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Keefe Bartels, Strange & Carpenter and Bartimus Frickleton Appointed as Co-Lead Counsel in Google "Safari-Gate" MDL
[November 28, 2012]

Keefe Bartels, Strange & Carpenter and Bartimus Frickleton Appointed as Co-Lead Counsel in Google "Safari-Gate" MDL

WILMINGTON, Del. --(Business Wire)--

On Friday, November 16, 2012, Delaware federal district court judge Sue Robinson appointed a three firm executive committee as co-lead counsel supported by a six firm steering committee for the putative class in In re Google (News - Alert) Inc. Cookie Placement Consumer Privacy Litigation. The Multi-District Litigation consists of 24 cases filed throughout the country and consolidated in the Delaware District Court. The cases relate to the discovery earlier this year that Google's Doubleclick subsidiary and three other online advertising companies had tricked Apple's (News - Alert) Safari browser into accepting third-party tracking cookies. Safari's default privacy setting blocks these cookies unless a user affirmatively changes the setting. Judge Robinson's decision was issued the same day that federal district court judge Susan Illston in California approved a $22.5 million settlement between the Federal Trade Commission and Gogle related to the same allegations, the largest such fine in FTC (News - Alert) history.

Three firms were appointed to an executive committee: Keefe Bartels in New Jersey; Strange & Carpenter in Los Angeles; and Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson & Gorny in Missouri. Six firms were appointed to a steering committee to assist and advise the executive committee: Baltimore-based Murphy P.A.; New York-based Seeger Weiss; London-based Stewarts Law; New Jersey-based Eichen, Crutchlow, Zazlow & McElroy; Kentucky-based Bryant Law Center; and Missouri-based Barnes & Associates. Stewarts Law will also act as liaison counsel through its Wilmington office.

Steve Grygiel, a partner at Keefe Bartels, said, "Google's vast reach and use of technology secretly to collect information Google was not supposed to get makes Google's intentional high-tech hacking especially egregious." Co-lead counsel Brian Strange agreed, saying "I am pleased and honored to help lead this ground-breaking case on issues of privacy that are mounting in importance to all members of the internet community." Co-lead counsel Jim Frickleton added: "Privacy on the internet is one of the most compelling problems facing the average computer user today. We hope this case will help limit the ability of Google and others to improperly intercept and exploit users' private information."

Judge Robinson has ordered the plaintiffs to file an amended class action complaint on or before December 19, 2012. Defendants have until January 23, 2013 to file an answer or motion to dismiss, and the Court has scheduled a status conference for January 30, 2013. The case is In re Google Inc. Cookie Placement Consumer Privacy Litigation, 12-MD-2359 (SLR) (D. Del.).

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