Landsman & Funk, P.C. v. Skinder-Strauss Associates
www.SkinderClassAction.net

Frequently Asked Questions

Helpful Hint: Using the general subject of your question may provide the best search results. For example, enter the word "hearing" in the search box to find information about the Settlement's Fairness Hearing.

You or someone in your family or business may have received a facsimile advertisement sent or caused to be sent by Skinder-Strauss Associates between June 15, 2008 and August 31, 2008.

The Court sent you this notice because you have a right to know about a proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit, and about all of your options, before the Court decides whether to approve the Settlement Agreement. If the Court approves it, and after objections and appeals are resolved, a Claims Administrator appointed by the Court will make the payments that the Settlement Agreement allows. You will be informed of the progress of the settlement.

The Notice package explains the lawsuit, the settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.

The Court in charge of the case is the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, and the case is captioned Landsman & Funk, P.C. v. Skinder-Strauss Associates, Civil Action No. 08-cv-03610 (CLW). The entity who is suing is called the Plaintiff, and the company being sued, Skinder-Strauss Associates, is called the Defendant.

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The lawsuit claims that from June 15, 2008 through August 31, 2008, Skinder-Strauss Associates sent or caused to be sent facsimile advertisements to persons in the United States, which allegedly violated the TCPA and related Federal Communications Commission Regulations. Skinder-Strauss Associates denies any wrongdoing.

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In a class action, one or more people called Class Representatives (in this case, Landsman & Funk, P.C.) sue on behalf of other individuals or entities who have similar claims. The people or entities with similar claims are called Class Members, and collectively are called a Class. One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class. The Honorable Cathy L. Waldor, U.S.M.J. is in charge of this class action.

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The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiff or Defendant. The Plaintiff thinks it could have been awarded up to $1,500 per facsimile advertisement sent or caused to be sent by Skinder-Strauss Associates if it won a trial. The Defendant thinks the Plaintiff would not have been awarded anything after a trial. But there was no trial. Instead, both sides have agreed to a settlement. That way, they avoid the cost of a trial, and the people affected will get compensation. The Class Representative and the attorneys think the settlement is best for all Class Members.

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Everyone who fits this description is a Settlement Class Member: All persons in the United States who from June 15, 2008 to August 31, 2008 were sent or caused to be sent by Skinder-Strauss Associates a facsimile advertisement.

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You are not a Class Member if you are an officer or director of Skinder-Strauss Associates, or were one between June 15, 2008 to August 31, 2008, or if the facsimile you received was not an advertisement. Also, immediate family members of Skinder-Strauss Associates officers and directors are not in the Class. You are also not a Class Member if you previously opted out of the Class.

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If you are still not sure whether you are included, you can ask for free help. You can call 844-322-8248 or consult the information on this website to learn more.

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Skinder-Strauss Associates will pay $625,000 into a Settlement Fund, a portion of which will be distributed to Class Members so long as they submitted timely Claim Forms to the Claims Administrator. More specifically, Claimants who submitted actual copies of fax advertisements they received from Skinder-Strauss Associates will be eligible for a Cash Award of $500 per fax that is submitted.

Claimants who did not have actual copies of the fax advertisements (as described above), but submitted a sworn affidavit certifying, among other things, that they received one (1) fax advertisement from Skinder-Strauss Associates during the relevant timeframe will be eligible for a cash payment of $175. If a Claimant contended to have received more than one (1) fax advertisement from Skinder-Strauss, Claimant must have identified the number of facsimiles purportedly received. A Claimant who swore, under penalty of perjury, to having received more than one (1) facsimile from Skinder-Strauss during the relevant time period, may be eligible for additional compensation, depending on the number of facsimiles the Claimant received, as set forth in the following schedule:

Number of Faxes Pursuant to Declaration Total Cash Payment to Claimant
1$175
2$200
3$225
4$250
5 or more$275

Each Claimant will be entitled to a single cash payment. Multiple subscribers to the same fax number will be entitled to only a single payment. If the amount required to pay Valid Claims, the Incentive Award and attorneys’ fees, as set forth below, amount to greater than $625,000, then after the attorneys’ fees, and the Incentive Award are subtracted, the remainder of the $625,000 will be distributed on a reduced pro rata share calculated from the amount of payment the Claimant would have received as set forth above. Payments to Claimants will be distributed 90 days after the final court approval of the Settlement Agreement or after the final resolution of any appeals that are filed. Any funds that remain unpaid shall be distributed back to Skinder-Strauss Associates.

The number of Claimants who submit Claim Forms varies widely from case to case.

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To qualify for payment, you must have submitted a Claim Form, postmarked by January 10, 2015.

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The Court will hold a hearing on January 29, 2015 at 2:15 pm, to decide whether to approve the Settlement Agreement. If Judge Waldor approves the Settlement Agreement, Class Members who have objected to the Settlement Agreement may appeal the Judge’s decision. It’s always uncertain whether these appeals can be resolved, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. Everyone who sent in a Claim Form will be informed of the progress of the settlement through periodic updates on this website. Please be patient.

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Unless you exclude yourself, you are staying in the Class, and that means that you can’t sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against Skinder-Strauss Associates about the fax advertisement issues in this case. It also means that all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you. If you signed the Claim Form, you agreed to a “Release of Claims,” attached to the Claim Form, which described exactly the legal claims that you give up if you receive compensation from the Settlement Agreement.

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To exclude yourself from the settlement, you must have sent a letter by mail saying that you want to be excluded as a Class Member from the Landsman & Funk, P.C. v. Skinder-Strauss Associates Settlement. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, and your signature. You must have mailed your exclusion request postmarked no later than January 10, 2015 to:

Skinder-Strauss Exclusions
c/o GCG
P.O. Box 10132
Dublin, OH 43017-3132

If you asked to be excluded, you will not receive any settlement payment, and you cannot object to the settlement. You will not be legally bound by anything that happens in this lawsuit. You may be able to sue (or continue to sue) Skinder-Strauss Associates in the future.

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No. Unless you excluded yourself, you gave up any right to sue Skinder-Strauss Associates for the claims that this settlement resolves. If you have a pending lawsuit, please speak to your lawyer in that case immediately. You must have excluded yourself from this Class to continue your own lawsuit. Remember, you must have mailed your exclusion request postmarked no later than January 10, 2015.

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No. If you excluded yourself, you should not have sent in a Claim Form to ask for any money. But, you may sue, continue to sue, or be part of a different lawsuit against Skinder-Strauss Associates.

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The Court approved the law firm of Bellin & Associates LLC in White Plains, New York to represent you and other Class Members. These lawyers are called Class Counsel. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

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Class counsel will ask the Court to approve payment of up to one-third of the Settlement Fund to them for attorneys’ fees and costs, as well as a total payment of $10,000 to Landsman & Funk, P.C. for its services as Class Representative. The attorneys’ fees and costs would pay Class Counsel for investigating the facts, litigating the case, and negotiating the settlement. The Court may award less than these amounts. These amounts will reduce the Settlement Fund available for Class Members. Skinder-Strauss Associates has agreed not to oppose these fees, costs and payments. Class Counsel will file a Motion for Attorneys’ Fees, Litigation Costs and Expenses. That motion will be available for review as part of the Court’s files in this matter at the Office of the Clerk of Court or via PACER, which is the Court’s electronic filing database.

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You could have told the Court that you did not agree with the Settlement Agreement or some part of it. If you’re a Class Member, you could have objected to the Settlement Agreement if you did not like any part of it. You could have given reasons why you think the Court should not approve the Settlement Agreement in Landsman & Funk, P.C. v. Skinder-Strauss Associates, Civil Action No. 08-cv-03610 (CLW). You must have included your name, address, telephone number, signature and the reasons you objected to the Settlement Agreement. You must have mailed your objection to these three different places, postmarked no later than January 10, 2015.”

Court
Clerk of the Court
United States District Court
for the District of New Jersey
50 Walnut Street
Newark, NJ 07101
Class Counsel
Aytan Y. Bellin
Bellin & Associates
85 Miles Avenue
White Plains, NY 10606
Defense Counsel
Michael R. McDonald
Gibbons P.C.
One Gateway Center
Newark, NJ 07102

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Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement Agreement. You could have objected only if you stayed in the Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Class. If you excluded yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.

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The Fairness Hearing was held on January 29, 2015, at the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. At this hearing, the Court heard arguments on whether the Settlement Agreement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court will now decide whether to approve the Settlement Agreement and whether to grant Plaintiffs’ Motion for attorneys’ fees. We do not know how long these decisions will take.

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No. Class Counsel answered the questions Judge Waldor had. But, you were welcome to come at your own expense. If you sent an objection, you did not have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you timely mailed your written objection, the Court considered it. You may have also paid your own lawyer to attend, but it was not necessary.

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You could have asked the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing. To do so, you must have sent a letter saying that it was your “Notice of Intention to Appear in Landsman & Funk, P.C. v. Skinder-Strauss Associates.” You must have included your name, address, telephone number and your signature. Your Notice of Intention to Appear must have been postmarked no later than January 10, 2015, and must have been sent to the Clerk of the Court, Class Counsel, and Defense Counsel at the three addresses in question 17. You could not speak at the hearing if you excluded yourself.

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If you did nothing, you will get no money from this settlement. But, unless you excluded yourself, you won’t be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Skinder-Strauss Associates about the legal issues in this case, ever again.

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This website summarizes the proposed Settlement Agreement, which is posted on this website.

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You can call 844-322-8248 toll free; write to Skinder-Strauss Associates Settlement, c/o GCG, P.O. Box 10132, Dublin, OH 43017-3132; or read this website, where you will find answers to common questions about the settlement, plus other information to help you determine whether you are a Class Member and whether you are eligible for a payment. Do not contact the Court.

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