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Court of Chancery Appoints Lead Counsel

Posted In Class Actions

Dutiel v. Tween Brands Inc., C.A. 4743-CC (October 2, 2009).

The Court has recently explained the criteria to determine who should be appointed lead counsel in a class action. In this decision it added a new twist, giving advantage to counsel that has shown it gets along best with co-counsel in the case. This just makes sense, if only to avoid the Court supervising the play in the sandbox.

Note, however, that on a motion for reargument, the Court stressed that not too much should be made of its re ference to coorperation among some counsel as a factor to be consided. Moreover, in that October 28, 2009 opinion the Court detailed how to assess the relative stockholder interest in deciding whose counsel should lead.

Recently, at least one fellow Delaware attorney has suggested that the way to win such favor from your co-counsel is to known as generous with the fee splitting that occurs when the case ends. Given that the division of the fee awarded by the Court among all the plainitff attorneys is not done publicly, that may be an insight into the world of plainitffs counsel that is worth remembering.

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