We posted yesterday about a recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that authorized non-class members to intervene for the purpose of objecting to a district court's certification and settlement of a class action that might affect their interests. Class action lawyer Rob Bramson has made an interesting comment on the Third Circuit's ruling. He says that
context when this might arise is where there are [partially] overlapping classes,
with the class representative in one case proposing a settlement while
the class representative in the other case thinks that it's a raw deal
for that portion of the (proposed) settling class who qualify under both
class definitions. The problem for that second class representative is the general rule
that only "class members" can object to a proposed settlement. So th[at] person must choose between opting out and continuing on with his/her own
class case (while sacrificing the right to object) or to risk losing
the ability to act as class representative in the other case by
objecting rather than opting out of the settling one.
Rob points out that the Third Circuit's ruling — allowing "non-party intervention for objection purposes" – would solve the problem he has identified. If readers know of cases addressing Rob's concern (or related concerns), please pass them along.