Bad class-action notice
If jury instructions represent the worst failing of legal writing, class-action notices are not far behind. We know these notices need to be read and understood by nonlawyers, but we still produce this:
TO: ALL RECORD AND BENEFICIAL HOLDERS OF THE COMMON STOCK OF COMPANY, INCLUDING ALL OF ITS PREDECESSORS, DURING THE PERIOD BEGINNING ON AND INCLUDING JANUARY 1, 1995 THROUGH AND INCLUDING MARCH 22, 2007.
PLEASE READ THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY AND IN ITS ENTIRETY. YOUR RIGHTS MAY BE AFFECTED BY THE LEGAL PROCEEDINGS IN THIS LITIGATION. BROKERAGE FIRMS, BANKS, AND OTHER PERSONS OR ENTITIES WHO ARE MEMBERS OF THE CLASS IN THEIR CAPACITIES AS RECORD OWNERS, BUT NOT AS BENEFICIAL OWNERS, ARE DIRECTED TO SEND THIS NOTICE PROMPTLY TO BENEFICIAL OWNERS.
The purpose of the notice is to inform you of this lawsuit (the “Action”), a proposed settlement of the Action (the “Settlement”), and a hearing to be held by the Circuit Court (the “Court”), on October 5, 2007, at 1 p.m. (the “Settlement Hearing”), at which the Court shall consider for approval: (i). Whether this Action will be certified as a class action, for settlement purposes only, pursuant to Rule of Civil Procedure 23; (ii) whether the terms and conditions of the Settlement are fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Class and Company; (iii) whether the Final Order should be entered dismissing this Action as to the Defendants with prejudice as against Plaintiffs and the Class, releasing the Settled Claims, and enjoining prosecution of any and all Settled Claims; (iv) the award of Plaintiffs’ counsel’s attorneys’ fees and expenses as provided for herein, as to which award Company has agreed to pay $7.5 million; (v) any objections to the Settlement; and (vi) such other relief as the Court may deem necessary and appropriate. Any of the dates set forth herein may be modified by the Court without further notice. The Court reserves the right to approve the Settlement at or after the Settlement Hearing with such modifications as may be consented to by the parties to the Stipulation and without further notice to the Class.
BACKGROUND OF THE ACTION
THE DESCRIPTION OF THE ACTION AND THE SETTLEMENT WHICH FOLLOWS HAS BEEN PREPARED BY COUNSEL FOR THE PARTIES. THE COURT HAS MADE NO FINDING WITH RESPECT TO SUCH MATTERS, AND THIS NOTICE IS NOT AN EXPRESSION OR STATEMENT BY THE COURT OF FINDINGS OF FACT.