Chief Justice Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Alex Kozinski Objects to Electric Car Class Action Settlement

This is funny. Apparently, the Chief Justice was part of a class of plaintiffs in an action related to defects in an electric car, or defects in notice to consumers. The plaintiffs’ class counsel reached a quick settlement with no discovery, and CJ Kozinski is one of the Objectors in what Alison Frankel calls a “lawyer’s nightmare.”

Public interest lawyer Paul Bland of Public Justice picked up on the same point as Nissan about Kozinski’s insistence on pre-settlement discovery, although he – unlike Nissan – applauded Kozinski for understanding the value of investigating corporate defendants. Bland said he wished Kozinski’s fellow conservatives felt the same way. “Judge Kozinski’s statement that lawyers have to dig through the concealment to get to the truth is completely inconsistent with the campaign to make it harder for plaintiffs to take discovery,” he wrote. “The obvious corollary of the judge’s comment is that proposals to limit discovery conflict with the campaign to choke off a good deal of the discovery available to individuals. In the judge’s own words, if plaintiffs’ lawyers can’t find out ‘everything the corporation knows and hopes to conceal,’ then they can’t do their job.”


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