I placed a deposit on a Franklin Armory, Inc. "Title 1." Am I automatically a part of this lawsuit?
No. Each individual must actively opt in to this lawsuit in order to be a party and qualify as a represented party before they will be added to the lawsuit. If you have not joined this website, completed the questionnaires, and completed and received a signed representation agreement, then you are not a part of this lawsuit. To join, simply go to the homepage and click "Join Now."
Is this a Mass Action or Class Action, and what is the difference?
This lawsuit is probably a Mass Action lawsuit, not a class-action lawsuit.
When a group of victims suffers harm, that group may file a class action or mass tort lawsuit to protect their rights. Both types of cases provide similar outcomes and are often confused, but each is handled very differently.
A class action claim is a lawsuit filed on behalf of a group of people involved in a situation that resulted in damages and injuries. Class action claims help reduce the number of individual cases that must be filed when more than one person has been affected. But, in class action lawsuits, certain steps must be taken for a class action lawsuit to proceed:
1. People in the class must be notified and given the chance to opt-out and find their own representation 2. A motion must be filed and granted in court for the named plaintiff to act on behalf of a group 3. The named plaintiff must show that their experience is representative of the others involved in the lawsuit 4. The named plaintiff must also show that this type of lawsuit is ideal for holding defendants accountable and that individual lawsuits would not be as beneficial or cost-effective for all those involved 5. Furthermore, the compensation received by each individual involved must not be worth the time and costs of hiring an attorney for an individual case.
Mass action lawsuits, however, are actions brought on by a large group of people injured on a large scale against one or a few corporate defendants. Mass action, like class-action lawsuits, can be used to reduce the number of court cases brought by individuals. These cases permit an attorney or group of attorneys to represent individual victims. An attorney can use their investigation findings for all cases filed.
Is this case primarily about getting a big money settlement from the DOJ?
No. While money damages may be pursued, the primary purpose of this case is to hold the Department of Justice accountable for their actions in preventing the lawful sale of lawful firearms to those who are entitled to receive and possess firearms under the law and to have the Dealer Records of Sale System properly configured such that all lawful firearms, such as the "Title 1" style firearms by Franklin Armory, Inc. can be lawfully transferred under California law.
Isn't there already a case addressing the Title 1 issue? Why two cases?
Yes. A lawsuit has been filed and is pending in state court challenging the lawfulness of the technological barriers put in place by the DOJ that bar the Franklin Armory, Inc. "Title 1" style firearms. The plaintiffs in that lawsuit are the manufacturer, Franklin Armory, Inc., and the California Rifle and Pistol Association, on behalf of its members. But, given the sheer volume of persons who have been affected by the DOJ's actions and/or inaction, including those who are not members of the California Rifle and Pistol Association - an action for the individuals barred from acquiring their firearms allows each individual potential purchaser to seek relief in federal court, including those who are not members of the California Rifle and Pistol Association.
What are my Fee Liabilities?
Michel & Associates has amended the fee agreement to clarify the fee arrangements.
11. Costs and Fees. The Firm shall bear all costs and fees to achieve the Objective. Client shall have no liability for any expenditures relating to the Matter, except and unless (1) other clients in the Matter who are financially responsible for the Matter withdraw from the representation and (2) Client refuses to timely execute all documents necessary to allow the Firm to withdraw from representation in the Matter. Other clients in the Matter for whom the Firm will be providing joint representation, and who have agreed to be financially responsible for the fees and costs in the Matter, including fees and costs attributable to pro-rata services performed and costs incurred on Client’s behalf are: California Rifle & Pistol Association, Incorporated. By executing this Agreement, Client is explicitly agreeing, per California Rule of Professional Conduct 1.8.6, to allow such other clients to fund costs and fees in the Matter and to be represented concurrently with Client in the Matter by the Firm. Third party associations may be involved in financing this litigation through the Firm. If this occurs, Client will be apprised of these arrangements. The Firm, and any third party assisting in financing this litigation, shall bear all responsibility for costs and fees and other expenditures associated with prosecuting this case.
How do I send you my documentation?
Once you are logged in, you may upload and share documentation with us by clicking the "share information" tab in the top bar. Once there, click the "share document or information button." Enter the information and upload any documentation that you wish us to have for this matter, and click save. Note that the "share information" button will not appear unless you are logged in.
Is there an expectation that I will have to testify?
By signing up for this case, you are agreeing to be a plaintiff in a lawsuit. As such, you may be asked to answer written and verbal questions and provide documentation under penalty of perjury. You may be asked to testify in this matter. Though we believe the likelihood of testimony being required of any given plaintiff are low, Defendants may wish to depose you regarding this matter (e.g. ask you questions about your attempt to acquire a Title 1).