Brett A. Wall

Partner

Cleveland
T +1.216.861.7597
F +1.216.696.0740

Overview

Brett Wall represents financial institutions and other commercial entities in complex litigation with a focus on class action defense. He has successfully defended clients in high-stakes lawsuits challenging a wide variety of banking practices under federal and state laws. Brett also helps banks manage distressed loans and counsels banks on some regulatory matters. Brett is a member of the team serving as court-appointed counsel to the SIPA Trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.

Brett is currently a member of the firm's Policy Committee, its governing body, leader of the firm's national Financial Services Industry team, hiring partner for the Cleveland office and responsible for the integration of lateral hires in Cleveland.

Select Experience

  • Toldy v. Client
    Defeated class certification in a putative nationwide class action brought by an individual borrower alleging violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). The plaintiff alleged that the bank and its subsidiary, an affiliated real estate settlement service provider, engaged in kickbacks and fee splitting.
  • CCBI Murphy's v. Client; LML v. Client
    Defeated multiple class action lawsuits that challenged a bank's calculation of its variable interest rate loans. The plaintiffs sought to certify national and then state classes of commercial customers who received payment invoices that projected loan payments for a period during which the interest rate was unknown. The plaintiffs asserted claims under Ohio common law for breach of contract and breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing.
  • Klopfenstein v. Client; LML v. Client
    Representing a federally insured bank in a matter involving a novel banking product being offered to consumers. Represents the bank in five parallel putative nationwide class action lawsuits initially filed in federal courts, now consolidated into a single action that challenges the product, compares the bank to a payday lender and seeks to shut down the line of business. The lawsuit is a first of its kind and raises complicated issues of first impression in a highly regulated area of banking law overseen by a number of agencies. The plaintiffs have asserted 18 causes of action including class claims involving the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA), usury and violations of numerous state consumer protection statutes and common laws.
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Experience

  • Toldy v. Client
    Defeated class certification in a putative nationwide class action brought by an individual borrower alleging violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). The plaintiff alleged that the bank and its subsidiary, an affiliated real estate settlement service provider, engaged in kickbacks and fee splitting.
  • CCBI Murphy's v. Client; LML v. Client
    Defeated multiple class action lawsuits that challenged a bank's calculation of its variable interest rate loans. The plaintiffs sought to certify national and then state classes of commercial customers who received payment invoices that projected loan payments for a period during which the interest rate was unknown. The plaintiffs asserted claims under Ohio common law for breach of contract and breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing.
  • Klopfenstein v. Client; LML v. Client
    Representing a federally insured bank in a matter involving a novel banking product being offered to consumers. Represents the bank in five parallel putative nationwide class action lawsuits initially filed in federal courts, now consolidated into a single action that challenges the product, compares the bank to a payday lender and seeks to shut down the line of business. The lawsuit is a first of its kind and raises complicated issues of first impression in a highly regulated area of banking law overseen by a number of agencies. The plaintiffs have asserted 18 causes of action including class claims involving the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA), usury and violations of numerous state consumer protection statutes and common laws.
  • Metz v. Client
    Successfully dismissed a statewide class action seeking to hold a client liable under the Uniform Commercial Code and Ohio common law in connection with a Ponzi scheme involving unregistered securities orchestrated by a third party.
  • Counsel to banks on various matters
    Counseled financial institutions on developing and taking to market various financial products, including short-term, small-dollar consumer credit products offered to account holders; counseled a bank on various obligations relative to third-party vendors; counseled a bank on various consumer-related issues under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, TILA, EFTA and state law counterparts; counseled a bank on interfacing with federal agencies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Board.
  • State of Ohio, ex rel. David Joyce v. MERSCORP, Inc., et al.
    Currently defending Ohio's three largest banks in a class action lawsuit brought by the prosecutor of Geauga County seeking to abolish the land instrument recordation Municipal Employees' Retirement System and to mandate the public recordation of all residential mortgage assignments in the state of Ohio.
  • Northampton v. Client
    Successfully moved to dismiss a multistate class action lawsuit challenging a client's policy of electronically sequencing debits and credits from the largest to the smallest amounts. The plaintiffs' claims, brought under Ohio common law and the Expedited Funds Availability Act of 1987, were dismissed with prejudice.
  • Empire Title v. Client
    Favorably resolved a nationwide class action lawsuit asserting, among other actions, a civil RICO claim. The case was brought by a title company claiming it was "blacklisted" for refusing to provide kickbacks to, and split fees with, a client's affiliated business provider, allegedly in violation of RESPA.
  • TriState Capital Bank v. Levis Land, LLC
    Defending a client against a variety of business tort and equitable claims brought by another lender in the aftermath of a commercial loan refinancing gone sour. The claims involve equitable subrogation, equitable estoppel, negligent misrepresentation, promissory estoppel and unjust enrichment, all predicated on the plaintiff's allegation that a loan officer orally agreed to release a multimillion-dollar mortgage on real estate as part of a refinance of other debt.
  • Kopp v. Client
    In this statewide class action, the plaintiffs alleged that the firm's client charged and collected improper fees in connection with automobile purchase and lease transactions it financed in Ohio and that it also paid improper referral fees to Ohio automobile dealers on these transactions. The matter involved claims under federal antitrust law, TILA and the Ohio Retail Sales Installment Act, and for aiding and abetting the automobile dealer's alleged breach of fiduciary duty. The entire case was successfully dismissed.

Recognitions and Memberships

Memberships

  • American Bar Foundation: Fellow
  • Ohio Bankers League

News

News

Emerging Issues

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • Ohio

Education

  • J.D., The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law, 1998
  • B.A., The Ohio State University, 1995