Class Action Defense - Banking

Overview

"They perform miracles for us."

– Fifth Third Bank

Having successfully defended financial institutions in high-stakes class action lawsuits challenging a variety of operating procedures and lending practices under federal and state banking laws, BakerHostetler’s Banking Class Action team has the experience to protect clients’ interests in class action matters involving complex financial products and transactions worth billions of dollars.

With a thorough understanding of the banking and financial services industries and in-depth knowledge of the laws that govern them, we are the go-to law firm for class action matters for several Fortune 500 financial services organizations and regional and national banks.

Select Experience

  • 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 client and its subsidiary, an affiliated real estate settlement service provider, engaged in kickbacks and fee splitting.
  • Represented banks and other publicly held companies and their officers in securities class actions and derivative cases, including one series of ERISA "stock drop" cases involving a large financial institution’s stock fund that lost considerable value during a two-year period. Obtained a dismissal based on standing grounds in the district court, a judgment that was affirmed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Subsequently, obtained a dismissal of the remaining cases on the merits.
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Experience

  • 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 client and its subsidiary, an affiliated real estate settlement service provider, engaged in kickbacks and fee splitting.
  • Represented banks and other publicly held companies and their officers in securities class actions and derivative cases, including one series of ERISA "stock drop" cases involving a large financial institution’s stock fund that lost considerable value during a two-year period. Obtained a dismissal based on standing grounds in the district court, a judgment that was affirmed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Subsequently, obtained a dismissal of the remaining cases on the merits.
  • Successfully moved to dismiss a state-wide class action seeking to hold the client, a large regional bank, liable under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and Ohio common law in connection with a Ponzi scheme involving unregistered securities orchestrated by a third party.
  • Successfully moved to dismiss a multistate class-action lawsuit challenging the client’s policy of electronically sequencing debits and credits from the largest to the smallest amount. Plaintiffs’ claims, brought under Ohio common law and the Expedited Funds Availability Act of 1987, were dismissed with prejudice.
  • Successfully moved to dismiss a state-wide class action in which the plaintiffs alleged that the client charged and collected improper fees in connection with the automobile purchase and lease transactions it financed in Ohio and that it paid improper referral fees to Ohio automobile dealers on these transactions. This matter involved claims under federal antitrust law, the federal Truth in Lending Act, the Ohio Retail Sales Installment Act and aiding and abetting the automobile dealer’s alleged breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Achieved victory on behalf of a large regional bank with a Sixth Circuit decision providing greater assurance to Ohio banks that they cannot be held liable for alleged fraudulent activities of account holders years after those activities occur and that there is finality to commercial transactions involving negotiable instruments.

Recognition

  • Chambers USA: Litigation
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Ohio) – Band 2 (2019)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Colorado) – Recognized (2019)
    • Retail: National – Recognized (2019)
  • Chambers USA:
    • Paul Karlsgodt – Litigation: General Commercial (Colorado), Band 4 (2019)
    • Daniel Warren – Litigation: General Commercial (Ohio), Band 2 (2019)
    • Ernest Vargo – Litigation: General Commercial (Ohio), Band 4 (2019)
  • Law360: Class Action "Practice Group of the Year" (2014)
  • LA Daily Journal: Top Appellate Reversals of 2014
  • Best Lawyers in America® 2018:
    • Rodger Eckelberry
    • Joseph Ezzie
    • Mark Johnson
    • Richard Knoth
    • Jerry Linscott
    • George Tzanetopoulos
    • Ernest Vargo
    • Daniel Warren
  • Corporate Counsel® magazine guide to in-house law departments: "Go-to Law Firm" for litigation.
  • Recognized as one of the top law firms for client service, BakerHostetler was named to the 2019 BTI Client Service 30 for the fifth consecutive year.

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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Third Circuit Smacks Down Class Action Settlement in Google Cookie Placement Litigation
By David M. McMillan, Sammantha J. Tillotson
August 29, 2019
In a refreshingly plain-spoken opinion issued Aug. 6, a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals criticized a multimillion-dollar class action settlement in litigation over Google’s unauthorized use of internet tracking...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Standing in Uncertainty: Spokeo Three Years Later
By Brittany N. Lockyer, Kenneth G. Prabucki
May 21, 2019
In 2016, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins, holding that even when Congress has granted parties a statutory right, a procedural violation of that right will not by itself satisfy the “concrete harm” requirement...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Supreme Court: Express Consent Required for Class Arbitration
May 14, 2019
On April 24, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an ambiguous arbitration agreement does not provide a sufficient basis to conclude that parties agreed to class arbitration. In Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
BakerHostetler Q1 2019 Insurance Class Action Update
April 25, 2019
The new year began with dramatic growth in vehicle total loss class actions over payment of sales tax and title transfer and registration fees, interpretations of the filed rate doctrine, and further activity in labor depreciation class...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Caution: Precertification Communications with Absent Class Members
March 28, 2019
Are absent members of an uncertified class or Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action “parties” and thus “represented” by plaintiff’s counsel? If so, is defense counsel prohibited from speaking with absent class members? At first...
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