FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  1. What is the lawsuit about?
  2. Why is this a class action?
  3. Why is there a settlement?
  4. Who is included in the Settlement?
  5. What are my options?
  6. What does the Settlement provide?
  7. How can I submit a claim?
  8. When would I get my benefits?
  9. What am I giving up to get a benefit or stay in the Class?
  10. How can I exclude myself from the Class?
  11. If I don’t exclude myself, can I sue AT&T Mobility for the same thing later?
  12. If I exclude myself, can I get any benefits?
  13. How can I object to the Settlement or attorneys’ fees?
  14. What's the difference between objecting and excluding?
  15. What happens if I do nothing at all?
  16. Who is representing the Settlement Class Members in this case?
  17. Do I have to pay these lawyers?
  18. How will the lawyers be paid?
  19. Should I hire my own lawyer?
  20. Will the Class Representatives receive any payment?
  21. What is the Fairness Hearing?
  22. When and where will the Fairness Hearing be held?
  23. Do I have to attend the Fairness Hearing?
  24. May I speak at the Fairness Hearing?
  25. How can I get more information?
  1. What is the lawsuit about?

    The lawsuit alleges that AT&T Mobility LLC (“AT&T Mobility”) and its predecessors violated state and federal laws by charging customers a flat-rate early termination fee (“ETF”) in their wireless telephone service contracts. The suit seeks monetary damages and restitution, and declaratory and injunctive relief. AT&T Mobility strongly denies any wrongdoing, but has agreed to settle to avoid the burden and cost of further litigation.

    The Settlement resolves claims in several other cases and arbitrations that challenge AT&T Mobility’s flat-rate ETF, including: Hall, et al. v. AT&T Mobility LLC, et al., Case No. 07-05325 (JLL) (U.S. District Court, D.N.J.); Sasik, et al. v. AT&T Wireless Services, Inc., Case No. 2:05-CV-2346-ABC (CWx) (U.S. District Court, C.D. Cal.); Waldmann, et al. v. Cingular Wireless LLC, Case No. 2:07-CV-05087-ABC (CWx) (U.S. District Court, C.D. Cal.); Dias, et al. v. AT&T Wireless Services, Inc., et al., No. BC316195 (Calif. Super. Ct., L.A. County); Kinkel v. Cingular Wireless LLC, AAA WIA No. 11 494 02646 06 (American Arbitration Association Arbitration); Cherrigan et al. v. AT&T Wireless Services, et al., JCCP 4332 (Calif. Super. Ct., Alameda County); Ayyad, et al. v. Cingular Wireless LLC, et al., JCCP 4332 (Calif. Super. Ct., Alameda County); and Graber v. AT&T Wireless PCS, LLC, et al., Case No. 50 2004CA004650MB(AI) (Florida Circuit Ct., Palm Beach County).

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  2. Why is this a class action?

    In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called “Class Representatives” sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. The people together are called the “Class” or “Class Members.” These lawsuits are class actions for purposes of settlement because they meet the requirements of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In order to be considered a class action, Rule 23 requires the following:

    • That there are too many Class Members to be joined in a single action;
    • That there are common questions of law or fact;
    • That claims of the class representative are typical of other class members and their counsel can protect the interest of the whole Class; and
    • That a class action is the best way to resolve the claims and disputes in the action.

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  3. Why is there a settlement?

    In this case, the people who initiated the lawsuit (“Plaintiffs”) and the company being sued, AT&T Mobility, have reached a proposed Settlement. The Court has allowed, or “certified,” a class action for purposes of settlement, and all decisions made concerning the Settlement will affect everyone in the Class. More information about why the Court is allowing this Settlement is in the Court’s Preliminary Approval Order dated November 4, 2009, available on this website by clicking here.

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  4. Who is included in the Settlement?

    You are a Class Member if you are a Person in the United States who:

    • Was a party to a contract for a wireless telephone account with AT&T Mobility and/or its predecessors and was billed a flat-rate ETF by AT&T Mobility and/or its predecessors from January 1, 1998 until November 4, 2009; OR
    • Was or is a party to a contract for a wireless telephone account with AT&T Mobility and/or its predecessors that included or includes a provision for a flat-rate ETF from January 1, 1998 until November 4, 2009, and who has not paid or been billed a flat-rate ETF.

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  5. What are my options?

    You can:

    • Submit a Claim: You remain in the Settlement. You may be eligible for money or compensation if approved. You will be bound by the terms of the Settlement and give up your right to sue regarding issues in the case.
    • Ask to be Excluded: Get out of the Settlement. You cannot object to the Settlement and will not be eligible for money or compensation from the Settlement. But you keep your right to sue on your own regarding issues in the case.
    • Object to the Settlement and/or attorneys’ fees: You remain in the Settlement. You may appear and speak at the Fairness Hearing on your own or through your own lawyer to object to or comment on the Settlement and/or attorneys’ fees.
    • Do nothing: You remain in the Settlement. You get no money or compensation and give up your right to sue regarding issues in the case.

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  6. What does the Settlement provide?

    AT&T Mobility will pay $16,000,000 in cash and $2,000,000 in non-cash benefits into a settlement fund for the benefit of Class Members. Relief is as follows:

    • If you can prove you paid in full a flat-rate ETF, or AT&T Mobility’s records indicate you paid in full a flat-rate ETF between and including January 1, 1998 and November 4, 2009, you may submit a Claim Form to receive up to $140.

    • If you certify under penalty of perjury that you paid in full a flat-rate ETF between and including January 1, 1998 and November 4, 2009, but cannot prove it and AT&T Mobility’s records do not indicate you paid in full a flat-rate ETF, you may submit a Claim Form to receive up to $25.

    • If you were charged a flat-rate ETF, or AT&T Mobility’s records indicate you were charged a flat-rate ETF, but did not pay in full and/or did not receive a full credit within 30 days, you may submit a Claim Form to receive up to $25.

    • Non-cash benefits, up to $2,000,000, will be provided for Persons who are parties to contracts for a wireless telephone accounts with a flat-rate ETF with AT&T Mobility as of November 4, 2009, and who have not paid or been charged an ETF between and including January 1, 1998 and November 4, 2009. Non-cash benefits include: (1) an AT&T Prepaid Long Distance Card with up to 200 minutes; or (2) converting a flat-rate ETF to a prorated ETF.

    The actual amount received or non-cash benefits available (other than the prorated ETF benefit) will vary depending on the number of claims received.

    For full details on the distribution of the Settlement benefits, please review the "Proposed Plan of Allocation" on this website.

    All costs of administering the Settlement, certain costs of notice, attorneys’ fees, and litigation costs, will be paid from the settlement fund before distribution to the Class. The Settlement does not relieve Class Members from any existing or future obligation to pay ETFs owed to AT&T Mobility.

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  7. How can I submit a claim?

    If you believe you are a member of the Class and want to participate in the Settlement, you should completely fill out a Claim Form. Paper Claim Forms and any required supporting documentation for online or paper Claim Forms needs to be sent to the Settlement Administrator at the following address:

    AT&T Mobility ETF Settlement Claims Administrator
    c/o Rust Consulting, Inc.
    P.O. Box 2266
    Faribault, MN 55021-2386

    The deadline to submit Claim Forms and all required supporting documentation is December 13, 2010.

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  8. When would I get my benefits?

    The Court will hold a hearing on June 29, 2010 to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If the Settlement is approved after the hearing, there may be appeals. It is always uncertain whether these appeals can be resolved, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. Please be patient.

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  9. What am I giving up to get a benefit or stay in the Class?

    If you remain in the Class, you give up your right to sue in court or arbitration or be part of any other lawsuit or arbitration against AT&T Mobility regarding issues relating to the flat-rate ETF or the propriety of its assessment or collection.

    For full details on the terms of the settlement, please review the "Proposed Settlement Agreement" on this website.

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  10. How can I exclude myself from the Class?

    You may have excluded yourself (“opted-out”) from the Settlement by sending a written request to the Settlement Administrator postmarked no later than March 24, 2010 unless you received a Spanish-language postcard notice on or after April 7, 2010, in which case your deadline has been extended to May 18, 2010. Your request must reference your AT&T Mobility mobile telephone number(s), must be signed, and must be sent to:

    AT&T Mobility ETF Settlement Claims Administrator
    c/o Rust Consulting
    P.O. Box 2266
    Faribault, MN 55021-2386

    If you want to exclude yourself from the Class, you will not get any money or other benefits from the Settlement. However, you keep your right to sue or continue to sue or arbitrate against AT&T Mobility in a separate case on an individual basis on your own behalf for issues relating to flat-rate ETFs.

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  11. If I don’t exclude myself, can I sue AT&T Mobility for the same thing later?

    No. If you do not exclude yourself, you will be legally bound by all Court orders in this case and will lose your right to sue in court or arbitration regarding the issues in this case. If you received notice informing you that you are a member of the certified class in the Ayyad or Cherrigan cases, and if you do not exclude yourself from this Settlement, you will be giving up your rights to participate as a class member in those cases, as well as any other cases relating to the issues in this case.

    For full details on the terms of the settlement, please review the "Proposed Settlement Agreement" on this website.

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  12. If I exclude myself, can I get any benefits?

    No. If you want to exclude yourself from the Class, you will not get any money or other benefits from the Settlement. However, you keep your right to sue or continue to sue or arbitrate against AT&T Mobility in a separate case on an individual basis on your own behalf for issues relating to flat-rate ETFs.

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  13. How can I object to the Settlement or attorneys' fees?

    To object to the Settlement, you must send a letter saying that you object to the Settlement in Hall, et al. v. AT&T Mobility LLC. Your request should include your:

    • Name and address.
    • Contact telephone number.
    • AT&T Mobility mobile telephone number.
    • Your or your representative’s signature.
    • Reasons for the objection

    Settlement objections must have been filed with the Court and copies sent to all the Class and Defense Counsel addresses below postmarked no later than March 24, 2010 unless you received a Spanish-language postcard notice on or after April 7, 2010, in which case your deadline has been extended to May 18, 2010.

    Court Class Counsel Defense Counsel
    Clerk of the Court
    U.S. District Court for the
    District of New Jersey
    50 Walnut Street
    Newark, New Jersey 07101
    Brian R. Strange, Esq.
    Strange & Carpenter
    12100 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1900
    Los Angeles, California 90025

    James E. Cecchi, Esq.
    Carella, Byrne, Bain, Gilfillan, Cecchi,
    Stewart & Olstein
    5 Becker Farm Road
    Roseland, New Jersey 07068
    Andrew B. Joseph
    Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
    500 Campus Drive
    Florham Park, New Jersey 07932

    To object to the attorneys’ fees you must send a letter saying that you object to the attorneys’ fees in Hall, et al. v. AT&T Mobility LLC. Your request should include all the same information outlined above as objecting to the Settlement.

    Attorney fee objections must be filed with the Court and copies sent to both Class Counsel addresses listed above so that it is received by June 17, 2010.

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  14. What's the difference between objecting and excluding?

    Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Class. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.

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  15. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    If you do nothing, you will automatically be considered part of the Settlement Class. However, in order to receive any benefit from the Settlement, you must submit a valid Claim Form.

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  16. Who is representing the Settlement Class Members in this case?

    The Court appointed the law firms of Strange & Carpenter and Carella, Byrne, Bain, Gilfillan, Cecchi, Stewart & Olstein to represent you and other Class Members. They are called “Class Counsel.” More information about these law firms, their practices, and their lawyers is available at www.strangeandcarpenter.com and www.carellabyrne.com

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  17. Do I have to pay the lawyers?

    You will not be charged for these lawyers.

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  18. How will the lawyers be paid?

    Class Counsel will ask the Court for attorneys' fees and reimbursement of expenses incurred as a result of this lawsuit. The money will be paid from the $16,000,000 settlement fund established by AT&T Mobility. Class Counsel have agreed not to seek more than $6,000,000 in fees plus reimbursement of reasonable expenses.

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  19. Should I hire my own lawyer?

    You do not need to hire your own lawyer because Class Counsel is working on your behalf. However, you may hire an attorney at your own expense to represent you and speak on your behalf.r in Court for you if you want someone other than Class Counsel to speak for you.

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  20. Will the Class Representatives receive any payment?

    Class Counsel intend to seek $2,000 in incentive awards to each of the Class Representatives, Barry Hall, Roman Sasik, David Dickey, Steven Wright, Jane Waldmann, Robert Wise, Jackie Thurman, Richard Chisolm, Mary Pitsikoulis, Debra Lively, Jacqueline Sims, and Kiisha Orr.

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  21. What is the Fairness Hearing?

    The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing to to determine whether the Settlement should be approved by the Court as fair, reasonable, and adequate, and whether judgment should be entered thereon.

    The Court will consider if: the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate; the Settlement should be approved; attorneys’ fees up to $6,000,000.00, plus reimbursement of reasonable expenses, should be awarded; incentive awards up to $2,000 to each of the Class Representatives should be awarded; and there are any objections to the Settlement. Attorneys’ fees and Class Representative incentive awards will be paid from the settlement fund. Once Class Counsel has filed its fee request, it will be available here.

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  22. When and where will the Fairness Hearing be held?

    The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing on June 29, 2010 at 2:00 p.m., in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, located at 50 Walnut Street, Newark, New Jersey 07101. The date and time of the Fairness Hearing may change. Updates will be posted to this website.

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  23. Do I have to attend the Fairness Hearing?

    No. Your attendance at the Fairness Hearing is not required even if you submit a written objection or comment. Class Counsel is prepared to respond to questions on your behalf. However, you or your attorney may attend the hearing at your own expense.

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  24. May I speak at the Fairness Hearing?

    Yes. You may speak at the Fairness Hearing to object to the Proposed Settlement or application for attorneys’ fees and expenses and incentive awards, but only if you filed a written objection as described above. Your objection must include a statement that you intend to appear and be heard at the Fairness Hearing. You may also enter an appearance through an attorney hired at your own expense. If you do not do so, Class Counsel will represent you. Until the Court makes a decision on whether the Settlement should be approved, neither you nor your representatives can pursue or file a lawsuit or arbitration against AT&T Mobility that relates to flat-rate ETFs.

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  25. How can I get more information?

    Complete copies of case-related documents are available here. If you have further questions, you may call the toll free number: 1-888-228-0885; send an email to info@ATTMETFSettlement.com; or write to the Settlement Claims Administrator at AT&T Mobility ETF Settlement Claims Administrator, c/o Rust Consulting, Inc., P.O. Box 2266, Faribault, MN 55021-2386. To contact Class Counsel you may write to Brian R. Strange, Esq., Strange & Carpenter, 12100 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1900, Los Angeles, California 90025 or James E. Cecchi, Esq., Carella, Byrne, Bain, Gilfillan, Cecchi, Stewart & Olstein, 5 Becker Farm Road, Roseland, New Jersey 07068.

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Disclaimer

Please do not contact either AT&T or the court about this settlement. Any and all callers will be directed to this website. If you have questions, please refer to the FAQs and the other information posted on this site or contact the Settlement Claims Administrator by calling 1-888-228-0885 or writing to AT&T Mobility ETF Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 2266, Faribault, MN 55021-2386.

This site is not operated by AT&T. This class action settlement is supervised by the court and is administered by a claims administration firm that handles all aspects of claims processing. AT&T is not authorized to respond to questions from members of the plaintiff class regarding the settlement.

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