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Judge Questions BAR/BRI Deal

Posted Jun 20, 2007 8:27 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Incentives that would be paid to class representatives have temporarily derailed a proposed settlement in a suit against a bar review course.

U.S. District Judge Manuel Real of Los Angeles expressed concerns about the incentive awards on Monday, the National Law Journal reports.

The $49 million deal would give class representatives an extra $25,000 or $75,000 to settle antitrust claims against the bar review course BAR/BRI. Other class members would be paid about $125, and a portion of the settlement would be donated to charitable legal causes.

Real asked for records showing how much time class representatives devoted to the litigation. He asked lawyers about several options to change the incentives, including lowering or denying the awards, or forcing lawyers to pay them.

He also asked lawyers to brief whether it is permissible to donate part of the settlement to charities.

The suit claims BAR/BRI’s owner, West Publishing Corp. conspired with Kaplan Inc. to monopolize their markets for test preparation courses.

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