Appeal Filed in De Beers Antitrust Case

As expected, objecting lawyers have taken their issues with the De Beers antitrust settlement all the way to the Supreme Court.

Whether the nine justices will hear the appeal is among the items at the court’s March 30 conference, according to objecting lawyer John Pentz. It is not clear when the court will decide whether to hear the case.

Plaintiff lawyer Joseph J. Tabacco Jr., who helped arrive at the settlement, fretted the new appeal will delay things by “several months,” even if the court declines to address the issue. If the court does decide to hear the case, the payouts could be held up for several years, attorneys said.

But Tabacco doesn’t think the Supreme Court will take on the case, calling the objections “meritless.”

“In plaintiff’s view, there is nothing in the petition or in the en banc decision that we believe raises an issue that would be of interest to the Supreme Court,” he said. “We are, of course, disappointed for class members who have been patiently waiting for almost four years.”

The $300 million settlement was first reached between De Beers and plaintiff lawyers in 2006, and was approved by the judge in 2008. But appeals from a group of objecting lawyers have held up the distribution of the settlement—at least $140 million of which has been earmarked for the trade.

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