Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Trying to get Richard Branson's attention

I am trying to get Richard Branson's attention with the below letter:

Mr. Richard Branson
Virgin Atlantic Airways

Re: Air Passenger Fuel Surcharge Litigation

Dear Mr. Branson,

I am writing to you about the ensnarement of Virgin Atlantic in the fuel surcharge class action litigation against it and Biritish Airways that is pending in the district court for the Northern District of California.

First, let me say I have no information or opinion relative to the economic/legal policy merits of the antitrust laws that are applicable to Virgin Atlantic or whether there was any violation of those laws by Virgin Atlantic.

I do, on the other hand, strongly object to private class action litigation such as the Virgin Atlantic fuel surcharge litigation on the basis of numerous social, economic and legal policy grounds. If you are interested I have a blog in which I set out my objections at length. Generally speaking, I am sure you are aware of the strong sentiment against plaintiffs' lawyers in the United States, led in part by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its Institute for Legal Reform .

As you are also presumably aware, this parasitical activity of the plaintiffs' lawyers is seeping into the United Kingdom.

I hope Virgin Atlantic's ensnarement in the Northern District of California litigation prompts you to take a more active interest about this subject. If it does, I have some suggestions for you.

First, I have recently agitated the Xerox Board of Directors about their settlement of a class action securities lawsuit against Xerox. You may find more information about this at this link: Xerox If you know any of the Xerox directors personally (the "independent" Xerox directors are Glenn A. Britt, Richard J. Harrington, William Curt Hunter, Vernon E. Jordan Jr., Hilmar Kopper, Ralph S. Larsen, Robert A. McDonald, N. J. Nicholas, Jr., Ann N. Reese, and Stephen Robert), you might want to have a discussion with them about Xerox's ensnarement by the plaintiffs' lawyers.

Second, I have by chance been a member of the plaintiff class in several class action lawsuits, including the Virgin Atlantic fuel surcharge class action litigation. I have written letters to the judges objecting to the legal shenanigans they are overseeing (see Letter to Judge Pauley, Letter to Judge Thompson ), and I will probably write a letter to Judge Breyer in the Virgin Atlantic case. These judges do not and will not pay any attention to me, but they could pay attention to you and Virgin Atlantic. If you are interested, I would suggest you explore with Virgin Atlantic's lawyers how you and Virgin Atlantic can best register objection. (The answer to this could be, as in the Xerox case, don't try to object or resist, because, if you do, Virgin Atlantic will get hammered more by the plaintiffs' lawyers and their cohort judges.)

Third, I see that the plaintiffs' lawyers fees are subject to negotiation with Virgin Atlantic. You might consider that as a venue for registering objection and have Virgin Atlantic take a hard line about those fees because of the social inutility, or disutility, of the work the lawyers do.

If any of the above suggestions appeal to you, please let me know, because I would have additional suggestions to proffer to you.

I hope you consider this letter to you worthwhile.

Robert Shattuck

No comments: