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Epstein v. World Acceptance Corp.

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

December 18, 2017

EDNA SELAN EPSTEIN, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiff,
v.
WORLD ACCEPTANCE CORPORATION, et al., Defendants.

         CLASS ACTION

          ORDER AWARDING ATTORNEYS' FEES AND EXPENSES AND AWARD TO LEAD PLAINTIFF PURSUANT TO 15 U.S.C. §78u-4(a)(4)

          MARY GEIGER LEWIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter having come before the Court on December 18, 2017, on the motion of Lead Counsel for an award of attorneys' fees and expenses (the “Fee Motion”), the Court, having considered all papers filed and proceedings conducted herein, having found the Settlement of this Litigation to be fair, reasonable and adequate, and otherwise being fully informed in the premises and good cause appearing therefore;

         IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that:

         1. This Order incorporates by reference the definitions in the Stipulation of Settlement dated August 24, 2017 (the “Stipulation”), and all capitalized terms used, but not defined herein, shall have the same meanings as set forth in the Stipulation.

         2. This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this application and all matters relating thereto, including all Members of the Settlement Class who have not timely and validly requested exclusion.

         3. Notice of Lead Counsel's Fee Motion was given to all Settlement Class Members who could be located with reasonable effort. The form and method of notifying the Settlement Class of the Fee Motion met the requirements of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and 15 U.S.C. §78u-4(a)(7), the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, due process, and any other applicable law, constituted the best notice practicable under the circumstances, and constituted due and sufficient notice to all persons and entities entitled thereto.

         4. The Court hereby awards Lead Counsel attorneys' fees of 30% of the Settlement Fund (or $4, 800, 000), plus expenses in the amount of $472, 044.02, together with the interest earned on both amounts for the same time period and at the same rate as that earned on the Settlement Fund until paid. The Court finds that the amount of fees awarded is appropriate and that the amount of fees awarded is fair and reasonable under the “percentage-of-recovery” method.

         5. The awarded attorneys' fees and expenses and interest earned thereon, shall be paid to Lead Counsel subject to the terms, conditions, and obligations of the Stipulation, and in particular, ¶7.2 thereof, which terms, conditions, and obligations are incorporated herein.

         6. In making this award of fees and expenses to Lead Counsel, the Court has considered and found that:

(a) the Settlement has created a fund of $16, 000, 000 in cash that is already on deposit, and numerous Settlement Class Members who submit, or have submitted, valid Proof of Claim and Release forms will benefit from the Settlement created by Lead Counsel;
(b) over 54, 400 copies of the Notice were disseminated to potential Settlement Class Members indicating that Lead Counsel would move for attorneys' fees in an amount not to exceed 30% of the Settlement Amount and for expenses in an amount not to exceed $500, 000, and no objections to the fees or expenses were filed by Settlement Class Members;
(c) Lead Counsel has pursued the Litigation and achieved the Settlement with skill, perseverance and diligent advocacy;
(d) Lead Counsel has expended substantial time and effort pursuing the Litigation on behalf of ...

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