Harris & Ruble and Perrin F. Disner Announce Summary Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement

Apr 29, 2011, 13:17 ET from Harris & Ruble

LOS ANGELES, April 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- If you paid for a BAR/BRI full-service bar-review course from August 1, 2006, through and including March 21, 2011, a class-action settlement reached in the United States District Court for the Central District of California called Stetson, et al. v. West Publishing Corporation d/b/a BAR/BRI and Kaplan, Inc., Case No. CV-08-00810 R (Ex), may affect your rights.  This is a summary notice published to supplement the written notice being mailed to Class Members, which describes the nature of Plaintiffs' claims, Class Members' right to file a claim for a portion of the Settlement Fund, and the mailing to Class Members of fully transferrable Discount Certificates that, under the Settlement, would be redeemable toward the future purchase of Kaplan courses.

What Is This Case About?

BAR/BRI provides full-service bar-review courses throughout the United States aimed at assisting law-school graduates to prepare to take one or more of the bar examinations that are required by each state and the District of Columbia before an attorney obtains a license to practice law.  Plaintiffs alleged that BAR/BRI violated federal antitrust laws by agreeing with Kaplan to limit competition in the market for full-service bar review courses.  West is the owner of BAR/BRI and is a Defendant for that reason.  The other Defendant is Kaplan.  Plaintiffs alleged that BAR/BRI agreed not to compete in the LSAT business and that Kaplan agreed not to compete in the bar-review business, thereby allocating to BAR/BRI the market for full-service bar-review courses in the United States and preventing a competitive bar-review course from being marketed and sold.

Plaintiffs also alleged that BAR/BRI unlawfully acquired and maintained a monopoly in the market for full-service bar-review courses in the United States and also conspired to monopolize that market, all through a variety of means.  As a result, Plaintiffs alleged that competition in the relevant market was adversely affected. 

Defendants deny Plaintiffs' allegations and contend that their conduct was legal.  The District Court dismissed Plaintiffs' claims with prejudice.  While that dismissal was on appeal, the parties entered into a proposed settlement.

What Is the Benefit of the Settlement to Me?

West has agreed to pay the total sum of $5,285,000, which sum shall be used to make distributions to and for the benefit of Class Members who submit properly completed and timely Claim Forms if the Settlement is approved by the Court; to pay attorney's fees and expenses approved by the Court; the costs of providing notice to the Class; fees and expenses of the Claims Administrator, as approved by the Court; and fees associated with the administration and maintenance of the Settlement Fund, as approved by the Court.

In addition to the Settlement Fund established by West, Kaplan has mailed one Discount Certificate to each Class Member.  Also, for each additional full-service bar-review course other than a full-service bar-review course for a price discounted by fifty percent (50%) or more for which a Class Member has paid during the Class Period, the Class Member is being mailed an additional Discount Certificate.  Each Discount Certificate will be valid for thirty (30) months, will be fully transferable (regardless of whether the transferee is a Class Member and regardless of whether the transfer is in the nature of a gift, a barter transaction, an online auction or sale such as eBay or Craig's List, or any other legal form of transaction), and will be redeemable toward the future purchase of one qualifying Kaplan course, if the Settlement is approved by the Court.

How Do I Make a Claim for a Portion of the Settlement Fund?

To receive a cash payment from the Settlement Fund, you must complete and submit a Claim form and mail it, postmarked no later than May 30, 2011.  To request a Notice and Claim Form, you may call the Claims Administrator at 1-888-293-3337 and request that a Notice and Claim Form be mailed to you, or you may download at www.gilardi.com/barbrisettlement.

What Is the Amount of the Cash Payment that I Will Receive from the Settlement Fund?

Again, after deducting attorney's fees and costs, and an additional amount to be paid to the Claims Administrator for administering the Settlement (in an amount to be approved by the Court), the Settlement Fund will be paid to eligible Class Members who have timely submitted the Claim Forms.  Each such Class Member's Award will be calculated based on (a) the amount paid by each such Class Member as indicated on the Claim Form and (b) the number and amount of timely claims submitted by all Class Members.  Each Class Member's Distribution Ratio will then be calculated by dividing his or her claim by all timely and valid claims.  The Class Member's Award is the product of his or Distribution Ratio and the Settlement Fund (after deducting attorney's fees and costs and an additional amount to be paid to the Claims Administrator for administering the Settlement), assuming the Settlement is approved by the Court.

What If I Have Questions?

The foregoing is only a summary of the proposed Settlement.  For more detailed information, you may review the pleadings on file in the Action, which pleadings may be inspected at the Clerk's Office, United States District Court, 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, California 90012.  In addition, copies of this Notice; the pleadings in the Action; the Stipulation and Settlement Agreement among Plaintiffs, West, and Kaplan; and other documents are available at www.gilardi.com/barbrisettlement.  Any questions you have concerning the Action, the Settlement, or this Notice should be directed to the Claims Administrator or to Class Counsel—not to Court personnel.  You may contact the Claims Administrator at the following address:  Stetson v. West Publishing Corp. Settlement Administrator, c/o Gilardi & Co. LLC, P.O. Box 808054, Petaluma, CA 94975-8054.  You can also obtain additional information by calling the Claims Administrator at the following toll-free number: 1-888-293-3337.

You may contact Class Counsel as follows:

Alan Harris

David Zelenski


6424 Santa Monica Boulevard

Los Angeles, California 90038

Telephone:  (323) 962-3777

Facsimile:  (323) 962-3004

Perrin F. Disner

1855 Camden Avenue, Suite 3

Los Angeles, California 90025

Telephone:  (310) 742-7944

Facsimile:  (888) 544-5154

SOURCE Harris & Ruble