Judge Donato, in an order Tuesday night, consolidated the cases – but rejected the leadership proposal. There was no doubt, he said, that Kaplan Fox and Cotchett would provide “highly professional and sophisticated representation” to the prospective class, given their “impressive history.” But Judge Donato said he was concerned that the proposed team lacked diversity.
There were no women among the proposed leaders of the case, the judge pointed out. He also noted that the list includes a lot of lawyers and law firms that frequently head class actions and MDLs. That experience might benefit the prospective class, he said, but “highlights the ‘repeat player’ problem in class counsel appointments that has burdened class action litigation and MDL proceedings.”
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