• March 5, 2020
Facepalm (Caïn by Henri Vidal, Tuileries Garden, Paris, 1896. )

LEVENTHAL pllc once had a land-lord tenant dispute involving parties in an immigrant community. The judicial action had a “concurrent shadow sister-adjudication,” if you will, of village elders. A side-show that eclipsed the event on the main stage. Good times. Rules of Civil Procedure need not apply…

So we have sympathy for defense counsel in Lo v. Asian-American Home Healthcare Services, Inc., a fair labor standards (“FLSA”) overtime putative class action in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota that defense counsel was unable to settle even though there was no opposition to the settlement.

It seems that plaintiff, represented by counsel, brought the lawsuit but soon Hmong clan leaders were involved on both sides negotiating a resolution outside of the court system (see here at p. 2). Thereafter, the plaintiff’s lawyers withdrew.

Then, after the withdrawal of plaintiff’s counsel, defense counsel tried to resolve the case but clan leaders continued handling the matter on their own, negotiating, drafting, and signing a settlement agreement apparently without any attorney involvement (see here at pp. 4-5).

This past week, U.S. Mag. Judge Becky R. Thorson (D. Minn.) rejected Defendant’s motion to approve the settlement. The Defendant, through counsel, claimed it had paid plaintiff to settle the lawsuit but Mag. Judge Thorson found that Defendant had submitted insufficient evidence that any payment had, in fact, ever been made (see here at p. 3, footnotes 1 and 2).

Like we said, “Good times.”

Brings back fond memories of losing unopposed motions. (And, yes, it has happened more than once and, no, unopposed losses are not morale boosters (nor profit centers)). All in a day’s work for 21-century U.S. civil litigators…