The City of Providence v. Aeropostale

Case # 11-cv-07132
Case Name The City of Providence v. Aeropostale
Jurisdiction US District Court for S.D. NY
Summary

Plaintiffs allege that the Defendant company, Aeropostale, issued inaccurate information in an attempt to cover up for poor performance in their clothing stores and to improperly prop up their stock price.  Once this inaccurate information was revealed, shareholders experienced a precipitous decline in share value.

Final Approval Date 05/14/2014
Result
  1. Final Approval granted.
  2. The Court ordered Objector Pierson to show cause for why he should not be sanctioned.
  3. In responding to Mr. Pierson's answer, the Court noted, "It is not worth the time or the trouble to prepare an opinion addressing in detail the many self-serving statements and incredibly weak arguments (including the defense of his rote objection to "gold standard" notice to the members of the class) in Objector's response to the court's order to show cause - particularly in a circuit that routinely second-guesses sanctions awarded by a district court. I thus limit myself to a few observations.
    The court is accustomed to receiving objections to the size of attorneys' fees in class actions. Objector and others should know that this is one area in which the court always gives the record very thorough review. I am familiar with the Fitzpatrick Study, which is routinely cited by form objectors in opposition to fee requests. It is, frankly, both outmoded (its data are seven years old) and far too blunt an instrument to impress me in a case like this one, where the parties went through substantial motion practice, class certification and considerable merits discovery prior to a mediated settlement superintended by a mediator widely recognized as the best in his business.
    I was intrigued by Objector's citation to White v. Auerbach, 500 F. 2d 822, 828 (2d Cir. 1974); it seemed to suggest that Objector thought he might be entitled to some sort of recovery for his efforts. White is, of course, a very old case; and while the proposition for which is stands is still good law, the fact that Objector failed to come up with a more recent citation is, I suspect, because few if any Objectors these days would be entitled to recover anything under the White standard. The Objectors with whom the court is more familiar are individuals who enter the fray in the hope of a handout. Mr. Turkish has given me no reason to conclude that he is not a member of that group. He has certainly not provided the court with any assistance in its evaluation of his objection to the proposed fee award. Indeed, he admits, in his response to the Order to Show Cause, that he "did not go into detail as to the concerns raised by Class Counsel's lodestar figure" in his objection (Response to Order to Show Cause at 9). This makes his citation to In Re Citigroup, 965 F. Supp. 2d 369 (S.D.N.Y. 2013) -- a case in which one of my colleagues reduced a fee request after receiving substantive input from an Objector - particularly ironic.
    Professional objectors have always been with us and will always be with us. Now that this court has become acquainted with Mr. Turkish, his reputation will precede him should he tum up in future cases (emphasis added)." (see Order Closing Case, pg. 1-2, below)
  4. Objector Pierson (through Attorneys Turkish and Palmer, appealed the Final Approval.
  5. An appeal bond was motioned for and granted in the amount of $3,000, which was posted by the Objector.
  6. The Circuit Court affirmed the District Court's ruling, overruling the appeal.
  7. Objector was taxed $1,727.20 for the cost of the appeal.
  8. The balance of the bond was returned.
Dismissal of Last Appeal 07/09/2015
Attachments Docket Report.pdf
Amended Class Action Complaint.pdf
Preliminary Approval Order.pdf
Plaintiff's Response to Objections.pdf
Final Approval Order.pdf
Memorandum and Opinion of Final Approval.pdf
Added to Index
Last Updated

Objection of Donald Robert Pierson II

Objectors Donald Robert Pierson II
Signers Forrest S. Turkish
Attorneys Forrest S. Turkish
Joseph Darrell Palmer
Summary
  1. Insufficient documentation is available on the settlement website for class members to evaluate the settlement.
  2. Attorneys' fees are excessive and the lodestar is unreasonable.

The Court, in its Memorandum and Opinion of Final Approval, noted "the objection is patently without merit.  Indeed, it is patently frivolous.  Responding to it has wasted the time of Lead Plaintiff's counsel, and dealing with it has wasted the time of this Court." (see Memorandum and Opinion of Final Approval, page 5, above).

In describing Mr. Turkish, the Court noted "[h]e is, as we say in the trade, a 'professional objector.'  When his objections are overruled, he files a notice of appeal. As far as this court is aware, every one of those appeals has either been dismissed for failure to perfect or voluntarily dismissed. This pattern of litigiousness from a single attorney-objector without more seriously undermines the credibility of the objection in the eyes of this court. I have little time for 'professional objectors,' who, as one of my colleagues has noted, 'undermine the administration of justice by disrupting settlement in the hopes of extorting a greater share of the settlement for themselves and their clients.' (citation omitted)." (Id, page 4).

Attachments Objection of Donald Robert Pierson II.pdf
Pierson Response in Opposition to Sanctions.pdf
Declaration Regarding Expense of Responding to Pierson Objection.pdf
Reply to Pierson Response in Opposition to Sanctions.pdf
Order Closing Case.pdf
Appeal of Objector Pierson.pdf
Motion for Appeal Bond.pdf
Memorandum in Support of Motion for Appeal Bond.pdf
Response in Opposition to Motion for Appeal Bond.pdf
Reply in Support of Motion for Appeal Bond.pdf
Order Granting in Part Motion for Appeal Bond.pdf
Taxable Costs of Appeal.pdf
Palmer Appearance for Objector-Appellant Pierson.pdf
Order Affirming District Court Decision.pdf
Appeal Docket.pdf
Motion to Return Bond Balance.pdf
Response to Motion to Return Bond Balance.pdf
Order for Return of Bond.pdf
Added to Index
Last Updated