We begin Fall 2017 blogging with an appreciative farewell.
This past Friday, September 1, US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner announced his retirement, effective immediately. He served on the circuit for 36 years, having been appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
Judge Posner was a principled skeptic of lawyer-driven litigation which, not surprisingly, led us to discuss a number of his opinions here at the WLF Legal Pulse.
Most recently, in Eye Drops, Water Fountains for Cats, and the Demise of a No-Injury Class Action, we recounted the unusual analogy Judge Posner used in his majority opinion to support the court’s dismissal of an especially officious no-injury class action filed against the makers of eye drops.
Guest commentators Anthony Rickey and Keola Whittaker discussed an August 10, 2016 Posner opinion in Seventh Circuit Rejects Disclosure-Only Settlement in Merger Tax Suit, Embracing Delaware Chancery Court’s Trulia Decision. In that decision, the Seventh Circuit reversed and remanded the settlement of a securities class action aimed at extracting token disclosures from merging companies, a deal that earned the plaintiffs’ lawyers $370,000. The practice of filing such “merger tax” class actions, Judge Posner wrote, “yields fees for class counsel and nothing for the class—[it] is no better than a racket. It must end.”
An April 12, 2013 post, Judge Posner Takes on Lawyers Behaving Badly, lauded a unanimous opinion reversing a district court judge’s refusal to impose sanctions on plaintiffs’ lawyers under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11. The lawyers had advanced securities class-action claims based entirely on a confidential source, to whom none of the lawyers had ever spoken.
We thank Judge Posner for his three-and-a-half decades of service to the federal judiciary.