Law360, New York (September 8, 2011, 4:54 PM EDT) -- A ruling rejecting a copyright settlement between freelance writers and electronic database operators, in which the Second Circuit held that the plaintiffs' subclasses must have separate counsel, could upend settlement negotiations in a similar, closely watched case involving Google Books, attorneys say.
The idea that subclasses with competing interests each require their own counsel appears to be a novel one that no circuit court has endorsed in the past, according to Andrew J. Trask of McGuireWoods LLP.
"This took everybody by surprise," he said. "When I...
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