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IN RE UNIVERSAL LIFE RESOURCES CONTINGENCY FEE CASES

United States District Court, S.D. California


August 29, 2005.

In re UNIVERSAL LIFE RESOURCES CONTINGENCY FEE CASES. This Document Relates To: ALL ACTIONS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: DANA SABRAW, District Judge

NOTICE OF DISMISSAL

TO: ALL PARTIES AND THEIR ATTORNEYS OF RECORD

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(e)(1)(A) and 41(a)(1)(i),*fn1 plaintiffs Cynthia C. Brandes and Alicia A. Pombo ("plaintiffs") hereby dismiss this action without prejudice as to all defendants.

  This action is subject to a Conditional Transfer Order ("CTO"), issued on June 1, 2005 by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. The CTO conditionally transferred this matter to In re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1663, No. 04-CV-5184-FSH-PS, a multidistrict litigation proceeding before the Honorable Faith S. Hochberg in the District of New Jersey (the "MDL Court").

  Plaintiffs dismiss this action in the interest of promoting judicial economy and the efficient prosecution of the pending litigation based on, inter alia, the following reasons: (1) pursuant to pretrial orders, the MDL Court bifurcated the MDL proceedings and established two separate tracks for the commercial insurance cases and employee benefits insurance cases such as this one; (2) the MDL Court further ordered that the two distinct types of claims be asserted in separate amended complaints and separate RICO case statements; (3) the MDL Court also established a leadership structure for the MDL proceedings which includes the appointment of Bonnett, Fairbourn, Friedman & Balint, P.C., specifically for the purpose of serving as liaison counsel for the employee benefits claims and Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman as Co-Lead Counsel — both those counsel are counsel for the class here, assuring that counsel here will have a meaningful role in the litigation of these claims in the MDL proceedings; (4) the First Consolidated Amended Employee Benefits Class Action Complaint ("MDL Complaint"), filed in the MDL proceedings on August 1, 2005, asserts claims for violation of RICO, ERISA, the Sherman Act and various state law claims on behalf of two classes (employer and employee classes); (5) plaintiffs here are named class representatives in the MDL Complaint and are now parties to those proceedings; (6) the MDL proceedings are more comprehensive and subsume many of the claims asserted here and are moving rapidly, insuring that the class' claims will be resolved expeditiously; and (7) it is virtually certain that this matter will be transferred to the MDL Court because of the foregoing reasons and the pleadings filed before the MDL panel.

  Finally, dismissal of this action will not prejudice any party to this action, as all parties are included in the MDL proceedings and are actively litigating the class claims in that forum, including substantial discovery, which is underway.

20050829

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