Tau alumnus Joe Longley, serving as class counsel in a class-action suit against Farmers Group, Inc. (FGI), has won court preliminary approval of a $52 million dollar settlement that will benefit about 700,000 Texas auto insurance policyholders.
After lengthy and extensive mediation, an Austin federal judge ruled on December 16 that the class action settlement was fair and that FGI should begin notifying policyholders who are entitled to a direct-pay share of the settlement.
The plaintiffs’ claim targeted the Farmers Smart Plan Auto policy, a plan that offered new Texas customers coverage at a lower rate while allegedly raising the rates of existing policyholders for essentially the identical coverage. The claim was brought for alleged unfair price discrimination under Chapter 544 of the Texas Insurance Code.
Brother Longley has been in both public and private law practice since 1969 when he began his legal career as an Assistant Attorney General of Texas—quickly rising to the office of Chief of the Consumer Protection Division. It was there in 1973 that he authored the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act [DTPA] which continues to this day as our state’s primary consumer protection statute.
In 2017, Longley was elected by the lawyers of Texas to serve as President of the State Bar of Texas for 2018-2019. Longley has previously taught Insurance Law as an Adjunct Professor at The University of Texas School of Law where he earned his JD degree in June 1969.
named him to its elite list of “100 Legal Legends” and, in 2002, recognized him as its “Number One Go-To Lawyer for Insurance Law” in the state. In 2011, the State Bar Insurance Section honored him with its prestigious Insurance Legend Award.
Longley was chosen as Tau Man of the Year in 2002. He and his wife, Maggie, live in Austin and have three grown children and six grandchildren.