November 14, 2022
A recent Law 360 story by Katryna Perera, “CBS Investors Attys Get $3.6M in Moonves #MeToo Case” reports that counsel from Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP have been awarded $3.6 million for their work securing a $14.7 million settlement for a class of CBS Corp. investors who claimed the company's former CEO Les Moonves' alleged sexual misconduct tanked the broadcasting giant's shares. U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni issued an order granting the attorney fee request along with $354,000 in litigation expenses. However, she declined to award fees or expenses to Johnson Fistel LLP, which she noted did not appear as counsel to any plaintiff in the instant case or in a related matter.
Judge Caproni also granted a $2,250 service award to lead plaintiff, the Construction Laborers Pension Trust for Southern California, but declined to grant a request for $20,000 in legal fees for the lead plaintiff's outside counsel, which the order does not identify. In awarding Robbins Geller $3.6 million in fees, the judge said the attorneys devoted more than 5,000 hours to the case, with a lodestar value of $4.6 million. She also noted that class members filed no objections to the fees or expenses.
The $14.7 million settlement between the class and CBS was reached in April. Investors argued that the deal was a "very good" one given that it represents between 7% and 9% of their estimated reasonably recoverable damages. The investors alleged in their August 2018 suit that a statement Moonves made at the Variety Innovate Summit industry event in late 2017 kept CBS' share price artificially inflated until explosive July 2018 news reports detailed his alleged history of workplace sexual harassment.