If you read the proclamations of joy coming in about court approval of the settlement of the Roberts case, be aware that the joy may be because the lawyers on the case were charging up to $890 an hour. (This according to the recent Town & Village, who had this info on the last page of their lead-off story, "Court Approves 'Roberts' Settlement. Justice praises both sides for turning 'slug fest into love fest.'") No wonder the lawyers weren't all that eager to get the case resolved as quickly as possible. It's almost shocking that they still are not going at it.
I was not part of this settlement, but I do wonder how anyone can say with a straight face that the settlement does anything positive for affordable middle class housing and the sanctity of rent stabilization laws, which have been abused and raped by the landlords here ever since Met Life stock went public. It's great that a portion of tenants will be getting refunds (average check: $3,200), but their newer rents may erase those refunds very quickly. And paying $4,500 for a two-bedroom apartment is not affordable middle-class housing.
Once again, the people making out the best are the lawyers. But you knew that would happen.
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I do have to note that our Councilman Dan Garodnick was pretty slimy in his official statement about the court approval when he wrote that there were "no objectors" to the final settlement. Well, there were, but they eventually removed their objections, probably due to some pressure for them to do so or opportune "second thoughts."
Here's the objectors original contention: