CAR_Public/111215.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Thursday, December 15, 2011, Vol. 13, No. 248

                             Headlines

AIR CANADA: Class Action Over Extra Seat Charges Gets Go-Ahead
ALLSTATE CORP: More Than 1,400 Coloradans to Get Compensation
APPLE INC: European Commission Probes Alleged E-Book Cartel
APPLE INC: Faces Class Action Over "Yellow Dog Contracts"
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Sued Over Undisclosed Subscription Rate Hike

CLARK & WASHINGTON: Ex-Client Seeks Class Cert. for Fraud Action
COLGATE-PALMOLIVE: Sued Over False Claims on Antibacterial Soap
DIGI INTERNATIONAL: Awaits Ruling in IPO Suit Appeal vs. Unit
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Ruling Issued on Bid to Lift 1995 Injunction
FINCORP INVESTMENTS: Investors to Receive Settlement Payments

GRUNENTHAL: Court Reserves Decision on Thalidomide Class Action
HORIZON LINES: Settles Puerto Rico Antitrust Suit Opt Out Claims
INTERNATIONAL GAME: "Atlantic" Suit Hearing Will Be Set in April
INTERNATIONAL GAME: Discovery Still Ongoing in ERISA Class Suit
INTERNATIONAL GAME: Discovery Still Ongoing in "IBEW" Class Suit

J.CREW GROUP: Awaits Results of Dec. 14 Hearing on Del. Suit Deal
K. HOVNANIAN: Court Approves Class Settlement in Sewell Suit
KEYUAN PETROCHEMICALS: Lead Plaintiff Deadline Nears
KIA MOTORS: Pa. High Court Reverses Counsel Fee Award
LIBERTY BEHAVIORAL: 11th Cir. Upholds Class Settlement Approval

NCAA: Faces Class Action Over Concussion Prevention Negligence
NOAH EDUCATION: Consolidated IPO-Related Suit Fully Settled
PANDORA MEDIA: Continues to Face Class Suits Over Privacy Issues
PRIMO WATER: Law Firms Seek Lead Plaintiffs in Class Action
ROY MARTIN LUMBER: La. High Court Vacates Class Certification

SAIC INC: Faces Class Action Over Data Security Breach
SAKS INC: Continues to Defend FLSA-Violations Suit in California
SIEMENS AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT: Securities Suit Dismissed in March
SIGNATURE GROUP: 9th Cir. Affirms Dismissal of Securities Suit
SONESTA INTERNATIONAL: Faces Merger-Related Stockholder Suit

SOUTH AFRICAN BREAD MAKERS: Cartel Class Action Faces Hurdles
SYCAMORE NETWORKS: Awaits Decision on Motion to Dismiss Appeal
ULTA SALON: Still Awaits Final Okay of Calif. Suit Settlement
UNITED STATES: App. Ct. Vacates Dismissal of Russell Suit

* Tax Class Actions Raise Questions on Lawyer's Liability





                          *********

AIR CANADA: Class Action Over Extra Seat Charges Gets Go-Ahead
--------------------------------------------------------------
Sidhartha Banerjee, writing for The Canadian Press, reports that
disabled travelers across the country who had to pay extra for
seats on Air Canada could be in line for compensation as part of a
class action lawsuit authorized in Quebec.

A judge has approved a suit against Air Canada on behalf of
disabled Canadians who had to pay extra for seats over a three-
year period.

Quebec City law firm BGA Barristers & Solicitors LLP made the
announcement public on Dec. 12 after getting the go-ahead from the
court.

The suit covers disabled individuals and also those with a
functional disability related to obesity who faced extra charges
for seats adapted to their condition.

The suit also includes those travelers who had to pay extra fees
when acting as the attendant for a person with a disability.

The class action is specifically for people who travelled on a
domestic flight from Dec. 5, 2005, to Dec. 5, 2008.

Lawyer David Bourgoin, who is representing the plaintiffs, says
he's actively seeking someone to represent WestJet Airlines Ltd.
clients in the same claim.

The initial motion included a WestJet passenger too, but in her
ruling, Justice Catherine La Rosa didn't believe the claimant
qualified under the "one-person, one-fare" policy.

Mr. Bourgoin said the time frame is short to find a WestJet
claimant and they are actively looking for one across the country.
"The fundamental reasons for the Air Canada judgment apply to
WestJet," Mr. Bourgoin said.

"It's only because of the representative that WestJet is not part
of the class action.

"We only have just a couple of weeks to reintroduce WestJet
because after that the rights will be definitely lost for all
people who flew with WestJet and paid for an extra seat."

Since January 2009, disabled or obese people who fly in Canada
have been exempt from having to pay for a second seat if they have
a medical certificate.

The Canadian Transportation Agency ruled in January 2008 that
domestic airlines must offer the policy.

It estimated it would cost Air Canada about C$7 million a year and
WestJet about C$1.5 million a year.

The country's top court refused to hear a case put forth by Air
Canada and WestJet, which battled the policy through various
boards and courts.

The Supreme Court of Canada upheld that regulatory ruling in late
2008.

Mr. Bourgoin said it's impossible to know just how many people may
have flown during the prescribed period, but they'd be entitled to
compensation for the flights as well as moral and punitive
damages.

In the case of Paul Arsenault, who sued Air Canada on behalf of
his wheelchair-bound brother Normand, reimbursement for flights
and damages amounted to C$2,500.

Justice La Rosa's judgment came down in October but the court
authorized an official notice to members this week.

A spokesman for Air Canada says the company won't comment as the
action is before the courts.

A spokesman for WestJet also had no comment.


ALLSTATE CORP: More Than 1,400 Coloradans to Get Compensation
-------------------------------------------------------------
According to Northern Colorado Business Report, more than 1,400
Colorado consumers may be eligible for compensation under a class-
action settlement reached in Oklahoma involving Allstate Corp. and
American Heritage Life Insurance Co., also known as Allstate
Workplace Division.

According to the Department of Regulatory Agencies Division of
Insurance, more than 226,000 consumers may be affected nationwide.
The settlement was approved on Dec. 5 by a federal judge in the
U.S. District Court, Western District of Oklahoma.

The lawsuit involves denial of claims related to a "Cancer and
Dread Disease Expense Policy," and substantially similar policies
sold by the defendants and issued between Oct. 24, 2003 and
Sept. 30.  The original plaintiff, Lona Buck, claimed in her 2008
lawsuit that the policy's language was ambiguous on whether it
would cover non-cancercidal drugs, medicines, chemical substances,
instruments or devices that could be used in radiation therapy,
chemotherapy or immunotherapy.  Non-cancercidal treatment is used
to build up or support a patient's health prior to or during
cancer treatment.

Consumers who invested in one of these policies should contact
Tony Gould at Brown & Gould at 405-595 0504.


APPLE INC: European Commission Probes Alleged E-Book Cartel
-------------------------------------------------------
Sonya Angelica Diehn at Courthouse News Service reports that the
European Commission is investigating Apple and five publishers
over a potential e-books cartel, following the lead of federal
class action claims in the United States.

The publishers at issue are France-based Hachette Livre, Rupert
Murdoch's Harper Collins, U.S.-owned Simon & Schuster, U.K.-based
Penguin and Germany's Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holzbrinck, which
owns Macmillan.

The probe by the European Union's executive branch, announced last
week, follows a federal antitrust class action filed against the
same companies in California this past August.

The investigation is looking at whether so-called agency
agreements brokered between Apple and the publishers increased the
price of electronic books after Apple's release of the iPad and
iBookstore in 2010.

In the agency model, vendors sacrifice consumer discounts by
allowing publishers to directly set retail prices.  Once one
retailer implements this model, others may be forced to follow
suit in order to secure sales rights.

Apple's actions have forced Amazon to switch over to this model,
the class action claims.

This has made the price of e-books increase by as much as half,
the suit says.

Apple allegedly implemented the agreements to dominate the e-book
market and prevent devices such as Amazon's Kindle e-book reader
from breaking into other media markets.

The U.S. class action accuses Apple of using "a virtually
identical strategy to gain a virtual monopoly on the distribution
of digital music files" through iTunes.

The European Commission had raided several e-book publishers
across Europe this past March.  The U.K.'s trade office ran a
parallel investigation, which it closed before the commission made
its announcement.

The AP reported that Pearson and Holtzbrinck have denied any
wrongdoing.  Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster are apparently
cooperating with the investigation, while Apple and Hachette Livre
declined to comment.

The five publishers dominate that sector, while Apple has become
one of the world's largest technology companies.


APPLE INC: Faces Class Action Over "Yellow Dog Contracts"
---------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that a class action claims Apple
uses "yellow dog contracts" to make its call-center help workers
pay for their own training, business expenses, taxes, Medicare and
unemployment insurance.

A copy of the Complaint in Hilton v. Apple Inc., et al., Case No.
111CV214597 (Calif. Super. Ct., Santa Clara Cty.), is available
at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/12/12/SuingApple.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Norman B. Blumenthal, Esq.
          Kyle R. Nordrehaug, Esq.
          Aparajit Bhowmik, Esq.
          BLUMENTHAL, NORDREHAUG & BHOWMIK
          2255 Calle Clara
          La Jolla, CA 92037
          Telephone: (858) 551-1223

               - and -

          Mark A. Osman, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF MARK A. OSMAN
          401 West A Street, 17th Floor
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Telephone: (619) 232-8862


CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Sued Over Undisclosed Subscription Rate Hike
-------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that a class action claims the
Chicago Tribune increased its quarterly subscription rate this
year from $42.50 to $97.50 and billed subscribers' debit or credit
cards for it without informing them of the increase or getting
their consent.

A copy of the Complaint in Naedler v. Chicago Tribune Company,
Case No. 11CH42347 (Ill. Cir. Ct., Cook Cty.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/12/12/Tribune.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Daniel A. Edelman, Esq.
          Cathleen M. Combs, Esq.
          James O. Latturner, Esq.
          Francis R. Greene, Esq.
          EDELMAN, COMBS, LATTURNER & GOODWIN, L.L.C.
          120 S. LaSalle Street, 18th Floor
          Chicago, IL 60603
          Telephone: (312) 739-4200


CLARK & WASHINGTON: Ex-Client Seeks Class Cert. for Fraud Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
Maria Chutchian at Bankruptcy Law360 reports that a Georgia man
claiming Clark & Washington PC's advertisements are misleading and
its fee structure for consumer bankruptcy representation is
fraudulent asked a federal judge on Dec. 9 to certify
his putative class action.

Law360 relates that Richard Lundquist III filed the suit against
the firm in September on behalf of Clark clients that paid the
firm to represent them in their Chapter 7 bankruptcies and were
instructed to fill out postdated checks that allegedly were not
cashed when the firm said they would be.


COLGATE-PALMOLIVE: Sued Over False Claims on Antibacterial Soap
---------------------------------------------------------------
David Gialanella, writing for New Jersey Law Journal, reports that
a putative class action claims Colgate-Palmolive's antibacterial
liquid hand soap has a dirty little secret: It's not a better germ
killer than ordinary soap.  The suit points to government findings
that Softsoap Antibacterial's active ingredient gives no edge over
other soaps and may be harmful.


DIGI INTERNATIONAL: Awaits Ruling in IPO Suit Appeal vs. Unit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Digi International Inc. is awaiting a court decision on
plaintiffs' motion to dismiss an appeal in the consolidated
shareholder lawsuit involving a Company subsidiary, according to
the Company's November 29, 2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
September 30, 2011.

On April 19, 2002, a consolidated amended class action complaint
was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York asserting claims relating to the initial
public offering ("IPO") of the Company's subsidiary NetSilicon,
Inc. and approximately 300 other public companies.  The Company
acquired NetSilicon on February 13, 2002.  The complaint names the
Company as a defendant along with NetSilicon, certain of its
officers and certain underwriters involved in NetSilicon's IPO,
among numerous others, and asserts, among other things, that
NetSilicon's IPO prospectus and registration statement violated
federal securities laws because they contained material
misrepresentations and/or omissions regarding the conduct of
NetSilicon's IPO underwriters in allocating shares in NetSilicon's
IPO to the underwriters' customers.  The Company believes that the
claims against the NetSilicon defendants are without merit and
have defended the litigation vigorously.  Pursuant to a
stipulation between the parties, the two named officers were
dismissed from the lawsuit, without prejudice, on October 9, 2002.

As previously disclosed, the parties advised the District Court on
February 25, 2009, that they had reached an agreement-in-principle
to settle the litigation in its entirety.  A stipulation of
settlement was filed with the District Court on April 2, 2009.  On
June 9, 2009, the District Court preliminarily approved the
proposed global settlement.  Notice was provided to the class, and
a settlement fairness hearing, at which members of the class had
an opportunity to object to the proposed settlement, was held on
September 10, 2009.  On October 6, 2009, the District Court issued
an order granting final approval to the settlement.  Ten appeals
initially were filed objecting to the definition of the settlement
class and fairness of the settlement.  Five of those appeals were
dismissed with prejudice on October 6, 2010.  On May 17, 2011, the
Court of Appeals dismissed four of the remaining appeals and
remanded the final appeal to the District Court to determine
whether the appellant has standing to object to the settlement.
On August 25, 2011, the District Court ruled that the last
remaining objector lacks standing to object to the settlement.
That objector has appealed that ruling to the Court of Appeals,
and the plaintiffs have moved to dismiss that appeal.

Under the settlement, the Company's insurers are to pay the full
amount of settlement share allocated to the Company, and the
Company would bear no financial liability beyond the Company's
deductible of $250,000 per claim.  While there can be no guarantee
as to the ultimate outcome of this pending lawsuit, the Company
expects that its liability insurance will be adequate to cover any
potential unfavorable outcome, less the applicable deductible per
claim.  As of September 30, 2011, the Company has an accrued
liability for the anticipated settlement of $300,000, which the
Company believes is adequate and reflects the amount of loss that
is probable, and a receivable related to the insurance proceeds of
$50,000.  This $50,000 represents the anticipated settlement of
$300,000 less the Company's $250,000 deductible.  In the event the
Company should have losses that exceed the limits of the liability
insurance, the losses could have a material adverse effect on the
Company's business and its consolidated results of operations or
financial condition.


DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Ruling Issued on Bid to Lift 1995 Injunction
------------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, reversed
and remanded the case captioned Nikita Shonta Petties, by her
parent and next friend, Judy Martin, et al. v. District of
Columbia, et al., Case No. 10-7149, for the district court to
determine whether, in view of changed circumstances, the District
of Columbia's motion to vacate a preliminary injunction and
related payment orders should be granted.

The injunction was issued in 1995 in response to the class action
complaint alleging that the District of Columbia was violating the
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1400
et seq., by failing to timely pay private providers of special
education services and thereby jeopardizing students' special
education placements.

In its request, the District of Columbia argued that after 14
years, it had "cured the systemic violations of law upon which the
preliminary injunction and other payment orders were predicated"
and was "in compliance with the [latest] payment order."

A copy of the Appeals Court's Dec. 2, 2011 order is available at
http://is.gd/9UJ7Lqfrom Leagle.com.


FINCORP INVESTMENTS: Investors to Receive Settlement Payments
-------------------------------------------------------------
4-traders reports that investors who participated in a class
action settlement negotiated by Slater & Gordon with Sandhurst
Trustees, who acted as trustee for failed financial company
Fincorp Investments, will receive their settlement payments in
time for Christmas.

The payments will mark an end to the Fincorp class action for the
predominantly mum and dad investors who lost their investments
when Fincorp collapsed in 2007.

The AUD29 million class action settlement was approved by the
Federal Court of Australia in May this year.

Slater & Gordon litigation lawyer Odette McDonald said the
payments would offer some closure to more than 5,000 people who
were part of the class action.

"For the last four years, through no fault of their own, many
people who put their savings and their trust in Fincorp have had a
difficult time financially and emotionally," Ms. McDonald said.

"We are proud to be able to give these people some sort of
resolution as they receive their settlement payments this month."

The class action settlement covers investors who had purchased
secured and/or unsecured notes issued by Fincorp on or after 7
December 2004 and held those notes as at March 23, 2007, or who
purchased secured and/or unsecured notes prior to December 7, 2004
and rolled the investment over after that date.

Ms. McDonald said that while the vast majority of group members
had been sent checks, there was a small group of investors who
Slater & Gordon had been unable to contact and these people may
not realize that they are eligible to receive a settlement
payment.

"As it stands, we have processed checks for approximately 4,400 of
our 5,390 class action group members," Ms. McDonald said.

"It is expected that these people will receive their checks within
the next week.

"There are, in addition, several hundred class action members who
are in the later stages of finalizing their documentation
necessary to receive their settlement payment.

"However, there are a small number of people eligible to recover
compensation who we have been unable to contact.

"While we are making every effort to locate these people, relevant
Fincorp investors who have moved in recent years and have not
updated their details should contact us no later than January 20,
2012 to ensure that they receive the funds they are entitled to,"
Ms. McDonald said.


GRUNENTHAL: Court Reserves Decision on Thalidomide Class Action
---------------------------------------------------------------
Peta Carlyon, writing for ABC News, reports that the maker of the
drug thalidomide is fighting to defend an Australian class action
in Germany.

The drug was prescribed for pregnant women in the 1950s and '60s
and caused large numbers of deaths and birth defects.

Victorian woman Lynette Rowe was born without limbs and is leading
a new class action on behalf of Australian victims against
thalidomide manufacturer Grunenthal.

But the company wants the case heard in its homeland under German
laws.

Lawyers for Grunenthal have told the court that having the case
heard in Australia would be vexatious and an abuse of process.

They said although Ms. Rowe would find travelling to Europe
extremely difficult, her circumstances should not be a major
consideration.

The drug company's lawyers say there is no need for her to even
attend the trial.

The Victorian Supreme Court has reserved its decision.


HORIZON LINES: Settles Puerto Rico Antitrust Suit Opt Out Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Horizon Lines, Inc., entered into a settlement agreement to
resolve the claims of those who opted out of a certain Puerto Rico
direct purchaser settlement, according to the Company's November
29, 2011, Form 8-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission.

On November 23, 2011, Horizon Lines, Inc. and certain of its
subsidiaries (collectively, "Horizon") and attorneys representing
those shippers who opted out of the Puerto Rico direct purchaser
settlement and have indicated an intention to pursue an antitrust
claim against Horizon related to the Puerto Rico tradelane (such
persons referred to collectively as the "Settling Claimants")
entered into a Settlement Agreement (the "Settlement Agreement").

Numerous Puerto Rico direct purchaser antitrust class action
lawsuits were filed against Horizon in 2008 on behalf of customers
who purchased domestic ocean shipping services from Horizon and
other ocean carriers in the Puerto Rico tradelane between May 2002
and April 2008.  Horizon entered into a settlement agreement with
the class in June 2009, and final court approval was granted in
September 2011.  The Settling Claimants elected to opt-out of the
settlement class to preserve their rights, if any, against Horizon
relating to the Puerto Rico tradelane, and the Settlement
Agreement resolves the claims of all of the Settling Claimants.

Pursuant to the terms of the Settlement Agreement, in exchange for
the full, complete and final settlement of the alleged claims from
the Settling Claimants, Horizon agreed to pay the Settling
Claimants an aggregate amount of $13,750,000, as follows:

   (a) $5,750,000 on or before December 8, 2011;
   (b) $4,000,000 on or before June 30, 2012; and
   (c) $4,000,000 on before December 24, 2012.

                       Horizon's Statement

In a statement dated November 29, 2011, Horizon Lines, Inc.
announced that it has entered into a settlement agreement with all
of the remaining significant shippers who opted out of the Puerto
Rico direct purchaser antitrust class action settlement.

Horizon Lines agreed to settle with these shippers at a total cost
to the company of $13.75 million in exchange for full release of
all antitrust claims. Under the terms of the settlement agreement,
Horizon Lines will make a payment of $5.75 million within 10
business days of the November 23, 2011, effective date, a payment
of $4.0 million by June 30, 2012, and a final payment of $4.0
million by December 24, 2012.

"We are very pleased with this settlement, which brings to closure
our last known major financial exposure relating to antitrust
claims involving the Puerto Rico tradelane," said Michael T.
Avara, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.  "It
also eliminates the potential for protracted and costly
litigation."

The agreement effectively resolves claims related to class action
lawsuits that were filed against Horizon Lines in 2008 on behalf
of customers who purchased domestic ocean shipping services from
the company and other ocean carriers in the Puerto Rico tradelane
between May 2002 and April 2008.  Horizon Lines entered into a
settlement agreement with the class in June 2009, which received
final court approval in September 2011.  Some shippers opted out
of the class settlement, and Horizon has previously announced
settlement with a number of them.  The November 29 announcement
resolves claims of all the remaining significant opt outs.

                       About Horizon Lines

Horizon Lines, Inc. is a domestic ocean shipping and integrated
logistics company.  The Company owns or leases a fleet of 20 U.S.-
flag containerships and operates five port terminals linking the
continental United States with Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
The Company also provides integrated, reliable and cost
competitive logistics solutions.  Horizon Lines, Inc., is based in
Charlotte, N.C., and trades on the OTCQB Marketplace under symbol
HRZL.


INTERNATIONAL GAME: "Atlantic" Suit Hearing Will Be Set in April
----------------------------------------------------------------
Argument on a motion to certify a class in the lawsuit involving
subsidiaries of International Game Technology will be scheduled
for hearing in April 2012, according to the Company's
November 30, 2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended October 1, 2011.

In May 2010, Atlantic Lotteries commenced an action against
International Game Technology, VLC, Inc. and IGT-Canada, wholly-
owned subsidiaries of International Game Technology, and other
manufacturers of video lottery machines in the Supreme Court of
New Foundland and Labrador seeking indemnification for any damages
that may be awarded against Atlantic Lotteries in a class action
lawsuit, captioned Rice (formerly Piercey) v. Atlantic Lotteries,
also filed in the Supreme Court of New Foundland and Labrador.  A
motion for class certification has been filed by plaintiff.
Argument of the motion will be scheduled for hearing in April
2012.

International Game Technology is a global company specializing in
the design, manufacture, and marketing of electronic gaming
equipment and systems products.  The Company is a supplier of
gaming products in substantially all legal jurisdictions worldwide
and provides a diverse offering of quality products and services
at competitive prices, designed to increase the potential for
gaming operator profits by enhancing the player's experience.


INTERNATIONAL GAME: Discovery Still Ongoing in ERISA Class Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
On October 2, 2009, two putative class action lawsuits were filed
on behalf of participants in International Game Technology's
employee pension plans, naming as defendants the Company, the IGT
Profit Sharing Plan Committee, and several current and former
officers and directors.  The actions, filed in the U.S. District
Court for the District of Nevada, are captioned Carr et al. v.
International Game Technology et al., Case No. 3:09-cv-00584, and
Jordan et al. v. International Game Technology et al., Case No.
3:09-cv-00585.  The actions were consolidated.  The consolidated
complaint (which seeks unspecified damages) asserts claims under
the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C Sections
1109 and 1132.

The consolidated complaint is based on allegations similar to
those in securities and derivative lawsuits against the Company,
and further alleges that the defendants breached fiduciary duties
to Plan Participants by failing to disclose material facts to Plan
Participants, failing to exercise their fiduciary duties solely in
the interest of the Participants, failing to properly manage Plan
assets, and permitting Participants to elect to invest in Company
stock.  In March 2011, defendants' motion to dismiss the
consolidated complaint was granted in part and denied in part.
Discovery is proceeding.

No further updates were reported in the Company's November 30,
2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended October 1, 2011.

International Game Technology is a global company specializing in
the design, manufacture, and marketing of electronic gaming
equipment and systems products.  The Company is a supplier of
gaming products in substantially all legal jurisdictions worldwide
and provides a diverse offering of quality products and services
at competitive prices, designed to increase the potential for
gaming operator profits by enhancing the player's experience.


INTERNATIONAL GAME: Discovery Still Ongoing in "IBEW" Class Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
On July 30, 2009, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
Local 697 filed a putative securities fraud class action in the
U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, alleging causes of
action under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act against International Game Technology and certain of its
current and former officers and directors.  The complaint alleges
that between November 1, 2007, and October 30, 2008, the
defendants inflated IGT's stock price through a series of
materially false and misleading statements or omissions regarding
IGT's business, operations, and prospects.  In April 2010,
plaintiffs filed an amended complaint.  In March 2011, defendants'
motion to dismiss that complaint was granted in part and denied in
part.  The Court found that the allegations concerning statements
about the seasonality of game play levels and announcements of
projects with Harrah's and City Center were sufficient to state a
claim.  Plaintiffs did not state a claim based on the remaining
statements about earnings, operating expense, or forward-looking
statements about play levels and server-based technology.
Discovery is proceeding.

No further updates were reported in the Company's November 30,
2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended October 1, 2011.

International Game Technology is a global company specializing in
the design, manufacture, and marketing of electronic gaming
equipment and systems products.  The Company is a supplier of
gaming products in substantially all legal jurisdictions worldwide
and provides a diverse offering of quality products and services
at competitive prices, designed to increase the potential for
gaming operator profits by enhancing the player's experience.


J.CREW GROUP: Awaits Results of Dec. 14 Hearing on Del. Suit Deal
-----------------------------------------------------------------
J.Crew Group, Inc. is awaiting results of a December 14, 2011
hearing over a proposed settlement resolving a consolidated class
action lawsuit pending in Delaware, according to the Company's
December 1, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarter ended October 29, 2011.

J.Crew Group, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiaries was acquired
on March 7, 2011, through a merger with Chinos Acquisition
Corporation ("Merger Sub"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chinos
Holdings, Inc. (the "Parent").  The Parent was formed by
investment funds affiliated with TPG Capital, L.P. ("TPG") and
Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. ("LGP" and together with TPG, the
"Sponsors").  Subsequent to the Acquisition, Group became an
indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Parent, which is owned by
affiliates of the Sponsors, co-investors and members of
management.  Prior to March 7, 2011, the Company operated as a
public company with its common stock traded on the New York Stock
Exchange.

In connection with the Acquisition, between November 24, 2010, and
December 16, 2010, sixteen purported class action complaints were
filed against some or all of the following: the Company, certain
officers of the Company, members of the Company's Board of
Directors, Parent, J.Crew Group, Inc., TPG, TPG Fund VI and LGP.
The plaintiffs in each of these complaints alleged, among other
things, (1) that certain officers of the Company and members of
the Company's Board breached their fiduciary duties to the
Company's public stockholders by authorizing the Acquisition for
inadequate consideration and pursuant to an inadequate process,
and (2) that the Company, TPG and LGP aided and abetted the other
defendants' alleged breaches of fiduciary duty.  The purported
class action complaints sought, among other things, an order
enjoining the consummation of the Acquisition, an order rescinding
the Acquisition to the extent it is consummated and an award of
compensatory damages.

                        Delaware Actions

Between November 24, 2010, and December 8, 2010, seven of the
purported class action complaints concerning the Acquisition were
filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery.  On December 14, 2010,
these cases were consolidated into the Delaware Action.  On
January 16, 2011, the Company entered into a binding Memorandum of
Understanding ("MOU") with the other parties in the Delaware
Action.  The MOU provided for the settlement of all claims
asserted in the Delaware Action against the Company and the other
defendants.  The Company and the other defendants agreed to the
MOU pending the execution of a more formal settlement agreement.
The MOU provided for, among other things, a one-time settlement
payment of $10 million by J.Crew or its insurers to be distributed
pro rata among the members of the class of Company shareholders on
whose behalf the plaintiffs in the Delaware Action purport to act.
Once the MOU was signed, the parties removed from the Court's
docket a preliminary injunction hearing that had been scheduled
for February 24, 2011.  By letter dated January 31, 2011, the
plaintiffs in the Delaware Action attempted to repudiate the MOU
and informed the Court that they were no longer in a position to
support or pursue the settlement and indicated that they intended
to seek monetary damages following the closing of the Acquisition.
By letter dated February 1, 2011, the defendants informed the
Court that they believe they have honored their obligations under
the MOU and that they intended to seek specific performance of the
MOU.  The court held a conference on February 11, 2011, during
which it stated that it would not entertain any applications in
the litigation until after the shareholder vote.  Following the
shareholders' approval of the Acquisition, the plaintiffs filed a
Status Report and Motion to Resume Litigation.  In that motion,
the plaintiffs requested leave to recommence discovery concerning
the merits of the Delaware Action.  The Defendants opposed that
motion, and at a March 15, 2011 hearing the Court ruled that
discovery concerning the merits of the Delaware Action would be
stayed until after the parties concluded litigation concerning the
enforceability of the MOU.

On May 12, 2011, the Company, TPG, LGP and Parent filed an action
(the "MOU Enforcement Action") in the Delaware Court of Chancery
asking the Court to order the plaintiffs in the Delaware Action to
perform their legal commitment in the MOU to provide a "full and
appropriate release of all claims that were asserted or could have
been asserted" in the Delaware Action.  If such specific
performance is unavailable, the MOU Enforcement Action seeks, only
as an alternative remedy, money damages from the plaintiffs in the
Delaware Action.  Also on May 12, 2011, the parties to the
Delaware Action jointly submitted a proposed scheduling order for
the Court's approval that provides for a trial on the MOU
Enforcement Action in October 2011.  If the MOU is not enforced,
the Company says it intends to defend against the allegations
asserted in the Delaware Action vigorously.

On June 10, 2011, the plaintiffs in the Delaware Action moved to
dismiss the MOU Enforcement Action.  The Company and the other
defendants who are parties to the MOU Enforcement Action filed a
brief opposing dismissal on July 11, 2011.  A reply brief was
filed by the plaintiffs in the Delaware Action on July 26, 2011.

Between late July and August 30, 2011, the parties discussed the
terms and conditions of a resolution of the Delaware Action.  On
August 30, 2011, the parties announced the terms of a proposed
settlement (the "Proposed Settlement") pursuant to which J.Crew or
its insurers and TPG and Leonard Green or their insurers will make
a one-time settlement payment of $16 million total (including the
previously agreed-upon $10 million settlement payment which was
announced on January 18, 2011), to be distributed pro rata among
the members of the class of Company shareholders who are members
of the settlement class and who held J. Crew shares as of the
closing of the Acquisition on March 7, 2011.  The Proposed
Settlement will release all claims that were asserted or could
have been asserted in the Delaware Action or that relate to the
MOU or the Acquisition.  The parties to the Delaware Action have
executed a formal Stipulation of Settlement documenting the
Proposed Settlement, which has been submitted to the Delaware
Court of Chancery.  The parties have agreed to stay the MOU
Enforcement Action pending approval of the Proposed Settlement by
the Court of Chancery.  On November 15, 2011, the plaintiffs in
the Delaware Action filed their opening brief in support of the
Proposed Settlement, in which they also sought an award of
attorneys' fees and expenses in the total amount of $9.0 million.
A hearing on whether to approve the Proposed Settlement will be
held before the Court of Chancery on December 14, 2011.  If the
Proposed Settlement is approved, the Delaware Action and the MOU
Enforcement Action will be dismissed, on the merits, with
prejudice.

The Company recorded an expense for litigation settlement of $10
million and $6 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 and
second quarter of fiscal 2011, respectively.  In the third quarter
of fiscal 2011, the Company (i) recognized a receivable of $10.7
million for estimated insurance recovery of the litigation
settlement and (ii) recorded an expense, net of estimated
insurance recovery, of $7.1 million for attorneys' fees.

                        New York Actions

Between November 24, 2010, and December 16, 2010, seven of the
purported class action complaints concerning the Acquisition were
filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York. Those
complaints are captioned respectively as Church v. J.Crew Group,
Inc., et al., No. 652101-2010; Taki v. J.Crew Group, Inc., et al.,
No. 65125-2010; Weisenberg v. J.Crew Group, Inc., et al., No.
10115564-2010; Hekstra v. J.Crew Group, Inc., et al., No. 652175-
2010; St. Louis v. J.Crew Group, Inc., et al., No. 652201-2010;
Peoria Police Pension Fund v. Drexler, et al., No. 652239-2010;
KBC Asset Management NV v. J.Crew Group, Inc., et al., No.
6522870-2010 (collectively, the "New York Actions").  At a hearing
on February 24, 2011, the New York court denied a request from
plaintiffs to enjoin the shareholder vote, and denied the
plaintiffs' request to lift the stay of proceedings, except to
order the seven cases consolidated and to appoint the plaintiffs'
agreed-upon lead plaintiff structure.  The cases otherwise remain
stayed.

                         Federal Actions

On December 1, 2010, a purported class action complaint, captioned
Brazin v. J.Crew Group, Inc., No. 10 Civ. 8988, was filed in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York.  On December 14, 2010, another purported class action
complaint, captioned Caywood v. Drexler, No. 10 Civ. 9328, was
also filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York (together with the Brazin Action, the
"Federal Actions").  The plaintiffs in the Federal Actions assert
claims that are largely duplicative of the claims asserted in the
Delaware Action and New York Actions, but also allege that the
defendants violated multiple federal securities statutes in
connection with the filing of the Preliminary Proxy Statement on
Schedule 14A.  On March 16, 2011, the parties to the Federal
Actions entered into a stipulation that stayed the Federal Actions
until a final resolution or settlement of the Delaware Action.

With respect to the New York and Federal Actions, the Company
assessed the probability of estimable amounts related to the
matters and believes the resolution of them, individually or in
the aggregate, would not have a material adverse effect on its
financial condition or results of operations.


K. HOVNANIAN: Court Approves Class Settlement in Sewell Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
Judge John E. Steele approved a settlement agreement resolving the
class action captioned Randolph Sewell, Daphne Sewell, Moses
Eshkenazi and Therese Eshkenazi, individually and on behalf of all
others similarly situated vs. D'Alessandro & Woodyard, Inc.;
Gates, D'Alessandto & Woodyard, LLC; K. Hovnanian First Homes,
LLC; First Home Builders of Florida; First Home Builders of
Florida I, LLC; Jan Baillargeon, as personal representative of the
estate of Frank D'Alessandro, deceased; Samir Cabrera; Honora
Kreitner; Bruce A. Robb; and Patrick Logue, Case No. 2:07-cv-343-
FtM-29SPC (M.D. Fla.).  The settlement provides for payment of an
agreed amount plus mutual exchange of releases.

On October 18, 2011, the Court conditionally certified a Class of
all persons who purchased one or more real properties for
investment purposes from First Home Builders of Florida either in
Cape Coral or Lehigh Acres, Florida, between September 1, 2003,
and July 31, 2005, who suffered a monetary loss on their
properties.  In its December 6, 2011 ruling, the Court granted
final certification of the Class for purposes of the settlement.

Randolph Sewell, Daphne Sewell, Moses Eshkenazi, and Therese
Eshkenazi serve as Class Representatives.

Becker & Poliakoff, P.A. is approved to serve as Class Counsel.
The Court awarded Becker & Poliakoff $1,080,000 in attorney fees
and $50,000 in costs and expenses, all to be paid from the
Settlement Payment.

A copy of the District Court's December 6, 2011 final order is
available at http://is.gd/mrO784from Leagle.com.


KEYUAN PETROCHEMICALS: Lead Plaintiff Deadline Nears
----------------------------------------------------
The Rosen Law Firm, P.A. reminds investors of the important
January 17, 2012 lead plaintiff deadline in the class action
lawsuit filed by the firm on behalf of investors who purchased the
common stock of Keyuan Petrochemicals, Inc. during the period from
August 16, 2010 through October 7, 2011.

To join the Keyuan class action, visit the firm's Web site at
http://rosenlegal.comor call Phillip Kim, Esq., toll-free, at
866-767-3653; you may also e-mail pkim@rosenlegal.com for
information on the class action.

The Complaint asserts violations of the federal securities laws
against Keyuan and its officers and directors, for issuing
materially false and misleading financial information.  The
Complaint asserts that during the Class Period the Company failed
to properly disclose material related party transactions that
rendered the Company's periodic reports filed with the SEC false
and misleading.  The Complaint alleges that this adverse
information caused Keyuan's stock price to lose nearly half of its
value -- devastating investors.

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no
later than January 17, 2012.  A lead plaintiff is a representative
party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the
litigation.  If you wish to join the litigation, or to discuss
your rights or interests regarding this class action, please
contact:

        Laurence Rosen, Esq.
        Phillip Kim, Esq.
        The Rosen Law Firm P.A.
        275 Madison Avenue, 34th Floor
        New York, NY 10016
        Telephone: (212) 686-1060
        Weekends Telephone: (917) 797-4425
        Toll Free: 1-866-767-3653
        Fax: (212) 202-3827
        E-mail: lrosen@rosenlegal.com
                pkim@rosenlegal.com

The Rosen Law Firm -- http://www.rosenlegal.com-- represents
investors throughout the globe, concentrating its practice in
securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation.


KIA MOTORS: Pa. High Court Reverses Counsel Fee Award
-----------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Eastern District, affirmed in
part and reversed in part the decisions of the Superior Court
dated October 24, 2007, and February 8, 2008 in the lawsuit
entitled, Shamell Samuel-Bassett v. Kia Motors America, Inc.  The
reversal, the Supreme Court clarified, is limited to the lower
courts' decision to permit application of a risk of loss
multiplier to enhance the attorneys' fee award beyond the amount
of the lodestar.  The Supreme Court remanded to the trial court
for adjustment of the attorneys' fees.

Ms. Samuel-Bassett filed the class action lawsuit, on her behalf
and other similarly situated, in January 2011 in the Philadelphia
Court of Common Please in relation to alleged defective brakes of
the 2000 Sephia vehicle model sold by Kia Motors.

Kia Motors unsuccessfully defended the lawsuit as the Superior
Court affirmed certification of the class by the trial court and
the amount of damages and litigation costs awarded to the class.

The State Supreme Court concluded that the trial court did not
abuse its discretion in approving certification of the class.
Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille penned the Supreme Court opinion.
Justices J. Michael Eakin, Max Baer, Debra Todd, and Seamus P.
McCaffery joined the opinion.

Justice Thomas G. Saylor, in a dissenting opinion, criticized the
trial court for failing to manage the class action proceedings
fairly and efficiently to account for differences in out-of-pocket
damages incurred by the individual class members.

The trial court agreed with the plaintiff that class counsel was
entitled to an attorneys' fee award equal to a risk multiplier of
1.375 times the $3 million lodestar, for a total of $4.125
million.  However, the Supreme Court stated that the lower courts
considered impermissible factors in enhancing the attorney's fee
award.

A copy of the Supreme Court's Dec. 2, 2011 opinion is available at
http://is.gd/z5V1gZfrom Leagle.com.


LIBERTY BEHAVIORAL: 11th Cir. Upholds Class Settlement Approval
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a
lower court's decision approving a class-action settlement
agreement in a conditions-of-confinement suit.  Michael C.
Donovan, proceeding pro se, appeals the district court's judgment
approving the settlement in the lawsuit, which was brought
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983, against the Florida Civil
Commitment Center.  Mr. Donovan argues (1) that the FCCC is
violating federal law by failing to provide an effective sex
offender treatment program that would allow him to meet the
requirements for release from involuntary civil commitment; (2)
that the FCCC is providing inadequate mental health services that
would allow him to meet the requirements for release from
involuntary civil commitment; and (3) that the FCCC is violating
his right to procedural due process through its use of punitive
confinement.

The appellate case is is ROGER G. CANUPP, individually and on
behalf of a Class of all persons similarly situated, et al.,
Plaintiffs-Appellees, MICHAEL C. DONOVAN, Movant-Appellant, v.
LIBERTY BEHAVIORAL HEALTHCARE CORP., et al., Defendants, GEORGE H.
SHELDON, Secretary of the Department of Children and Families,
Defendant-Appellee, No. 10-10135 (11th Cir.).  The panel consists
of Circuit Judges Gerald Bard Tjoflat, James Larry Edmondson and
Phyllis A. Kravitch.  A copy of the Eleventh Circuit's Dec. 1,
2011 order is available at http://is.gd/EpRqUcfrom Leagle.com.


NCAA: Faces Class Action Over Concussion Prevention Negligence
--------------------------------------------------------------
Adam Sweeney, writing for The Courier, reports that former
Russellville High School football standout Derek Owens is one of
four plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against the NCAA,
alleging the organization has been negligent in raising awareness
and implementing proper treatment of brain injuries.

Mr. Owens, who was selected to The Courier's Tri-County Team in
2007, led the Cyclones in receptions and yards in '07 with 91
catches for 1,164 yards and 14 touchdowns.  Mr. Owens, who also
participated in baseball and basketball at RHS, received a college
scholarship from the Arkansas Activities Association's Scholar-
Athlete Program and was inducted into the RHS Athletic Hall of
Fame in 2008.

Mr. Owens played football at the University of Central Arkansas
(UCA) until sustaining a concussion during a punt return against
the University of Tulsa.  According to the lawsuit, Mr. Owens was
not checked out on the sidelines following the play, and he did
not recognize the symptoms of head injury or concussion until
being diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome after his grades
began to drop.

After Mr. Owens, who scored a 32 on his ACT, lost his academic
scholarship at the university, he visited his family doctor who
said his symptoms were linked to concussion.

According to the lawsuit filed Nov. 21, Mr. Owens and the other
plaintiffs -- Adrian Arrington, a former football player with
Eastern Illinois University; Mark Turner, a former football player
at Fordham University in New York; and Angela Palacios, a former
soccer player at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia -- are
seeking award of compensatory damages, injunctive relief requiring
the NCAA to adopt corrective measures and the establishment of a
medical monitoring program.

Among the corrective measures sought in the lawsuit are the change
of coaching tackling methodologies which can cause head injuries,
the implementation of system-wide "return to play" guidelines for
student-athletes who have sustained concussions, the
implementation of system-wide guidelines for screening and
detection of head injuries and the implementation of legislation
addressing the treatment and eligibility of student-athletes who
have sustained multiple concussions.

Features of the proposed medical monitoring program include
establishing a trust fund to pay for medical monitoring of all
past, current and present NCAA student athletes, notifying medical
monitoring class members in writing they may require frequent
medical monitoring and providing information to team physicians to
aid them in detecting concussions or sub-concussions and to assist
them in determining when a player is subjected to an increased
risk of harm.

The lawsuit states the NCAA has failed to meet an item in its own
constitution stating its responsibility of each member institution
"to protect the health of and provide a safe environment for each
of its participating student athletes."  The suit also notes
shortcomings in all areas discussed in the desired corrective
measures.

Dr. Jason Warnick, an assistant professor of psychology at
Arkansas Tech University who holds a Ph.D. in experimental
psychology with an emphasis in behavioral neuroscience and has
conducted extensive research on biomedical topics and sports
psychology, said the symptoms of concussion are wide-ranging.

"The symptoms are pretty vast," Dr. Warnick said.  "That's what
makes this such a potentially troubling condition.  You can have
anything from headaches, nausea, vomiting.  One of the classic or
hallmark features is kind of fuzzy thinking.  It affects executive
functioning -- the ability to plan tasks, order tasks properly --
which of course probably comes into play with this lawsuit.  . . .
It could definitely harm someone who is in an educational
environment -- their ability to study, memorize things, complete
things on time.  One of the occasional features is some memory
loss and memory problems that can go on for some time."

Dr. Warnick said, in some cases, victims of concussion may undergo
drastic personality changes.

"One of the biggest problems with football injuries is you're
going headfirst into another player," Dr. Warnick said.  "When you
have that kind of impact to the front of the head, sometimes
there's a propensity to have frontal lobe injuries.  The frontal
lobe is so important for a lot of things.  One of the things is
personality changes.  One of the things the frontal lobe is
important for is our ability to inhibit our behavior.  If our boss
were to come in and yell at me for five minutes, I could sit here
and think, 'What a jerk!' and still go about the business of
getting my job done.  Without that ability to inhibit those
thoughts, your boss may come in, yell at you and you're going to
be more likely to say, 'Shut up, jerk!' You're not going to be
able to inhibit that.

As far as improving screening procedures, Dr. Warnick said teams
could implement pre-game and post-game screenings.

"You have to have a baseline to work off of," Dr. Warnick said.
"You need to know what this player is like when they're healthy,
not just, 'Are you feeling OK?' but an objective test to gauge
when this individual is acting differently.  That is the key thing
that has to be done.  It falls back on coaches and trainers using
objective methods to protect their players.  We know a lot of
football players are too brave for their own good.  They're going
to go out on the field whether they can walk or not, let alone if
they have a headache.  It's very hard to see those symptoms.  If
they ask, 'Do you feel OK after that hit?' they'll say, 'Sure,
send me back out.'  There are a lot of screening methods that can
be done in just a matter of minutes -- very fast accurate
screening techniques to look for signs of a concussion.  But the
key is having those baseline screenings so you know what your
player is like before the game ever starts to see if there is a
difference."

Dr. Warnick said setting specific guidelines for when a player who
suffered a concussion could safely return to play would be
difficult based on the varied nature of the injury.

"The time can vary so drastically," Dr. Warnick said.  "You can
see someone that maybe after a week on a very minor concussion
where all of a sudden their ratings on these tests for concussion
start returning normal.  Then sometimes people can be out for over
six months, depending on the severity of the concussion.  That
really is the key thing.  It's individual based.  If we had
someone come in and say, 'I have a cold.'  We know that within
five to seven days, they'll be back to normal.  With a concussion,
it is so varied and so individualized.  It is a fairly major
medical event.  It has to be very closely watched."


NOAH EDUCATION: Consolidated IPO-Related Suit Fully Settled
-----------------------------------------------------------
A consolidated securities class action lawsuit arising from Noah
Education Holdings Ltd.'s 2007 initial public offering has been
fully settled, the Company disclosed in its November 30, 2011,
Form 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended June 30, 2011.

On October 27, 2008, a securities class action lawsuit, entitled
Seidel v. Noah Education Holdings, Ltd. et al., Case No. 08-Civ-
9203 was filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York against the Company in connection
with its October 2007 initial public offering.  The plaintiffs in
this case allege that the registration statement of the Company's
October 2007 initial public offering purported to warn about the
potential impact of increases in component costs, but failed to
disclose that the Company was then experiencing increased raw
material costs.  The plaintiffs allege federal securities law
violations and seek unspecified damage.  On November 3, 2008, two
additional securities class action lawsuits, entitled Schapiro v.
Noah Education Holdings, Ltd. et al., Case No. 08-Civ-9427 and
Sebik v. Noah Education Holdings, Ltd. et al., Case No. 08-Civ-
9509 were filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York against the Company with
substantially the same allegation.  The court has consolidated
these complaints into a single action and the consolidated
complaint added a new allegation, claiming the registration
statement of the Company's October 2007 initial public offering
failed to disclose that one model of its digital learning device
(DLD) products did not include a recycling warning sticker
required under Chinese laws.  The Company filed a motion to
dismiss the consolidated case.  The court granted the Company's
motion, finding that plaintiffs' complaint failed to state a claim
as a matter of law.  The court dismissed the complaint with
prejudice.  Plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal.

On September 9, 2010, the Company signed a memorandum of
understanding, agreeing to settle the case for US$1.75 million,
which will be covered by the Company's insurance policy.

As of November 30, 2011, the Company says the case has been fully
settled.


PANDORA MEDIA: Continues to Face Class Suits Over Privacy Issues
----------------------------------------------------------------
Pandora Media, Inc., continues to face class action lawsuits
relating to its iPhone and iPad applications and Android mobile
applications, according to the Company's November 29, 2011, Form
10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the quarter ended October 31, 2011.

Between December 2010 and February 2011, three putative class
action lawsuits were filed against Pandora in the U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of California, alleging that it,
along with other defendant corporations, unlawfully accessed and
transmitted personally identifiable information of the plaintiffs
in connection with their use of iPhone and iPad applications, and
seeking damages and injunctive relief.  These three cases were
subsequently consolidated into one matter, In re iPhone
Application, and Pandora was not named as a defendant in the
amended consolidated complaint, although the Company is still
subject to discovery requests.

On December 30, 2010, a similar putative class action lawsuit was
filed in the Superior Court of the Province of Quebec, District of
Montreal, Canada.  On April 1, 2011, plaintiffs' counsel confirmed
to Pandora's counsel that plaintiffs concede Pandora's application
cannot be downloaded in Canada and therefore plaintiffs will, as
soon as the court's procedures permit, file a voluntary dismissal
of the complaint as against Pandora.

On January 7, 2011, a putative class action lawsuit was filed
against Pandora in the Circuit Court of Washington County,
Arkansas, seeking damages for the alleged unauthorized access and
use of plaintiffs' computers through the placement of embedded
Adobe Flash cookies.

Between March and June 2011, six putative class action lawsuits
were filed against Pandora in the U.S. District Courts for the
Southern District of New York, the District of Alabama, the
Central District of California, and the District of Puerto Rico
alleging that it, along with other defendant corporations,
unlawfully accessed and transmitted personally identifiable
information of the plaintiffs in connection with their use of
iPhone and iPad applications, and seeking damages and injunctive
relief.  Petitions have been filed to transfer all of these
actions to the Northern District of California to be litigated
together with the In re iPhone Application case.

In May 2011, a putative class action lawsuit was filed in the
United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
against Google, Inc.  In June 2011, the complaint was amended to
name Pandora as a defendant.  The complaint alleges that the
defendant class created, collected or transferred user location
data or other sensitive user information to Google and seeks
damages and injunctive relief.  The complaint has not been served
upon Pandora.

In June 2011, a putative class action lawsuit was filed against
Pandora in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of California alleging that it unlawfully accessed and
transmitted personally identifiable information of the plaintiffs
in connection with their use of the Company's Android mobile
application.

In July 2011, a putative class action lawsuit was filed against
Pandora in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of California alleging that it, along with other
defendant corporations, unlawfully accessed and transmitted
personally identifiable information of the plaintiffs in
connection with their use of iPhone and iPad applications.

In September 2011, a putative class action lawsuit was filed
against Pandora in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California alleging that it violated
Michigan's video rental privacy law and consumer protection
statute by allowing Pandora listeners' listening history to be
visible to the public.

In addition to civil liability, the Company disclosed that certain
of the privacy lawsuits include allegations of violations of
criminal statutes, and if the Company were found liable, there
would be additional risk of criminal penalties.  Each of these
cases is at an early stage and the Company is investigating the
allegations.  However, the Company currently believes that it has
substantial and meritorious defenses to these claims and intends
to vigorously defend its position.


PRIMO WATER: Law Firms Seek Lead Plaintiffs in Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------
Matt Evans, writing for The Business Journal, reports that several
law firms are looking for investors in Primo Water to take part in
a planned class-action lawsuit against the beverage company.

At least eleven law firms are publicly soliciting potential lead
plaintiffs in a suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Middle District of North Carolina.  Primo is based in Winston-
Salem and sells bottled water, water coolers and in-home
carbonated beverage dispensers.

The complaint alleges that Primo and some of its executives and
officers misrepresented the company's business prospects from the
time of its initial public offering in November 2010 through
Aug. 10 of this year, when its stock price got hammered after the
company announced a delay in promotional campaigns and the release
of its new carbonated beverage appliance.

Primo issued a statement saying it intends to "vigorously defend"
against the allegations, and it said the suit's claims are without
merit.


ROY MARTIN LUMBER: La. High Court Vacates Class Certification
-------------------------------------------------------------
In the lawsuit Roger E. Price, et al. v. Roy O. Martin, et al.,
the Supreme Court of Louisiana found that the lower courts erred
in concluding that common questions of law or fact exist, that
questions of law or fact common to members of the class
predominate over any questions affecting only individual members,
and that a class action is superior to other available methods for
a fair and efficient adjudication of that matter.  The Supreme
Court thus reversed the judgment of the district court, which
granted plaintiffs' motion for class certification.  The case is
remanded for further proceedings.

In February 2003, five individuals residing and owning property in
Alexandria, Louisiana, in the vicinity of the Dura-Wood Treating
Company, filed on their own behalf and as representatives of a
class of persons, who allegedly suffered damages as a result of
operations at the wood-treating facility, a "Class Action Petition
for Damages."  The petition was filed in the Twenty-third Judicial
District Court, Parish of Ascension, but the matter was
subsequently transferred to the Ninth Judicial District Court,
Parish of Rapides, pursuant to a judgment sustaining exceptions of
improper venue.

Named as defendants in the original petition were prior owners of
the Dura-Wood facility, Roy O. Martin Lumber Company, L.P., and
Beazer East, Inc.  The plaintiffs allege that the defendants
engaged in environmentally unsound practices that caused a
significant amount of hazardous chemicals to be released into the
environment.

A copy of the Louisiana Supreme Court's Dec. 6, 2011 order is
available at http://is.gd/59yLuZfrom Leagle.com.


SAIC INC: Faces Class Action Over Data Security Breach
------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that a class action claims SAIC
allowed computer tapes to be stolen containing personally
identifiable, protected health information of about 4.9 million
members of the armed forces.

A copy of the Complaint in Losack v. SAIC Inc., Case No. 37-2011-
00102318 (Calif. Super. Ct., San Diego Cty.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/12/12/Privacy.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Brian J. Robbins, Esq.
          Kevin A. Seely, Esq.
          Gregory E. del Gaizo, Esq.
          ROBBINS UMEDA LLP
          600 B Street, Suite 1900
          Telephone: (619) 525-3990

               - and -

          Timothy G. Blood, Esq.
          Thomas J. O'Reardon II, Esq.
          BLOOD HURST & O'REARDON, LLP
          600 B Street, Suite 1550
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Telephone: (619) 338-1100


SAKS INC: Continues to Defend FLSA-Violations Suit in California
----------------------------------------------------------------
On February 2, 2011, the plaintiffs in Dawn Till and Mary Josephs
v. Saks Incorporated et al., filed a complaint, with which the
Company was served on March 10, 2011, in a purported class and
collective action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California.  The complaint alleges that the plaintiffs
were improperly classified as exempt from the overtime pay
requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") and the
California Labor Code and that the Company failed to pay overtime,
provide itemized wage statements and provide meal and rest
periods.  On March 8, 2011, the plaintiffs filed an amended
complaint adding a claim for penalties under the California
Private Attorneys General Act of 2004.  The plaintiffs seek to
proceed collectively under the FLSA and as a class under the
California statutes on behalf of individuals who have been
employed by OFF 5TH as Selling and Service Managers, Merchandise
Team Managers, or Department Managers.  The Company believes that
its managers at OFF 5TH have been properly classified as exempt
under both federal and state law and intends to defend the lawsuit
vigorously.  It is not possible to predict whether the court will
permit this action to proceed collectively or as a class.

No further updates were reported in the Company's December 1,
2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended October 29, 2011.


SIEMENS AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT: Securities Suit Dismissed in March
--------------------------------------------------------------
Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit filed against
Siemens Aktiengesellschaft became final in March because
plaintiffs did not appeal the dismissal order, according to the
Company's November 30, 2011, Form 20-F filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended September
30, 2011.

As previously reported, a securities class action was filed in
December 2009 against Siemens AG with the United States District
Court for the Eastern District of New York seeking damages for
alleged violations of U.S. securities laws. In March 2011, the
Court granted the Company's motion to dismiss the action. The
plaintiffs' motion to reconsider was denied by the court.
Plaintiffs did not appeal the court's decision. Accordingly, the
dismissal is final.


SIGNATURE GROUP: 9th Cir. Affirms Dismissal of Securities Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
On November 29, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the
Ninth Circuit (the "Appellate Court") affirmed the dismissal with
prejudice by the United States District Court for the Central
District of California (the "Trial Court") of the Third Amended
Consolidated Class Action Securities Complaint (the "TAC") filed
by the New York State Teachers' Retirement Systems, et al. (the
"Plaintiffs") against Signature Group Holdings, Inc., formerly
known as Fremont General Corporation, and various former officers
and directors of Fremont, according to the Company's December 1,
2011, Form 8-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission.

This proceeding initially commenced in September 2007, with the
filing of three separate complaints in the Trial Court, each of
which was seeking class certification for alleged violations of
federal securities laws in connection with published statements
made by Fremont regarding its loan portfolio and loans held for
resale during the period from October 27, 2005, through March 2,
2007.  The three class action lawsuits were consolidated into a
single proceeding with the filing by the Plaintiffs of a
consolidated class action complaint on March 3, 2008, as amended.
On March 29, 2010, the Trial Court entered an Order Granting
Fremont's Motion to Dismiss the TAC with prejudice (the "Court
Order").  The Plaintiffs appealed the Court Order to the Appellate
Court.

The Appellate Court's decision affirming the Court Order stated
that the Trial Court correctly dismissed the TAC because the
Plaintiffs failed to allege a securities fraud violation under
Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended,
with the specificity required by the Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b).  The
Appellate Court further stated in its decision that the dismissal
of the TAC with prejudice was appropriate, as the Trial Court
previously identified specific deficiencies in the various
versions of the Plaintiffs' complaint, including the TAC, and gave
the Plaintiffs many opportunities to correct such deficiencies.
The Appellate Court noted that the Plaintiffs' inability to
correct the deficiencies was a strong indication that the
Plaintiffs had no additional facts to plead.


SONESTA INTERNATIONAL: Faces Merger-Related Stockholder Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
Sonesta International Hotels Corporation is facing a putative
class action lawsuit over its proposed merger with PAC Merger
Corp., according to the Company's December 1, 2011, Form 8-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Sonesta entered into a proposed transaction contemplated by an
Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of November 2, 2011, by and
among Sonesta Acquisition Corp. (f/k/a Property Acquisition Corp.)
("Parent"), a Maryland corporation, PAC Merger Corp., a New York
corporation and a wholly owned subsidiary of Parent, and Sonesta,
a New York corporation.

On November 21, 2011, a putative class action complaint captioned
Broadbased Fund v. Peter Sonnabend, et al., Index No. 653236/2011
was filed in the New York Supreme Court, New York County,
Commercial Division against Sonesta, each member of Sonesta's
Board of Directors, Hospitality Properties Trust, Parent and
Merger Sub.  The action was filed by a purported stockholder of
Sonesta, on its own and on behalf of a putative class of Sonesta
stockholders.  The complaint alleges, among other things, that
defendants have breached their fiduciary duties to plaintiff and
to other stockholders, or aided and abetted such breaches, due to
a failure to conduct a thorough and adequate sales process
designed to maximize stockholder value and the failure to disclose
material information in connection with the proposed merger.  The
complaint seeks a judgment requiring Sonesta to make corrective
disclosures, awarding the plaintiff and class compensatory and/or
rescissory damages, and an award of all costs and disbursements of
the action, including reasonable attorneys' fees.   On November
28, 2011, plaintiff filed a request for judicial intervention and
proposed order to show cause, requesting that the court allow
expedited discovery and issue a preliminary injunction to enjoin a
stockholder vote on the proposed merger pending completion of
expedited discovery and trial of this action.


SOUTH AFRICAN BREAD MAKERS: Cartel Class Action Faces Hurdles
-------------------------------------------------------------
Amanda Visser, writing for Business Day, reports that jubilation
by the Black Sash and other organizations intent on making legal
history in SA could be short-lived as there are still serious
hurdles ahead before their proposed class action against major
bread companies can be heard.

Last month, the group was granted leave to appeal a decision by
the Western Cape High Court dismissing its application to be
certified as a class in its lawsuit against bread producers Tiger
Brands -- which makes Albany bread -- Pioneer Foods (Sasko) and
Premier Foods (Blue Ribbon).

The Competition Tribunal also found Foodcorp (Sunbake) guilty but
the company was not included in the lawsuit.

Should the case go ahead, it would be the first class action
claiming damages for contraventions of the Competition Act.

The Competition Tribunal found the bread producers guilty of
cartel conduct, paving the way for civil claims by those harmed.
Tiger Brands was slapped with an administrative penalty of ZAR98,7
million, Pioneer ZAR197 million and Foodcorp ZAR45 million.
Premier was granted corporate leniency by the Competition
Commission and escaped a fine, but can be held liable for civil
claims.

In November last year, a group consisting of the trustees for the
Children's Resource Centre, the Black Sash Trust, the Congress of
South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and others brought an
application for a "class certification order" to court.

The group had asked the high court to accept it as class
representatives for consumers prejudicially affected by the bread
producers' anticompetitive conduct.  The application was
dismissed.

The group then petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeal, which
granted it leave to appeal against the high court's decision.

The group also went ahead with a summons for damages against Tiger
Brands to prevent the claim from prescribing.  On November 30, the
Supreme Court of Appeal granted the group leave to appeal.

Nick Altini, legal representative for Pioneer Foods and head of
competition practice at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyer says: "There may be
a shift towards facilitating class actions in specific
circumstances, but there is no general legislative enabling
mechanism."

He referred to the case of Ngxuza and others against the Eastern
Cape government and its welfare department, where the court set
out some guidelines for class certification prior to a class
action.  The applicants should be certified to represent a class,
and the class must be defined.  They also have to ascertain who
could be included in the court action and in turn notify other
potential members of the class asking if they want to be part of
the proceedings by an opt-in or opt-out mechanism.

The group wants to argue that the anticompetitive conduct was a
breach of constitutional rights.  The relevant rights are
socioeconomic rights to food and water, and in the case of
children, to nutrition.

"The question is whether these rights apply horizontally, as
between citizens (such as the bakers and their consumers) or
merely in a vertical context, between the state and its citizens.
This may be a point of contention as the matter unfolds,"
Mr. Altini says.

The group says that its being granted leave to appeal is a
"significant victory" in its battle for compensation.

The Children's Resources Centre co-ordinator, Marcus Solomon,
says: "It was morally abhorrent that these bread producers
profited illegally by the sale of a staple food."  According to
Cosatu's Mike Louw: "The accumulative damage of inflated bread
prices is devastating, especially in a country battling to cope
with such high levels of poverty and unemployment."

While the proposed court action has its supporters, some --
fearful of being chastised as insensitive to the needs of the poor
-- have chosen to remain anonymous as they feel the claims by the
applicants are exaggerated.  The harm caused by the collusive
behavior, based on some economic evidence, was in fact quite
small, according to this argument.  But for many this is an
uncomfortable situation to accept.

Even then, determining the harm suffered by the applicants and the
calculation of the claim against the bread producers will be no
easy task.  There will be reams of economic data, with expert
economists and actuaries who may be called upon to make
calculations on both sides.

The amount of loaves of bread sold to members of the class over
the period that the cartel conduct existed could be used to
calculate how much, on average, was overpaid by class members
because of the collusive behavior.

Mr. Altini says based on the summons issued against Tiger Brands,
the claim against each bread producer could run into hundreds of
millions.  "A court will have to be satisfied that such amounts
do, in fact, represent actual damages suffered by class members,"
he says.

"This is not an argument that has even yet begun, so the last word
on the damages issue -- if it is ever heard -- is a very long way
off."


SYCAMORE NETWORKS: Awaits Decision on Motion to Dismiss Appeal
--------------------------------------------------------------
Sycamore Networks, Inc. is awaiting a court decision on a motion
to dismiss an appeal filed by a settlement objector, according to
the Company's December 1, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended October
29, 2011.

Beginning on July 2, 2001, several purported class action
complaints were filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York against the Company and several of
its officers and directors (the "Individual Defendants") and the
underwriters for the Company's initial public offering on
October 21, 1999.  Some of the complaints also include the
underwriters for the Company's follow-on offering on March 14,
2000.  An amended complaint, which is the operative complaint, was
filed on April 19, 2002, on behalf of persons who purchased the
Company's common stock between October 21, 1999, and
December 6, 2000.  The amended complaint alleges claims against
the Company, several of the Individual Defendants and the
underwriters for violations under Sections 11 and 15 of the
Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"),
primarily based on the assertion that the Company's lead
underwriters, the Company and several of the Individual Defendants
made material false and misleading statements in the Company's
Registration Statements and Prospectuses filed with the Securities
and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, in October 1999 and March
2000 because of the failure to disclose (a) the alleged
solicitation and receipt of excessive and undisclosed commissions
by the underwriters in connection with the allocation of shares of
common stock to certain investors in the Company's public
offerings and (b) that certain of the underwriters allegedly had
entered into agreements with investors whereby underwriters agreed
to allocate the public offering shares in exchange for which the
investors agreed to make additional purchases of stock in the
aftermarket at pre-determined prices.  It also alleges claims
against the Company, the Individual Defendants and the
underwriters under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"), primarily
based on the assertion that the Company's lead underwriters, the
Company and the Individual Defendants defrauded investors by
participating in a fraudulent scheme and by making materially
false and misleading statements and omissions of material fact
during the period in question.  The amended complaint seeks
damages in an unspecified amount.

The action against the Company is being coordinated with
approximately three hundred other nearly identical actions filed
against other companies.  Due to the large number of nearly
identical actions, the court has ordered the parties to select up
to twenty "test" cases.  The Company's case has been selected as
one such test case.  As a result, among other things, the Company
will be subject to broader discovery obligations and expenses in
the litigation than non-test case issuer defendants.

On October 9, 2002, the court dismissed the Individual Defendants
from the case without prejudice.  This dismissal disposed of the
Section 15 and Section 20(a) claims without prejudice, because
these claims were asserted only against the Individual Defendants.
On October 13, 2004, the court denied the certification of a class
in the action against the Company with respect to the Section 11
claims alleging that the defendants made material false and
misleading statements in the Company's Registration Statement and
Prospectuses.  The certification was denied because no class
representative purchased shares between the date of the IPO and
January 19, 2000 (the date unregistered shares entered the
market), and thereafter suffered a loss on the sale of those
shares.  The court certified a class in the action against the
Company with respect to the Section 10(b) claims alleging that the
Company and the Individual Defendants defrauded investors by
participating in a fraudulent scheme and by making materially
false and misleading statements and omissions of material fact
during the period in question.  On December 5, 2006, the Second
Circuit vacated the district court's class certification decision.
On April 6, 2007, the Second Circuit panel denied a petition for
rehearing filed by the plaintiffs, but noted that the plaintiffs
could ask the district court to certify a more narrow class than
the one that was rejected.

On August 14, 2007, the plaintiffs filed a Second Amended Class
Action complaint against the Company.  The Company and the
underwriters filed separate motions to dismiss the amended
complaint on November 14, 2007.  On March 26, 2008, the Court
denied the motion to dismiss the Section 10(b) claims but
dismissed certain Section 11 claims against the Company.  On
June 5, 2008, the Court dismissed the remaining Section 11 claims
against the Company in response to a motion for partial
reconsideration.

The parties in the approximately 300 coordinated cases, including
the Company's case, reached a settlement.  The insurers for the
issuer defendants in the coordinated cases will make the
settlement payment on behalf of the issuers, including the
Company.  On October 5, 2009, the Court granted final approval of
the settlement.  The settlement approval was appealed to the
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  One appeal
was dismissed and the second appeal was remanded to the district
court to determine if the appellant was a class member with
standing to appeal.  The district court ruled that the appellant
has no standing to object to the settlement.  The appellant has
appealed the district court's decision.  On
October 25, 2011, plaintiff/appellees filed a motion to dismiss
the appellant objector's appeal and have requested that the Second
Circuit consider the motion on an expedited basis.

Due to the inherent uncertainties of litigation, the Company says
it cannot accurately predict the ultimate outcome of the matter.
If the settlement does not survive appeal, the litigation
continues, and the Company is found liable, the Company is unable
to estimate or predict the potential damages that might be
awarded, whether such damages would be greater than the Company's
insurance coverage, and whether such damages would have a material
impact on its results of operations or financial condition in any
future period.


ULTA SALON: Still Awaits Final Okay of Calif. Suit Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------------
In May 2010, a putative employment class action lawsuit was filed
against Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc., and certain
unnamed defendants in state court in California.  The plaintiff
and members of the proposed class are alleged to be (or have been)
non-exempt hourly employees.  The lawsuit alleges that Ulta
violated various provisions of the California labor laws and
failed to provide plaintiff and members of the proposed class with
full meal periods, paid rest breaks, certain wages, overtime
compensation and premium pay.  The lawsuit seeks to recover
damages and penalties as a result of these alleged practices.  On
June 21, 2010, the Company filed its answer to the lawsuit.  On
January 12, 2011, the Company and plaintiffs engaged in a
voluntary mediation.  Although the Company continues to deny
plaintiffs' allegations, in the interest of putting certain of the
claims behind it, the Company agreed in principle to settle all
claims of the putative class consisting of non-exempt hourly hair
designers in the salon department within the California retail
stores.  The settlement, which is not an admission of liability,
is subject to final documentation and Court approval.  Counsel for
the plaintiffs has agreed to dismiss without prejudice the claims
of all other putative class members.  The proposed settlement
amount is not material.

No further updates were reported in the Company's December 1,
2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended October 29, 2011.


UNITED STATES: App. Ct. Vacates Dismissal of Russell Suit
---------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated a
district court order dismissing the lawsuit captioned Taylor
Russell, on behalf of himself and all other similarly situated v.
United States; and remanded the case for further consideration.

Mr. Russell filed the class action complaint against the United
States seeking relief for himself and a class of similarly
situated persons regarding interest charges that the government
had assessed against him and the other putative class members on
military credit accounts.  Prior to ruling on Mr. Russell's motion
for class certification, the district court dismissed his
individual action as moot on the ground that the government, by
issuing a payment to Mr. Russell during the pendency of the
lawsuit, had satisfied his individual claim.

A copy of the Appeals Court's Dec. 1, 2011 order is available at
http://is.gd/v4iNCOfrom Leagle.com.

S. Chandler Visher, Esq. -- chandler@visherlaw.com -- at the Law
Office of S. Chandler Visher, in San Francisco, California,
represented Mr. Russell.  Of counsel on the brief was Marie Noel
Appel, Esq. -- marie@consumerlaw.ws -- of San Francisco,
California.

Alicia M. Hunt, Esq., Trial Attorney, Commercial Litigation
Branch, Civil Division, United States Department of Justice, of
Washington, DC, appeared for the United States.  With her on the
brief were Tony West, Esq., Assistant Attorney General, J.
Christopher Kohn, Director, Ruth A. Harvey, Assistant Director,
and Michael J. Quinn, Esq., Trial Attorney.


* Tax Class Actions Raise Questions on Lawyer's Liability
---------------------------------------------------------
Kendyl Sebesta, writing for Law Times, reports that a recent
ruling from the Ontario Superior Court and a new class action
settlement, both involving Bay Street law firms, have raised
questions about lawyers' liability in matters involving charity-
based tax opinions that several experts say could open a Pandora's
box of legal issues.

The settlement last month involved Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP in a
matter that first arose more than three years ago after nearly
3,000 people took part in the Banyan Tree Foundation gift program
from 2003 to 2007.

A negative pronouncement by the Canada Revenue Agency about the
program eventually led to a class action lawsuit in which the
donors went after FMC, which had provided opinions on the
charity's compliance with tax rules.

This month, FMC, the Banyan Tree Foundation, and three related
companies agreed to contribute C$11 million to settle the lawsuit
with donors who are part of the class action receiving pro-rated
shares of the settlement fund.

The settlement agreement states that the defendants make no
admission of liability or wrongful conduct.  The settlement is
pending court approval next month.

"The defendants agreed to this settlement in order to end the
ongoing distraction and cost of a complex litigation process," FMC
said in a statement last week.

"Fraser Milner Casgrain has a well-earned reputation for
consistently delivering the highest-quality legal services to our
clients, and we firmly stand behind our lawyers and the quality of
their counsel."

In light of the settlement and a recent court ruling dismissing a
similar class action against Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP as
statute-barred, tax lawyers say indirect answers from the courts
and a lack of concrete case law on the issue are leading to a more
cautious approach.

"It appears that tax lawyers who provide opinions on these types
of issues will have to be much more careful about what they write
in the future," says Adam Aptowitzer, a charity and tax lawyer at
Drache Aptowitzer LLP.

"There are more factors to consider now.  If the CRA decides to
pursue third-party civil litigation penalties, LawPRO may not
cover these penalties.  They then become the law firms' or
partners' responsibilities.

It'll also open up the issue of having to carry enough insurance
to cover the cost if those opinions go south."

The issue may open up other questions as well.  "If you are a
lawyer and you write an opinion and later it turns out that the
opinion is wrong, you would essentially be stuck," says
Mr. Aptowitzer.

"The question then becomes what can the implications be and what
will it mean to other lawyers who provide opinions down the road
and that is where we reach much more uncharted territory."

But Adam Parachin, a professor at the University of Western
Ontario who focuses on charity law, says many law firms avoid that
kind of work anyway.

"While many law firms do not provide opinions on tax shelter-style
donation arrangements, this is generally not due to concerns over
negligence claims from donors relying to their detriment on the
opinions," says Mr. Parachin.

"Tax lawyers routinely provide advice on highly complex structured
transactions where there is a real risk of getting it wrong.

Since the presence of a charitable dimension to a planned
transaction does not alter the fact that lawyers are required to
live up to an exacting standard of professional competence, it has
not tended to be a key consideration over whether a firm should
accept a retainer in this area.

In any event, many opinions provided in this area are heavily
qualified to minimize a firm's exposure."

Mr. Parachin notes law firms may refuse to do opinion work in the
area of charity tax law for reasons apart from avoiding lawsuits.
"The primary reason is that firms are concerned over not
squandering reputational capital.

The economics of many mass-marketed donation schemes would appear
to work only if donors receive inflated donation receipts and/or
substantial portions of the receipted donations are somehow
circulated back to private hands.

Advising clients of tax loopholes is one thing . . . but
facilitating or being seen as facilitating such seemingly abusive
charitable gift arrangements is quite another.  Firms are often
keen to avoid the stigma of being associated with these schemes as
it can undermine a firm's brand."

Mr. Parachin adds that many law firms also provide negative
opinions on tax shelter-style donation arrangements.  However, the
programs' promoters rarely feature those opinions, he points out.

Last month, the Ontario Superior Court touched on some of the
liability issues in Lipson v. Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP.

Superior Court Justice Paul Perell, addressing the issue of
liability, referred to his colleague Justice Joan Lax' ruling in
Robinson v. Rochester last year, the matter that named FMC as a
defendant.

"The Robinson case is not distinguishable from the case at bar,
and, indeed, the case at bar is a stronger case for her [Lax']
analysis, which posits that it is arguable that the law firm had a
duty of care and that the other constituent elements of negligence
claim might be established; i.e. it is not plain and obvious that
Mr. Lipson and the class members do not have a free-standing claim
for negligence that is discrete from a claim for negligent
misrepresentation," Justice Perell, who ruled the plaintiffs'
claim was statute-barred, wrote in Lipson.

According to Justice Perell, the key difference between Lipson and
Robinson was that Cassels Brock "wrote its opinions so that they
might be relied on by potential donors, their agents, and
professional advisers for the purpose of the transactions
contemplated by this opinion . . . while in Robinson the opinion
was for the promoters, although it was foreseeable that they would
use it to market the donation program to potential donors."

But questions around liability remain, according to a lawyer
involved in Lipson.

"Ultimately, the practice should be aware that their opinions are
subject to scrutiny down the road," says Adam Dewar, a partner at
Roy Elliott O'Connor LLP who represented representative plaintiff
Jeffrey Lipson.

"People should also be aware that what they write at one stage may
be used in another in the future."

Mr. Dewar calls the Lipson judgment disappointing in terms of the
finding that class members' claims were statute-barred and its
imposition of a heavy burden on Mr. Lipson to prove that the law
firm was negligent.  He notes there will be an appeal.

Lipson involved roughly 900 taxpayers who participated in a
charitable timeshare program between 2000 and 2003.

Participants donated both cash and resort timeshares to Canadian
athletic associations in anticipation of tax credits.

In 2004, the CRA disallowed all of these anticipated tax credits,
causing Lipson and several other donors to begin litigation
against the government in 2006 as a litmus test for what it would
permit.

In 2008, the case settled, and the CRA allowed tax credits for the
cash donations but not the timeshares.

To recover the remaining losses, Mr. Lipson launched a class
action against Cassels Brock in 2009 for alleged negligence and
negligent misrepresentation.  He claimed he wouldn't have
participated in the program if it weren't for the law firm's
opinions.

Justice Perell, determining that the case had exceeded the
limitation period, dismissed Mr. Lipson's case last month.
Mr. Dewar says he plans to appeal.

"How do you tell people they can't rely on tax opinions from legal
professionals?" says Mr. Aptowitzer.  "I don't think that's a fair
statement.  Maybe a better statement would be that they should get
additional, independent legal advice in these matters in the
future.

Ultimately, I think it could make people much more careful of
their opinions in the future."



                           *********

S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania,
USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland USA.  Leah
Felisilda, Noemi Irene A. Adala, Joy A. Agravante, Julie Anne
Lopez, Christopher Patalinghug, Frauline Abangan and Peter A.
Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2011.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
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