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Vioxx Settlement's Next Big Question: How To Split It Up?

Publication Date: 
November 12, 2007
The Wall Street Journal
Nathan Koppel, Amir Efrati, and Jamie Heller

Professor Deborah L. Rhode is quoted in a Wall Street Journal article about dividing Vioxx settlement money among plaintiffs:

A provision in the settlement that experts call unusual requires any plaintiffs lawyer with a client who enrolls in the settlement to recommend it to all of his clients. Legal ethics experts have expressed concern, saying this could create a conflict of interest if the attorneys feel some clients might not benefit, says Deborah Rhode, a legal ethics professor at Stanford Law School. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that in settling cases lawyers need to be sure that, she says, the "interests of individual plaintiffs aren't sacrificed for the good of the whole, which not coincidentally serves the interests of the attorneys."