On September 10, just before everyone's mind got turned to more important things, a Los Angeles law firm filed a class action lawsuit in California state court against NeuLevel, the .biz registry, and a host of .biz registrars. The complaint in Eprize v. NeuLevel (.pdf) is more or less a 'copycat' version of the class action complaint in Smiley v. NeuLevel, which of course is not to be confused with NeuLevel v. Amazon.com (see also update).
Entrepreneurial law firms file copycat complaints early in class action lawsuits because it gives them a chance to persuade the judge to make them one of the leaders of the claim if the class is certified. That can mean very substantial fees; one of the dirty secrets of class action law in the US is that frequently but not inevitably the lawyers do much better out of the case than do the purported victims. (While sub-optimal as a matter of social policy, this is still arguably better than not having the class action right at all; the existence of class action law acts as a way of harnessing private greed to deter and punish widespread small-scale predation on consumers by businesses. It is rarely argued that the government has or should have the resources to do all this by itself.)
The filing of this substantially similar lawsuit in the same court where Smiley is already pending can thus be seen as a market judgment by professional lawyers that the claims in the Smiley case have a sufficient likelihood of success to make it worth expending resources to grab a piece of the action. If I represented NeuLevel, I'd be worrying.
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