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Class Actions

Plaintiff’s Final Response to Defendants’ Motion to Compel Arbitration

Sheffer v. Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC

This is a civil action by Plaintiff on behalf of himself and all other people in the State of California who purchased a 16 gigabyte Samsung Galaxy S4 mobile telephone during the period beginning one year before the filing of his complaint until the time of class certification. Defendants advertised, promoted and marketed their Galaxy S4 mobile telephone as having 16 gigabytes (“16 GB”) of storage capacity. However, because the pre-installed internal operating software consumes nearly half of the full storage capacity, approximately 50% of the represented 16 GB storage capacity is inaccessible and unusable by consumers.

Appellee’s Brief

McDermott v. Life Partners

This case involves a class action suit brought against an investment company known as Life Partners that sells life settlements. A “life settlement” is a life insurance policy that is purchased from the original insured for an amount less than the face amount of the policy (i.e., less than the death benefit). When the insured subsequently dies (called a maturity), the policy proceeds are paid to the purchaser of the policy as opposed to the family of the insured. The idea behind the investment is that the purchaser of the policy retains as profit the difference between the amount paid for the policy and the amount of the policy proceeds upon the death of the insured. Investors that acquire life settlements through Life Partners are required to pay a certain sum to acquire an interest in a given life settlement. However, investors are also required to pay to Life Partners an amount to be deposited into escrow to pay premiums on the policy through the life expectancy of the insured. However, if the insured passes away early, then the investor is to receive a refund of the escrowed funds. In the case of Ms. McDermott and other investors, Life Partners refused to refund these escrowed funds when an insured died early. Thus, a class action was filed by Heygood, Orr & Pearson on behalf of all investors who wrongfully had their escrowed funds for premiums withheld when the insured died earlier than expected.

Memo in Support of Motion to Intervene

This was a class action case against Life Partners, Inc. Heygood, Orr & Pearson represented investors suing Life Partners over bogus life expectancies used to sell them an investment known as life settlements. A “life settlement” is a life insurance policy that is purchased from the original insured for an amount less than the face amount of the policy (i.e., less than the death benefit). When the insured subsequently dies, the policy proceeds are paid to the purchaser of the policy as opposed to the family of the insured. Life Partners gathers investment funds from would-be investors for the purpose of purchasing life settlement policies. Life Partners arranges to purchase the policies from insureds on behalf of investors for a certain price but charges the investors an amount substantially above that price to acquire the policy. The difference between the amount paid to the insured by Life Partners and the amount paid by the investor to Life Partners to acquire an interest in the policy is retained by Life Partners as their “fee.” Key to the amount an investor should be willing to pay for a life settlement is the life expectancy of the insured. This lawsuit claimed that Life Partners used bogus life expectancies to convince investors to pay far in excess of what they should have paid for life settlements, thus falsely elevating their fees. The lawsuit also claimed that Life Partners caused their customers to pay too much in premiums to the insurance companies to maintain the policies until they matured. In this brief, Heygood, Orr & Pearson sought permission of the Court on behalf of their clients to intervene in an already pending class action against Life Partners.

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