Trial lawyer Neil Fineman brought a class action lawsuit on behalf of customers of a department store who were asked to provide personal information to the store–usually an email address or phone number–when paying by credit card, which is against the law in California.

The normal way these things work: The lawyer makes a claim for enormous damages, the targeted business settles with the lawyer for pennies on the dollar, the actual plaintiffs (i.e., those who were supposedly injured by the wrongful behavior) get maybe a few gift cards or coupons, and the lawyer gets a big chunk of change in fees for achieving this “victory.” These kind of settlements are a dime a dozen, and courts usually just rubber-stamp them.

Not always. In an order Friday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brett Klein ruled that if gift cards are good enough for the plaintiffs, they should be good enough for their attorney, too. In lieu of taking his $125,000 fee in cash, Fineman will receive 12,500 ten-dollar Windsor Fashions gift cards.

A fitting end to a frivolous lawsuit.

(via Overlawyered)