“Most appeals courts have agreed that cy pres raises distinctive issues that call for judicial oversight, yet the various federal circuits have marched off in different directions as to the appropriate nature and extent of such oversight, leading to inconsistency at least, and perhaps also to forum-shopping by lawyers seeking lenient standards.” Cato Senior Fellow Walter Olson, writing about controversies engendered by cy pres settlements, “in which part or all of a settlement fund goes to charities, universities, advocacy groups, or other unrelated institutions as opposed to actual victims of the sued-over conduct.” Olson notes that the Center for Class Action Fairness is part of the team petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the fairness of the cy pres settlement involving Facebook users concerned about their privacy and a foundation that will be controlled in part by Facebook and, according to Olson, one of the plaintiff’s lawyers.

Overlawyered, August 19, 2013.