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Michaud v. Monro Muffler Brake, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Maine

May 8, 2015

CHRISTOPHER MICHAUD, ANDREW LASICK, TONY CASANOVA, and FREDERICK SCHNACKENBERG III, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
MONRO MUFFLER BRAKE, INC., Defendant.

ORDER ON MOTION TO APPEAR BY TELEPHONE

NANCY TORRESEN, Chief District Judge.

A final fairness hearing in this case is scheduled for 1:00 PM on May 14, 2015 at 156 Federal Street, Portland, Maine, Courtroom No. 1. The parties have filed a joint request to appear at the hearing by telephone. May 7, 2015 Letter from Todd R. Shinaman (ECF No. 88). As described below, this request is GRANTED IN PART.

As required by local rule, all visiting attorneys in this case have associated themselves with "a member of the bar of this Court." See Local Rule 83.1(c)(1). If the out-of-state attorneys choose not to travel to Maine for the fairness hearing, they may call in by telephone to listen to the proceedings, but may not themselves participate. In their place, local counsel will be required to appear in person at the hearing and answer questions.

As counsel is aware, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(e)(2) requires that where a proposed settlement "would bind class members, the court may approve it only after a hearing and on finding that it is fair, reasonable, and adequate." To fulfill this obligation, I will ask counsel at the hearing to provide information regarding each of the Scovil factors. See Scovil v. FedEx Ground Package Sys., Inc., No. 1:10-cv-515-DBH, 2014 WL 1057079, at *2 (D. Me. Mar. 14, 2014). To facilitate preparation, I preview some of my thoughts and questions below:[1]

Comparison of the Proposed Settlement with the Likely Result of Litigation:

• If the Plaintiffs were to prevail at trial, what is the best possible monetary outcome for each subclass and collective?[2]
• In each side's view, what is the likelihood of that "best case scenario" for each subclass? Why?[3]

Stage of the Litigation and the Amount of Discovery Completed:

• Is there any significant pre-trial work not reflected on the docket that the parties wish to describe?
• What "formal" discovery took place? How many depositions did the parties take? Of whom? Did the parties serve and answer interrogatories? Requests for documents? Requests for admissions?
• What "informal" discovery took place?

Reaction of the Class to the Settlement:

• How many Rule 23 "opt-outs" were filed in response to the notice I authorized in my March 17, 2015 Order? (ECF No. 85). How many additional FLSA "opt-ins" were filed?
• How do these opt-in and opt-out numbers compare to the potential size of each class/collective as a whole? In other words, what percentage of each Rule 23 subclass has opted out? What percentage of each FLSA collective has opted-in (including all FLSA ...

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