Charles DeLafuente, Bill Would Let Low Bidder Be Lead Attorney, ABA Journal e Report, Aug. 18, 2006.

How about choosing lead counsel in class actions by having interested firms engage in a competitive bidding process instead of allowing the lead plaintiff to make the selection? Apparently Congress is looking into it. Chief District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker of the Northern District of California recently testified in front of a House subcommittee in an effort to promote the bill proposed by US Representative Richard Baker, R-La which would allow a court to “employ alternative means in the selection and retention of (class) counsel . . . including a competitive bidding process.”  One opponent to the legislation, (and alumnus of the CAFA Law Blog) Tulane Law Professor Edward Sherman, asserts the bill is unnecessary since the 2003 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide courts the discretion to employ a bidding process or other “alternative” method for selecting class counsel.

What do you think? Should judges allow the market to choose class counsel? Do we need a law to specifically allow for such a process or is this legislation unnecessary?

Bottom Line: If you’re interested, check out the article online for a quick debate of the issues.