Lawyer filing class action case against Apple called "manifestly incompetent" by federal judge

Posted:
in Genius Bar
A class action lawsuit claiming that AppleCare service plans were a "fraudulent and unlawful scheme" has been rejected by U.S. District Judge William Orrick, who portrayed the case as a contrived invention "for the purpose of initiating this lawsuit."




The English v. Apple case, originally filed in 2013 in Galveston, Texas, revolved around AppleCare Plus extended service plans purchased by three plaintiffs who complained that they were given refurbished iPhones after complaining about an original purchase, according to a report by Joe Mullin of Ars Technica

However, two of the three plaintiffs, Patricia Adkins and Jennifer Galindo, were colleagues of Renee Kennedy, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit attorney who filed the case.

The third, Fabrienne English, got involved in the suit after being contacted while shopping, and ultimately "purchased or otherwise obtained" a dozen iPhones between February 2013 and March 2015.

The attorney filing the suit "repeatedly contacted Apple regarding the camera in the replacement device," and "repeatedly asked to be provided with a new iPhone in an Apple-branded box."

The AppleCare agreement offers "like-new" replacement for covered devices. Apple says its furnishes new or refurbished units, "equivalent to new in performance and reliability." Replacements are provided in a plain box, which the attorney called misleading.

The replacement phone English complained about was actually a new model, according to Apple's records.

The judge rejected the case's class action status, noting that the attorney's ongoing relationship with the plaintiffs and involvement in their purchase of AppleCare "strongly indicates" that the entire "dubious" case was an invented lawsuit conducted in a "manifestly incompetent manner," rather than a matter of actual aggrieved parties filing as part of a class action.

The judge added that Kennedy's "total lack of experience with class action litigation, and her pervasive failure to comply with basic federal and local rules and with my standing orders throughout the course of this litigation, further undermine English's request for class certification."

Without class action status, the case is unlikely to continue much longer, as the maximum damages that could be claimed would be negligible, even if the plaintiffs won their case revolving around brand new replacement iPhones supplied in a printed box.
wonkothesane
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,989member
    Shouldn't a lawyer found to be 'grossly' ("manifestly") incompetent be disbarred? A lawyer incapable of performing their job is a danger to the rights and interests of their clients (which they must "jealously guard", by law), as well as a danger to the legal system.
    edited January 2016 buzdotsradarthekattallest skilredgeminipa
  • Reply 2 of 21
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,537member
    Wow.  I suggest that actual judge's response is read by all.  That lawyer (English) is a scammer in every sense of the word and her only intent was to fabricate a case against Apple, and even conspired with the plaintiffs.  

    Simply criticizing the lawyer is not enough.  She should be disbarred and forever life a life of chasing ambulances in Utah.  If lawyers really do have to abide by their oaths, she completed violated it all.

    Scumbag.  I hope Apple requests attorneys fees and puts her out of business.

    radarthekatlatifbpredgeminipa
  • Reply 3 of 21
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,438member
    Incompetent? No....

    An intentionally dishonest "ambulance chaser" is more like it. 
  • Reply 4 of 21
    Shouldn't a lawyer found to be 'grossly' ("manifestly") incompetent be disbarred? A lawyer incapable of performing their job is a danger to the rights and interests of their clients (which they must "jealously guard", by law), as well as a danger to the legal system.

    I would love to see Judges start handing down large contempt of court fines. That should be followed up with charges for filing a fraudulent case. We need a true diversion to prevent this stuff from happening.
    radarthekatredgeminipajax44
  • Reply 5 of 21
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,679member
    Scumbag lawyer. She should have to pay all legal fees and court costs. 
  • Reply 6 of 21
    I appreciate the judge making a stand so to speak. However, our system should apply significant punishments for this type of behavior. There are too many cases out there where it is just somebody looking for something for doing nothing.
  • Reply 7 of 21
    davendaven Posts: 514member
    Shouldn't a lawyer found to be 'grossly' ("manifestly") incompetent be disbarred? A lawyer incapable of performing their job is a danger to the rights and interests of their clients (which they must "jealously guard", by law), as well as a danger to the legal system.
    We promote them to be politicians.
    macky the macky
  • Reply 8 of 21
    Shouldn't a lawyer found to be 'grossly' ("manifestly") incompetent be disbarred? A lawyer incapable of performing their job is a danger to the rights and interests of their clients (which they must "jealously guard", by law), as well as a danger to the legal system.

    I would love to see Judges start handing down large contempt of court fines. That should be followed up with charges for filing a fraudulent case. We need a true diversion to prevent this stuff from happening.
    The same should be done with journalists and sell side analysts regarding fabrication of Apple's supply chain numbers and product demand...a large fine that is.
    redgeminipajax44
  • Reply 9 of 21
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Shouldn't a lawyer found to be 'grossly' ("manifestly") incompetent be disbarred? A lawyer incapable of performing their job is a danger to the rights and interests of their clients (which they must "jealously guard", by law), as well as a danger to the legal system.
    There very well may be an obligation on the part of the judge to report that opinion to the bar for examination. Being disbarred isn't up to a trial judge.
  • Reply 10 of 21
    Another example of why so many people think dead lawyer jokes shouldn't be jokes. How many of these are required before our legislators do something? Oh I forgot, they pay legislators to be allowed to do this kind of stuff and go unpunished.
  • Reply 11 of 21
    This judge all but bitch-slapped this lawyer. 
  • Reply 12 of 21
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,437member
    Aside from every other ridiculous aspect of this case, how is the "white box" for a replacement model misleading?   That indicates that it's a replacement model and might be (slightly) used.   If anything, if Apple supplied a "like new" but used phone in a regular box, THAT would be misleading.    I would have liked to have seen the expression on everyone's face when it was discovered that the phone she claimed was used was actually a new phone.  

    I guess this lawyer noticed how much law firms were making in class action lawsuits.   In the end, they wind up with most of the money.   In shareholder lawsuits, the law firms frequently wind up with $50 million or more and the members of the class wind up with 7 cents a share.   But I bet this lawyer went to some really crappy law school and hasn't done much more than real-estate closings and forming LLCs or corporations for people or something of the sort.

    I bet the Apple lawyers enjoyed this one.
  • Reply 13 of 21
    Despicable attorney, but the content of the article suggests that the actual attorney was not called "manifestly incompetent," but that the suit was manifestly incompetent.  

    Judge had some pretty choice words for the attorney, as well, but headline is inaccurate.  
  • Reply 14 of 21
    Two lions are walking through the jungle. One suddenly licks the other's butt. "Why did you do that?" "I just ate a lawyer and wanted to get rid of the taste"
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 15 of 21
    muppetrymuppetry Posts: 3,328member
    Despicable attorney, but the content of the article suggests that the actual attorney was not called "manifestly incompetent," but that the suit was manifestly incompetent.  

    Judge had some pretty choice words for the attorney, as well, but headline is inaccurate.  
    "Moreover, this case has always been and continues to be class counsel’s; she is its source and its driver, and neither the dubious manner in which this litigation commenced nor the manifestly incompetent manner in which it has been conducted are cured at this juncture by yet another new co-counsel. English has not established adequacy of counsel under Rule 23(a)(4)."

    The headline looks accurate enough to me. 
    bancho
  • Reply 16 of 21
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,161member

    I would love to see Judges start handing down large contempt of court fines. That should be followed up with charges for filing a fraudulent case. We need a true diversion to prevent this stuff from happening.
    The same should be done with journalists and sell side analysts regarding fabrication of Apple's supply chain numbers and product demand...a large fine that is.
    I'd agree some of the practices you describe should trigger action on that part of the SEC.  Freedom of speech in journalism should not be used to shield what is nothing short of mass theft from stock holders.
  • Reply 17 of 21
    horvatichorvatic Posts: 127member
    A class action lawsuit claiming that AppleCare service plans were a "fraudulent and unlawful scheme" has been rejected by U.S. District Judge William Orrick, who portrayed the case as a contrived invention "for the purpose of initiating this lawsuit."




    The English v. Apple case, originally filed in 2013 in Galveston, Texas, revolved around AppleCare Plus extended service plans purchased by three plaintiffs who complained that they were given refurbished iPhones after complaining about an original purchase, according to a report by Joe Mullin of Ars Technica

    However, two of the three plaintiffs, Patricia Adkins and Jennifer Galindo, were colleagues of Renee Kennedy, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit attorney who filed the case.

    The third, Fabrienne English, got involved in the suit after being contacted while shopping, and ultimately "purchased or otherwise obtained" a dozen iPhones between February 2013 and March 2015.

    The attorney filing the suit "repeatedly contacted Apple regarding the camera in the replacement device," and "repeatedly asked to be provided with a new iPhone in an Apple-branded box."

    The AppleCare agreement offers "like-new" replacement for covered devices. Apple says its furnishes new or refurbished units, "equivalent to new in performance and reliability." Replacements are provided in a plain box, which the attorney called misleading.

    The replacement phone English complained about was actually a new model, according to Apple's records.

    The judge rejected the case's class action status, noting that the attorney's ongoing relationship with the plaintiffs and involvement in their purchase of AppleCare "strongly indicates" that the entire "dubious" case was an invented lawsuit conducted in a "manifestly incompetent manner," rather than a matter of actual aggrieved parties filing as part of a class action.

    The judge added that Kennedy's "total lack of experience with class action litigation, and her pervasive failure to comply with basic federal and local rules and with my standing orders throughout the course of this litigation, further undermine English's request for class certification."

    Without class action status, the case is unlikely to continue much longer, as the maximum damages that could be claimed would be negligible, even if the plaintiffs won their case revolving around brand new replacement iPhones supplied in a printed box.
    Applecare is an extended warranty service which will and does do what it says. If your computer, phone, iPad, iPod, display, watch, have any hardware related issues Applecare covers the hardware repair for free. However remember if any physical abuse has occurred then like driving your car into a light pole physical damage is not covered. You can't spill water, drop, smash, crush, or damage your devices in any physical way if so it is not covered. You also have access to free phone support for the life of the computer instead of just 90 days. So you can get help over the phone which can save you time and effort bringing your devices to a store if it turns out only to be a software issue. I love Applecare and recommend it highly. 
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 18 of 21
    feacofeaco Posts: 9member
    Ms Kennedy is a divorce and family law lawyer. Probably just out for a buck.
  • Reply 19 of 21
    Just as there are good cops and bad cops there are good lawyers and bad ones....
    Both groups unfortunately seem to adhere to a code of silence when dealing with problems within their ranks.
    Presumably if no one's complaining then there must not be any problems (or at least the appearance of any)
  • Reply 20 of 21
    And we have to remember, it 95% of lawyers that give the other 5% a bad name.
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