According to a news source, a Michigan judge has lifted a gag order imposed on an attorney who posted information on his Facebook® page critical of a proposed settlement of claims that a McDonald’s Corp. franchisee sold as halel certain chicken products without complying with Islamic standards; the court has also granted his request to reopen the class period thus extending the time for class members to object, intervene or opt out. Ahmed v. McDonald’s Corp., No. 11-014559 (Mich. Cir. Ct., Wayne Cnty., order entered March 12, 2013). Additional information about the case and attorney Majed Moughni’s claims of unlawful prior restraint appears in issues 468, 471 and 473 of this Update.
In her supplemental notice, Judge Kathleen Macdonald notes, “[a]s you probably know, there was a great deal of attention given to this proposed settlement from the news media (newspapers, television, radio and internet sources) and in social media. For certain legal reasons, I have issued this Supplemental Notice to give Class Members more time to consider the proposed settlement as well as to provide specific clarification of the rights of Class Members and how to exercise them.” Moughni has reportedly indicated that he was pleased the gag order was lifted, but concerned whether he may face sanctions for his statements, claiming that counsel for McDonald’s have threatened him with $30,000 for the fees and costs associated with reopening the notice period. He also said he would continue to oppose the settlement, contending that “it is the wrong settlement and the money goes to the wrong people.” See Law360, March 13, 2013.