Monday, February 9, 2015

Estimate for payments

The A/B counsel have posted on the settlement website their estimate that "at present, the earliest that payments can be expected is in the third quarter of this year, 2015, especially if there are objections or disputes over claims."

I would not approve that post. I believe that it is seriously misleading. Based on current status, I believe there is virtually no chance of payments in the third quarter. There is a theoretical possibility, but it would require the involved publishers, and then the involved databases, to take much less than their allotted time to perform tasks which lead to the payment of the claims. To the extent that "at the present" suggests there is any chance that the timing could improve and payments become more likely in the third quarter it is even more seriously misleading. 

There are 233 days allotted for the publishers and databases. There are circumstances which could extend those allocations and it is impossible to predict the possibility of those circumstances. There are over 5000 publishers who must take an action in this process. This aspect of the settlement may make it one of, if not the, most complicated class action claims processing ever. The actions to be taken to start the 233 days running have not been completed and I am unable to provide an estimate of when they will be completed. 

I will be posting regularly here now on claims processing procedures, progress and problems. 

Many or most of you will be infuriated by this delay. Unfortunately, there is no place to effectively complain or urge greater speed. The procedures are what they are. Have the actions of class counsel in general, or any particular class counsel, aggravated this situation. The answer in my view is yes, but now is not the time to discuss that. Getting this done has my full attention and all of my time that my responsibilities require. 

If anyone in the class, C claim or otherwise, observed the advice on the settlement website in 2005, quoted below, and filed their claim with this advice in mind, it might help the current status if you would contact me.

Q. If I wrote articles as a syndicated columnist, how should I go about filing a Claim Form? Do I include a separate claim for every publisher who published a particular article, or just one claim for each article.

Q. When filing a Claim Form, syndicated columnists should fill out just one Claim Worksheet for each article. However, that worksheet should include the name of each print publication the syndicated article originally appeared in. In addition, when listing the amount received in payment for that article, list the total amount received for the article.