Welcome to the BAR/BRI Class Action Website
(Last Updated on August 07, 2014)
Following remand from the 9th Circuit in August, 2012, on January 22, 2013, the
District Court issued an order awarding attorneys’ fees in the amount of $236,637.00
to the Schneider Objectors. Counsel for the Schneider Objectors appealed the award
to the 9th Circuit. The briefing on the appeal was completed on November 21, 2013.
The 9th Circuit has not yet scheduled argument on the appeal. 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
PLEASE NOTE: 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
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
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
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 rights.
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?
IMPORTANT DATES & DEADLINES
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 Plaintiffs' allegations.
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 COURT.
Class Counsel Contact Information
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 toll-free: