California Takes on Another Class Objector Case

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By Perry Cooper

June 24 — California's high court will review the right of unnamed class members to appeal class action judgments ( Hernandez v. Muller, Cal., No. S233983, review granted 6/22/16 ).

A state appeals court held in March that an objector in a California consumer credit case over a retailer's use of ZIP codes doesn't have standing to appeal the $36.4 million judgment (17 CLASS 292, 3/25/16).

Unnamed class member Francesca Muller didn't take issue with the amount sought by class counsel—$9.1 million—only with the fact that class members weren't given notice of the attorneys' fee application.

The California Supreme Court announced June 22 that it would review the ruling.

Muller is represented by Lawrence W. Schonbrun of Berkeley, Calif., who told Bloomberg BNA in March that the appeals court's decision is an example of the “blowback against objectors and objecting” in the California courts recently.

He also represents an objector to an employment law class settlement who argues that the percentage-of-the-fund method for calculating attorneys' fees is forbidden by California law. He argued the case to the California Supreme Court in May (17 CLASS 594, 6/10/16).

Patterson Law Group and Stonebarger Law represented the class.

Morrison & Foerster appeared for Restoration Hardware.

To contact the reporter on this story: Perry Cooper in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Steven Patrick at and Jeffrey D. Koelemay at

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