Class Action Defense

"BakerHostetler brings tremendous value to the table. They provide first-rate service, and I am always confident that they possess the intellectual wherewithal that our company would require on any matter."
– Chambers USA 2012

When millions—or even billions—of dollars are on the line, clients choose BakerHostetler’s Class Action Defense team based on our track record of early victories achieved through defeat of class certification, securing dismissal of the claims of the class representatives, and negotiating favorable settlements.

Our seasoned litigators represent organizations in high-stakes, statewide, and nationwide class action litigation in every facet of class action proceedings—from removal under the Class Action Fairness Act, to motions to dismiss, class certification proceedings, discovery, trial, settlement, and appeal. We are known for supervising the administration of class action settlements with classes comprising millions of members.

At trial, our litigators go to battle armed with solid defense strategies and have a scorecard of class action litigation victories and appellate wins in circuit and state supreme courts. Strong relationships with local counsel, witnesses skilled in relevant subject matter, and due process testimonial specialists throughout the country are an integral part of our defense arsenal.

We offer an interdisciplinary approach that seamlessly combines the sharp procedural skills of our litigators with the hands-on experience and in-depth regulatory knowledge of practice-specific teams to provide comprehensive service in all areas of class action litigation. Working with our privacy and data protection lawyers, we successfully defended some of the most significant data breach class action cases in the country on behalf of large, national financial institutions and top healthcare organizations. For more detailed information about our class action practice in each area, visit the following pages:

We also defend clients in class action cases relating to antitrust matters, employment, environmental matters, and securities.

Select Experience

  • Successfully defended a major telecommunications company in a nationwide class action brought by retailers seeking unpaid sales commissions. Working in cooperation with attorneys from two other law firms and numerous experts, we were successful in mitigating the effects of electronic discovery sanctions imposed prior to the firm’s involvement in the case and the case was settled on favorable terms for the client weeks before it was scheduled to go to trial.
  • Defeated class certification in a landmark class certification analysis conducted by the Ohio Supreme Court that makes it more difficult to certify classes in Ohio. In its decision, the court expressly adopted recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent, holding that Ohio trial courts may need to review the merits of a plaintiff’s claim when reviewing a class certification motion. The court also rejected overly broad classes in which some members were not harmed and held that a trial court’s denial of certification should be affirmed, even if it was denied for improper reasons.
  • Defeated class certification for a major insurance company in a consumer fraud class action involving the sale of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
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Professionals

Name Title Office Email
Robert G. Abrams Partner Washington, D.C.
Matthew C. Baisley Associate Denver
Mary Price Birk Partner Denver
Brian C. Blair Partner Orlando
J. David Bournazian Partner Costa Mesa
John F. Bruce Counsel Washington, D.C.
David A. Carney Partner Cleveland
Diane P. Chapman Partner Cleveland
Trischa Snyder Chapman Associate Columbus
Dennis O. Cohen Partner New York
Casie D. Collignon Partner Denver
Rodger L. Eckelberry Partner Columbus
Paul S. Enockson Partner Denver
Joseph E. Ezzie Partner Columbus
Guenther Karl Fanter Partner Cleveland
Michael K. Farrell Partner Cleveland
José C. Feliciano Partner Cleveland
Ryan Fischbach Partner Los Angeles
Eric R. Fish Partner New York
Danyll W. Foix Partner Washington, D.C.
Jessie M. Gabriel Associate New York
Lisa M. Ghannoum Partner Cleveland
Ronald L. Hellbusch Staff Attorney Denver
Lan Hoang Partner New York
Scott C. Holbrook Partner Cleveland
Dean D. Hunt Partner Houston
Peter W. James Partner Los Angeles
David R. Jarrett Partner Houston
Mark A. Johnson Partner Columbus
Paul G. Karlsgodt Partner Denver
Mark A. Kornfeld Partner New York
Sophia L. Lauricella Associate Houston
John B. Lewis Partner Cleveland
Patrick T. Lewis Partner Cleveland
Joanne Lichtman Partner Los Angeles
Jerry R. Linscott Partner Orlando
Jacqueline K. Matthews Associate Columbus
Michael R. Matthias Partner Los Angeles
Elizabeth B. McCallum Partner Washington, D.C.
Rand L. McClellan Partner Columbus
Gregory V. Mersol Partner Cleveland
Michael Dominic Meuti Partner Cleveland
Michael E. Mumford Partner Cleveland
Larry J. Obhof Jr. Of Counsel Cleveland
Ronald S. Okada Partner Chicago
Benjamin D. Pergament Partner New York
David F. Proaño Partner Cleveland
Lora M. Reece Partner Cleveland
Deborah H. Renner Partner New York
Jocelyn R. Roy Staff Attorney Washington, D.C.
Judy Selby Partner New York
Nicole A. Skolout Associate Los Angeles
James A. Slater Partner Cleveland
Terry L. Sullivan Partner Washington, D.C.
Robert J. Tucker Associate Columbus
Christa Cowart Turner Partner Orlando
George J. Tzanetopoulos Partner Chicago
Ernest E. Vargo Partner Cleveland
Brett A. Wall Partner Cleveland
Daniel R. Warren Partner Cleveland
Thomas D. Warren Partner Cleveland
Justin T. Winquist Associate Denver
James C. Winton Partner Houston

Experience

  • Successfully defended a major telecommunications company in a nationwide class action brought by retailers seeking unpaid sales commissions. Working in cooperation with attorneys from two other law firms and numerous experts, we were successful in mitigating the effects of electronic discovery sanctions imposed prior to the firm’s involvement in the case and the case was settled on favorable terms for the client weeks before it was scheduled to go to trial.
  • Defeated class certification in a landmark class certification analysis conducted by the Ohio Supreme Court that makes it more difficult to certify classes in Ohio. In its decision, the court expressly adopted recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent, holding that Ohio trial courts may need to review the merits of a plaintiff’s claim when reviewing a class certification motion. The court also rejected overly broad classes in which some members were not harmed and held that a trial court’s denial of certification should be affirmed, even if it was denied for improper reasons.
  • Defeated class certification for a major insurance company in a consumer fraud class action involving the sale of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
  • Defending a large, regional supermarket chain in six class action matters related to a data breach in which 2.4 million customers’ credit card numbers were illegally obtained, including one case claiming that the chain failed to adequately protect its credit and debit card processing systems.
  • Defeated a putative class action brought against a national insurance company by auto body shops in Ohio claiming that the insurer does not pay a competitive labor rate for the geographic region in which the shop is located and that it does not pay for certain repair processes and materials.
  •  Represented a national call center company in two bet-the-company, putative federal class action lawsuits asserting fraud claims. Plaintiffs alleged that the company misrepresented various facts during solicitation calls that it placed on behalf of some of the world’s largest charities. By reviewing thousands of recorded phone calls, we illustrated that the allegedly uniform misrepresentations seldom occurred and varied in form. We opposed the plaintiffs’ class-certification motion, filing an e-brief that illustrated the differences from call to call using embedded audio files and secured an extremely favorable class-wide settlement

Recognition

  • Ohio Litigation Practice recognized in the 2014 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.
  • Five Class Action Defense team members are ranked in the 2014 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.
  • Nine Class Action Defense team members are recognized among The Best Lawyers in America© 2014. (Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC)
  • Named a "Go-to Law Firm" for litigation by general counsel surveyed for Corporate Counsel® magazine's guide to in-house law departments at the nation's top companies.
  • Twelve Class Action Defense team members are named 2012 “Super Lawyers.”
  • Five Class Action Defense team members are named 2012 “Rising Stars” by Super Lawyers.
  • Several team members have been listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the Law.

News

Press Releases

Alerts

Articles

Key Contacts

Blog

In The Blogs

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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Nominations Open for ABA Journal’s Top 100 Legal Blogs – Class Action Lawsuit Defense
August 1, 2014
The American Bar Association Journal announced that it is compiling its annual list of the 100 best legal blogs and invites readers to submit a nomination: Use the form below to tell us about a blog—not your own—that you read regularly and...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
The Latest on the Use of Retained Asset Accounts to Pay Life Insurance Benefits
July 21, 2014
In Merrimon v. Unum Life Insurance Co. of America, 2014 WL 2960024 (1st Cir. July 2, 2014), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit became the third circuit court to approve an insurance company’s use of a retained asset account...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Sixth Circuit Affirms Certification and Summary Judgment for TCPA Class, Despite State Law Class Action Prohibition
July 14, 2014
On July 9, 2014, the Sixth Circuit affirmed a district court ruling that a consumer TCPA class action could proceed against Lake City Industrial Products, rejecting Lake City’s argument that Michigan law prohibited TCPA class actions. ...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Basic Is Dying a Slow Death: The Supreme Court Upholds the Fraud-on-the-Market Presumption in Halliburton but Allows Rebuttal
June 26, 2014
Given the opportunity to overrule its landmark 1988 decision in Basic v. Levinson, in which it created the fraud-on-the-market presumption, the Supreme Court declined. The Court found in its decision this week in Halliburton that, while it...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Low-Tech Proof In a High-Tech World: Northern District of California Denies Class Certification In Hulu Data Privacy Case
June 20, 2014
On June 16, the Northern District of California denied a motion for class certification in In re Hulu Privacy Litigation, No. C 11-03764 LB, ECF No. 111.  The plaintiffs in that action alleged that Hulu violated the Video Privacy...
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