EA, NCAA Class Action: Plaintiffs Want Settlement Objectors to Post Bond

On Thursday, October 15, 2015, the plaintiffs in the Electronic Arts, Inc., NCAA right of publicity class action insisted that a federal court impose an appeal bond on settlement objectors.

The lawsuit — a class action alleging unauthorized use of former and current student-athletes’ names and likeness — ended in a $60 million settlement in June. However, two student athletes — Nathan Harris and Darrin Duncan — have appealed the court’s denial of their objections to the settlement. The class members in support of the settlement filed a motion asking the court to require Harris and Duncan to post an appeal bond of $88,839 to cover the costs of the appeal.

According to the class members’ reply in support of their motion, in determining whether to impose an appeal bond, the court should consider the following three factors: (1) the objector’s ability to post the bond; (2) the risk that the objectors will not pay the class plaintiffs’ costs if the objectors’ appeals fail, and (3) the merits of the objectors’ appeals.

The class members argued in their reply that: (1) because the objectors professed their inability to “post a bond of even $5,000, it is exceedingly unlikely that they could afford to pay their attorney’s fees for filing the objections in the case, meaning that their attorneys are most likely working for them on a contingency basis and have agreed to advance the costs”; (2) the fact that the objectors fall outside the jurisdiction of the court will “make it difficult to collect costs”; and (3) the objectors “offer no arguments in support of their frivolous objections.”

Nathan Harris’s attorney Scott Kron refused to answer questions at a meeting last week about the existence of a retainer agreement and whether he was required to advance costs.

 

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