Deborah H. Renner

Partner

New York
T +1.212.589.4654
F +1.212.589.4201

Overview

Deborah Renner leads BakerHostetler's class action practice in New York and is a founder and former editor of BakerHostetler's Class Action Lawsuit Defense blog. She also serves as the pro bono coordinator for the New York office and is on the firm's Diversity Committee.

Deborah focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation, including the defense of consumer fraud, data breach, insurance, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and securities class actions. Deborah has successfully defended numerous companies in nationwide, multidistrict and state class actions. She has defeated class certification in courts around the country and has won the dismissal of class claims at the outset of numerous actions. Deborah frequently advises companies on class action defense and regulatory inquiries. She has represented companies facing regulatory inquiries in the data privacy, insurance and securities arenas. Among her areas of knowledge and experience, Deborah is certified in information privacy. She was recently elected to the American Law Institute and the American Bar Foundation. 

Select Experience

  • Representing a New York-based real estate holding company in a putative class action alleging fraud by building owners with respect to New York's rent stabilization laws. 
  • Recently represented a retailer in a threatened class action under New Jersey's Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act, obtaining a favorable settlement.
  • Recently represented a company in a Civil Investigative Demand by a state attorney general regarding data privacy and security practices.
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Experience

  • Representing a New York-based real estate holding company in a putative class action alleging fraud by building owners with respect to New York's rent stabilization laws. 
  • Recently represented a retailer in a threatened class action under New Jersey's Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act, obtaining a favorable settlement.
  • Recently represented a company in a Civil Investigative Demand by a state attorney general regarding data privacy and security practices.
  • Recently represented a company in a putative class action under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
  • Won complete dismissal of a data breach class action. Polanco v. Omnicell, Inc., 988 F. Supp. 2d 451 (D.N.J. 2013).
  • Represented a broker-dealer in an international securities-based class action that settled favorably for the client. Marylebone PCC Limited v. Millennium Global Investments, Ltd., No. 12-cv-3835, slip order (S.D.N.Y. July 7, 2014). 
  • Obtained or enforced an injunction to stop class litigation: 
    • Marshall v. Capital Growth Co., 2017 WL 921963 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. March 7, 2017).
    • Picard v. Goldman, 546 B.R. 284 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2016), aff’d, 2017 WL 383490 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 24, 2017).
    • Picard v. Marshall, 511  B.R. 375 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. June 23, 2014), aff’d, Fox v. Picard, 531 B.R. 345 (S.D.N.Y. May 11, 2015).
    • Picard v. Fox, 429 B.R. 423 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2010), aff'd, In re Madoff, 848 F. Supp. 2d 469 (S.D.N.Y. 2012), aff'd, 740 F.3d 81 (2d Cir. 2014).
    • Picard v. Stahl, 443 B.R. 295 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2011), aff'd, In re Bernard L. Madoff Inv. Sec. LLC, 2011 WL 7981599 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 5, 2011), aff'd, The Lautenberg Found. v. Picard, 512 Fed. Appx. 18 (2d Cir. 2013).
    • In re Bernard L. Madoff, 477 B.R. 351 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2012), aff'd, 2013 WL 5511027 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 30, 2013).
    • Picard v. Maxam Absolute Return Fund, L.P., 460 B.R. 106 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2011), aff'd, 474 B.R. 76 (S.D.N.Y. 2012).
  • Represented amicus in U.S. Supreme Court supporting petition in Taylor Farms Pacific, Inc. v. Pena (Oct. 2017), concerning whether evidence must be admissible for class certification.
  • Represented amicus in U.S. Supreme Court in Campbell-Ewald Company v. Gomez, 136 S. Ct. 663 (Jan. 20, 2016), concerning the use of an offer of judgment in a TCPA case.
  • Represented amicus in U.S. Supreme Court in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, 2016 WL 1092414 (March 22, 2016), dealing with the use of statistics for determining liability and damages and the inclusion of uninjured class members in a class action under Rule 23 or a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Represented amicus in U.S. Supreme Court in The Standard Fire Ins. Co. v. Knowles, 133 S. Ct. 1345 (2013), holding that named plaintiff's counsel could not use stipulation to avoid federal jurisdiction. 
  • Represented amicus in U.S. Supreme Court in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, 133 S. Ct. 1426 (2013), holding that named plaintiffs could not rely on a class-wide damages model to obtain class certification.
  • As a lead attorney on the BakerHostetler team serving as counsel to Irving H. Picard, the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) Trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, managed a team of attorneys in Picard v. JPMorgan, which, in 2014, resulted in two settlements totaling $543 million for the SIPA Trustee and class action plaintiffs, and which led to a $1.7 billion forfeiture to the United States Attorney's Office. 
  • Won summary judgment in a putative class action concerning alleged fraud in the pricing of long-term care insurance in an ERISA context. Rakes v. Life Investors Ins. Co. of America, 622 F. Supp. 2d 755 (N.D. Iowa June 20, 2008), aff'd, 582 F.3d 886 (8th Cir. Sept. 18, 2009).
  • Won the complete dismissal of a securities fraud class action alleging violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934. Medis Investor Group v. Medis Technologies, Ltd., 586 F. Supp. 2d 136 (S.D.N.Y. 2008), aff'd, 2009 WL 2171277 (2d Cir. July 21, 2009).

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • New York Metro "Super Lawyer" (2011 to 2017)
    • "Top 50 Women in New York" (2014 to 2015)
  • Immigration Equality Safe Haven Awards: Co-Chair (2017)

Memberships

  • American Law Institute
    • Principles of the Law, Data Privacy: Members Consultative Group
    • Restatement Third, Conflict of Laws: Members Consultative Group
  • American Bar Foundation: Member
  • American Bar Association, Section of Litigation Class Action and Derivative Suits 
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals
    • Certified Information Privacy Professional (U.S.)
  • Brooklyn Bar Association, Volunteer Lawyers Project: Advisory Board
  • Defense Research Institute, Appellate Advocacy Section

News

News

Pro Bono

  • In 2017, represented 53 companies in an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in Gloucester Co. School Bd. v. Grimm, arguing in favor of the rights of transgender students.
  • Frequently works with Immigration Equality, helping gay, lesbian, transgender and HIV-positive individuals gain asylum in the United States.

Featured Video

Deborah Renner comments on Amgen vs. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds
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Prior Positions

  • Fordham University Law School: Adjunct Assistant Professor of Class Action Law (2002 to 2006)

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2008
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 2001
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 2008
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 1993
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 1993
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York, 2003
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1997
  • New York, 1993
  • District of Columbia, 1994
  • New Jersey, 2014

Education

  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 1992, cum laude
  • M.A., Princeton University, 1987
  • B.A., Johns Hopkins University, 1984, with honors

Blog

In The Blogs

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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
The Top 10 Class-Action-Related Developments of 2017
January 10, 2018
2017 was a relatively quiet year for major class action news, especially in the Supreme Court, which addressed only a handful of cases that might have an impact on class actions and reached decisions only in a couple of those cases...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Kentucky Federal Court Brushes Aside Pre-emptive Attack on Class Allegations in Phishing Case, Rejects Out-of-the-Box Defense Strategy
By David M. McMillan
December 28, 2017
Brushing aside apparent flaws in a proposed class definition, a federal court in Kentucky declined to dismiss class allegations against North Carolina-based pharmacy services provider Pharm-Save Inc. (Pharm-Save) stemming from a W-2...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Seventh Circuit Ties Class Counsel’s Recovery of Attorneys’ Fees to Amount Claimed by Class, in Context of a Judgment
November 20, 2017
On November 14, 2017, the Seventh Circuit issued its third opinion ending a class action that was almost a decade old. Holtzman v. Turza, No. 17-2330, 2017 WL 5450484 (7th Cir. Nov. 14, 2017). The class action alleged that the defendant...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
TCPA Class Denied Certification Due to Binding Authority of Yaakov and Proof of Individualized Issues of Consent
November 13, 2017
A recent order from the Northern District of Illinois granted a defendant’s motion to deny class certification regarding “unsolicited” fax advertisements allegedly sent in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Eleventh Circuit Outlines the Key to an Individual Arbitration Agreement
By Gretchen L. Jewell
October 10, 2017
The Eleventh Circuit recently upheld an arbitration agreement in a consumer class action involving checking overdraft fees. In Johnson v. KeyBank N.A., 11th Cir. No. 15-10779 (Sept. 26, 2017), the plaintiffs brought a putative class action...
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