) into an interest-bearing account for the benefit of the
Class. The $49,000,000, plus interest ("Gross Settlement Fund"), will be used
to pay for the costs of notice and settlement administration, and to pay for
the attorneys' fees and expenses approved by the Court. The remaining balance
("Net Settlement Fund") will be distributed to Class Members pursuant to the
Plan of Allocation. The Plan of Allocation of the Net Settlement Fund is
available for viewing by clicking on the appropriate link at the right.
The Settlement also provides the following non-monetary relief:
West Publishing Corp., the owner and operator of the BAR/BRI bar review courses
and Kaplan, Inc., the owner and operator of a Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)
preparatory course, will terminate the co-marketing agreement agreed to in
For 5 years, unless otherwise ordered by the Court, West Publishing Corp. will
advise law students who enroll in a BAR/BRI course that, by signing an
enrollment form and making an initial enrollment payment to BAR/BRI, the
student is not committed to taking the BAR/BRI Bar Review course or to making
the full payment to BAR/BRI for such course; and
West Publishing Corp. states that it is committed to accurate advertising of
the BAR/BRI course in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations.
How do I make a claim for a portion of the Net Settlement Fund?
To receive a cash payment under the Settlement, or to make a tax
deductible donation of your portion of the Settlement, you must complete and
submit a Claim Form and mail it, postmarked no later than September 17,
2007. To request a Notice and Claim Form, you may call
the Claims Administrator toll-free at 1-888-285-7850 and request that a Notice
and Claim Form be mailed to you, or you may download it by clicking on the
appropriate link at the right.
What is the amount of the cash payment that I will receive
under the Settlement?
Class Members will be paid pursuant to the Plan of Allocation,
which may be viewed by clicking on the appropriate link on the right. The
actual dollar amount paid to each Class Member who submits a timely and valid
Claim Form will depend on the number of claims, the tuition amounts paid by
claimants, and the amount of costs, expenses, and attorneys' fees approved by
the Court. In no event shall any Class Member receive more than thirty-percent
(30%) of the amount paid by the Claimant for their BAR/BRI bar review course.
What If I Have Questions?
You may read the documents at the links on the right, call
1-888-285-7850, or write to BAR/BRI Class Counsel, Sidney K. Kanazawa, Esq.,
McGuireWoods LLP, 1800 Century Park East, 8th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90067. All
public Court records may be examined in person and copied at the Clerk's
office, United States District Court, Central District of California, 312 N.
Spring Street, Los Angeles, California, 90012. PLEASE DO NOT PHONE THE
Class Counsel Contact
|Sidney K. Kanazawa, Esq.
1800 Century Park East, 8th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Administrator Contact Information
BAR/BRI Class Action Administrator
PO Box 24639
West Palm Beach, FL 33416
If you would like to speak with the Administrator's Office, please call