May It Please The Court: Weblog of legal news and observations, including a quote of the day and daily updates

Skip To Content

MIPTC Author:


The Sled:

Listed in Latino Who's Who, June 2014
Locations of visitors to this page

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Weblog Comments

Return to the Weblog

Quote of the Day - I did not attend his funeral, but I wrote a nice letter saying I approved it. - Mark Twain

As If We Didn't Get Enough Junk Mail Already

While you weren't watching, Pioneer Electronics has been watching out for your privacy rights. Sounds kind of crazy, doesn't it? A big company watching out for the little guys like you and me.

What may surprise you even more was who was not watching out for your privacy rights.

Someone who ostensibly was trying to protect your rights against big companies - a regular guy like you and me. But that's only part of the story. You see, I haven't been completely honest with you.

Here's what's really going on. Both sides in this dispute were really looking out for there own interests. Let me explain. The Plaintiff in this case, Patrick Olmstead bought a DVD player from Pioneer. He claimed it was defective, and brought a class action suit against Pioneer. In the discovery process, Olmstead found out that 700-800 of us complained to Pioneer about the same DVD player.

Olmstead had found his class of Plaintiffs, and Pioneer's troubles were about to multiply by a factor of 700-800. That's what I wasn't completely honest with you about. Pioneer obviously didn't want a class action lawsuit, and Omstead (read: Olmstead's lawyers) wanted a bigger class to earn more attorneys fees.

Olmstead wanted the names and addresses of the people who had complained to Pioneer. To keep the class size as small as possible, Pioneer sought to enforce yours and my privacy rights. The company argued that we had a right to determine - before opting in or opting out of the class - whether we wanted to give our private information to Mr. Olmstead and his lawyers.

Pioneer has just succeeded in establishing another roadblock to class action suits. Now, before we get those 20-page class action notifications in six-point type that requires us to fill out five pages of blank lines without instructions seeking forgotten information and submit 30 box-top ends with the SKUs on them from software long since thrown away just to get our measly $2.25 individual share of the $1.1 billion settlement with Microsoft, we get one more piece of junk mail.

Just what we need: A letter from the court asking us if we want to give our private information to today's hero who is protecting our interests and taking most of the settlement payment in the form of attorneys fees.

Did I hit a chord with you? Not that I wanted to get on a rant here, but ...

Posted by J. Craig Williams on 4/12/2005 at 00:13 Comments (0)


Comments are now closed.

Send your comments directly to the author at jcraigwms at (remove spaces and add @ symbol in place of the "at").