McDaniel v. Qwest Commc’ns Corp.

More than 13 years ago, lawyers around the country began class actions challenging the installation of fiberoptic cable on property without landowners’ consent. The cases began to settle on a state-by-state basis, leaving the lawyers to allocate awarded and expected attorney’s fees. The lawyers informally grouped themselves based on their negotiation and litigation positions. The Susman Group participated in mediation and agreed to a fee division, but balked at signing a written agreement, ostensibly because Susman disliked its enforcement terms. The district court held that Susman is bound by the agreement despite his failure to sign. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, reasoning that, given the parties’ lengthy course of dealing, Susman’s failure to promptly object to the written agreement can objectively be construed as assent. A finding that Susman’s refusal to sign was a case of “buyer’s remorse” rather than a genuine objection to the enforcement terms in the agreement was supported by the record. View "McDaniel v. Qwest Commc'ns Corp." on Justia Law