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 (2020)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Colorado) – Recognized (2019)
    • Retail: National – Band 3 (2020)
  • Law360: Class Action "Practice Group of the Year" (2014)
  • LA Daily Journal: Top Appellate Reversals of 2014
  • 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 2020 BTI Client Service 30 for the sixth consecutive year.

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