A class member in a consolidated suit against Volkswagen of America Inc. over leaky sunroofs told the U.S. Supreme Court that the Third Circuit and a magistrate judge shouldn't have approved a $9.2 million attorneys' fee award.
The objector is now arguing that the Supreme Court has never addressed whether federal law authorizing non-Article III magistrate judges to issue final judgments in civil cases assigned by the Constitution to Article III decision makers upon consent of the parties is consistent with Article III.
"This question is especially pertinent in the class-action context, where the consent of the named plaintiffs alone to proceed before a magistrate judge supposedly serves to bar the absent class members from adjudicating their claims before an Article III judge," the petition said.
Bruce H. Nagel of Nagel Rice LLP, which is representing Braverman, said that they "hope the court agrees that these issues need to be addressed."
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