Class Leadership Confusion Continues in Clearview AI Privacy MDL

A filing submitted late last week by one of the attorneys embroiled in a lead counsel fight in the biometric privacy-related multidistrict litigation asked for clarity regarding the court’s late November order on leadership responsibilities and client representation.

The document, styled as limited objections and a motion for clarification, took issue with the court’s order that Loevy & Loevy, Drury’s former firm, remain in its position as interim lead counsel despite not representing any named plaintiff.

As previously reported, the dispute arose following Drury’s transition from the firm to solo practitioner as to whether he or the firm was appointed to a central leadership position in the case. After briefing and oral argument, Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman ruled that Loevy & Loevy was to retain the leadership role rather than Drury himself. 

In last week’s motion, Drury argued that problematically, Loevy & Loevy does not represent any individually named plaintiffs, whereas he does. “Indeed, if the case is never certified as a class action, the case would simply be one brought on behalf of the named plaintiffs by their retained counsel, not Loevy & Loevy,” the motion reasoned. 

The filing added that Drury would not agree to the submission of documents indicating that Loevy & Loevy represents named plaintiffs, as opposed to merely representing putative plaintiff classes, in order to “preserve any appellate issue.”

Drury further noted that “lawyers from various different firms worked together to bridge as many disputes as possible,” adding that there are numerous unresolved issues between Drury and his ex-firm. As far as multidistrict litigation fee structure, Drury said he made a “substantial compromise … to get to yes,” purportedly agreeing to an allocation of attorneys’ fees that does not reflect his contributions and value to the case.

Ultimately, Drury requested that the Loevy & Loevy attorneys withdraw their appearances on behalf of three specific plaintiffs while being allowed to appear in the case on behalf of the putative plaintiff classes. The motion also asks that, to avoid confusion, documents filed by Loevy & Loevy should make clear that the firm is acting on behalf of the “putative plaintiff classes.”