Monday, April 29, 2013

Legal Delays/ Swipe Fee Settlement/ JFK quote

A couple of weeks ago I met with Andi Liebenbaum Senior Governmental Affairs Analyst Judicial Council Administrative Office of the Court. She wanted to discuss the cuts to the Courts over the last few years. She asked if small business people around the state have experienced the delays in the judicial process and was it creating problems and expense for small business.

I would also like to hear from attorneys that receive this email. What are you experiencing.

As a small business owner myself I try to stay away from the courts as much as possible and honestly I have not heard this about this problem except from attorneys.

Please give me your comments.

Awhile back I sent an email telling people how they could claim a return on swipe fees by Visa and Mater Card based on the settlement being offered in the class action lawsuit. Over the weekend I received an email from Hut Landon telling me that the American Booksellers Association believes settlement is not in the best interest of Independent Booksellers around the country. In the interest of fairness please see below statement by Oren Teicher CEO of the American Booksellers Association.

Last week while riding on Muni I saw a sticker with a quote from John F Kennedy. I think it is something we should all think about.

He said

“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie—deliberate,contrived and dishonest but the myth,persistent,persuasive and unrealistic. Beliefs in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought”

Scott Hauge


Small Business California

2311 Taraval Street

San Francisco, CA 94116


Swipe Fee Class Action Settlement - Booksellers Urged To Opt Out and Object

Dear Booksellers:

I am writing about an important opportunity for booksellers to join a growing effort to reject the recent class action settlement over rapidly rising Visa and Master Card swipe fees. By now, you should have received a 20-plus-page settlement notice that requires you to act by May 28.

The settlement notice offers you several options: to file a claim for monetary damages (equal to approximately two to three months' worth of interchange fees); to opt out of the settlement; to object to the settlement; or to opt out and object to the settlement. The deadline to file your decision is May 28, 2013.

After very careful consideration - and consultation with other retail associations - ABA is recommending that booksellers opt out and object to the settlement. You will find an informative Settlement Summary (click here) that was put together by the class plaintiffs opposing the settlement. It will provide the pros and cons of each option, along with forms that allow you to opt out and object.

In short, it is our belief that the settlement does not offer meaningful changes to the interchange or "swipe fee" rules that are the centerpiece of the case. And, importantly, the settlement denies all current and future merchants their right to bring future legal action related to interchange rules and rate setting, among other things, against Visa, MasterCard, and the banks.

Opting out and objecting is the most complete way to express your opposition to the settlement. Moreover, you will also get the best protection from any argument that you have accepted the settlement's release terms and you will be entitled to sue for past damages.

A fairness hearing in the swipe fee case is scheduled for September 12. Clearly, if, at the hearing, the Judge is presented with the fact that an overwhelming number of businesses from the retail community have decided to opt out and object to the settlement that may go a long way in persuading the court that the settlement is unfair.

Let me stress that, ultimately, the decision as to whether to accept the settlement, to object to it, or to opt out and object to it is up to you. You must do what is best for your own business. But, importantly, if you take no action the court may interpret this silence as total acceptance and support of the terms of the settlement.

So please, do read the Settlement Summary carefully and then make your decision.

If you wish to opt out and object, you can do so electronically at


Oren Teicher, CEO

American Booksellers Association

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