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Supreme Court lets stand $21M in attorneys’ fees

Staff Report//August 31, 2011//

Supreme Court lets stand $21M in attorneys’ fees

Staff Report//August 31, 2011//

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Plaintiffs attorneys get to keep fees of up to $21 million after the Supreme Court turned down an appeal of a settlement with A.G. Edwards.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would not take up objectors’ challenge of the settlement of a class action that alleged kickbacks from mutual fund groups. The agreement includes $26 million in cash, most of which would go to the attorneys’ fees, and vouchers valued at $34 million.

St. Louis brokerage A.G. Edwards is now part of Wells Fargo.

In appeals court, objectors questioned the amount plaintiffs’ attorneys would receive. Objectors’ attorney Ted Frank advocated waiting to see how many A.G. Edwards customers redeem coupons and gradually paying plaintiffs’ attorneys a percentage of the actual amount class members receive. But the appeals court upheld the settlement in a May per curiam order.

Frank said on his blog that he was “appalled” that the Supreme Court let the appeals court decision stand. Frank is an attorney with the Washington-based nonprofit Center for Class Action Fairness.

Robert Blitz, of Blitz, Bardgett & Deutsch in St. Louis, was the lead plaintiffs’ attorney. In all, 16 plaintiffs’ attorneys from 10 firms throughout the country worked on the lawsuit. In addition to Blitz, the list includes St. Louis attorneys Christopher Bauman, of Blitz’s firm, and Ronnie White, of Holloran White Schwartz & Gaertner in St. Louis.

The case is Bachman et al. v. A.G. Edwards Inc. et al., ED95074.

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