Class Action Defense

Overview

"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

BakerHostetler’s national Class Action Defense team represents companies, institutions and organizations facing class actions across a broad spectrum of industries, including healthcare, insurance, retail, telecommunications, technology, finance and professional services. We have successfully defended companies against class certification, securing dismissal of class representatives’ claims and negotiating favorable settlements.

Recognized by Law360 as Class Action “Practice Group of the Year” (2014), our team has earned numerous accolades. The LA Daily Journal highlighted our privacy work in its Top Appellate Reversals of 2014 for defending against one of the first attempts to apply the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act to a data breach incident, and team attorneys are regularly named in Chambers USA and Best Lawyers in America®, among other ranking programs.

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 have experience supervising the administration of class action settlements with classes comprising millions of members, and we have 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.

Our Class Action Defense team has particularly extensive experience in the following areas:

Select Experience

  • Won a precedent-setting decision in a data breach class action in the 4th Circuit alleging privacy violations under California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA) on behalf of a healthcare organization. The decision eliminated $500 million in potential damages and narrowed the definition of “medical information” under the CMIA.
  • Obtained a favorable appellate ruling in the 8th Circuit on behalf of a gaming retailer. The court ruled that the company did not violate its privacy policy by incorporating Facebook features into its subscription-based online gaming services, making it one of the most significant developments in privacy litigation in recent years.
  • Bucking a trend of decisions allowing claims by issuing banks to proceed as they relate to payment card security incidents, we obtained dismissal of all 13 claims in a putative class action filed against a national supermarket chain by three banks that claimed losses related to a 2013 cyberattack affecting 2.4 million cards.
  • Served as counsel for a bankruptcy trustee seeking to recover funds for the victims of a $200+ million Ponzi scheme, including a resounding victory before the 6th Circuit. Convinced the appeals court to reinstate fraudulent transfer and civil conspiracy claims against a lender that knowingly funded the scheme.
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Professionals

Name Title Office Email
Associate Denver
Associate New York
Counsel Atlanta
Partner Orlando
Associate Chicago
Associate Cleveland
Counsel Washington, D.C.
Partner New York
Associate Cleveland
Partner Cleveland
Partner Cleveland
Associate Columbus
Partner Los Angeles
Partner Denver
Associate Cleveland
Associate Chicago
Associate Cleveland
Partner Houston
Partner Columbus
Partner Columbus
Partner Cleveland
Partner Cleveland
Partner Los Angeles
Partner New York
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Seattle
Partner Cleveland
Associate Denver
Partner Chicago
Partner Cleveland
Partner Seattle
Partner Philadelphia
Partner New York
Partner Cleveland
Associate New York
Partner Houston
Partner Atlanta
Partner Houston
Partner Columbus
Partner Denver
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Cleveland
Partner Cleveland
Counsel Columbus
Partner Orlando
Associate Houston
Associate Cleveland
Partner Los Angeles
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Columbus
Associate New York
Partner Cleveland
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Cleveland
Partner Chicago
Associate Denver
Partner New York
Associate Cleveland
Associate Orlando
Staff Attorney Washington, D.C.
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Cleveland
Partner Orlando
Partner Cleveland
Associate Denver
Partner Chicago
Partner Columbus
Partner Orlando
Partner Chicago
Partner Cleveland
Associate Columbus
Partner Cleveland
Associate Columbus
Associate Houston
Partner Cleveland
Partner Atlanta
Associate Atlanta
Partner Denver
Partner Houston

Experience

  • Won a precedent-setting decision in a data breach class action in the 4th Circuit alleging privacy violations under California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA) on behalf of a healthcare organization. The decision eliminated $500 million in potential damages and narrowed the definition of “medical information” under the CMIA.
  • Obtained a favorable appellate ruling in the 8th Circuit on behalf of a gaming retailer. The court ruled that the company did not violate its privacy policy by incorporating Facebook features into its subscription-based online gaming services, making it one of the most significant developments in privacy litigation in recent years.
  • Bucking a trend of decisions allowing claims by issuing banks to proceed as they relate to payment card security incidents, we obtained dismissal of all 13 claims in a putative class action filed against a national supermarket chain by three banks that claimed losses related to a 2013 cyberattack affecting 2.4 million cards.
  • Served as counsel for a bankruptcy trustee seeking to recover funds for the victims of a $200+ million Ponzi scheme, including a resounding victory before the 6th Circuit. Convinced the appeals court to reinstate fraudulent transfer and civil conspiracy claims against a lender that knowingly funded the scheme.
  • Obtained a reversal by the 7th Circuit in a major class action against an insurance company. The district court certified claims for roof damage following a hailstorm that would have compelled the reinspection of thousands of roofs. The court of appeals reversed, applying groundbreaking principles of class certification under Rule 23(b)(2).
  • Obtained a reversal by the Ohio Supreme Court of a certified class under Rule 23(b)(2) and (3) of more than 100,000 policyholders during a 22-year class period involving windshield repairs. The trendsetting decision advanced fundamental class certification principles.
  • Defended a financial services company and its officers in a series of ERISA “stock drop” cases involving a company stock fund that lost considerable value during a two-year period. We obtained a dismissal based on standing grounds in the district court, a judgment that was affirmed by the 6th Circuit.
  • Represented the nation’s largest product certification and testing organization in a putative nationwide class action challenging the client’s testing protocols. Successfully defeated class certification, leading the named plaintiffs to dismiss their claims.
  • Represented an e-commerce company in a consumer fraud class action alleging that the company violated Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act by installing flash cookies on the computers of consumers who visited the company’s website.

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.

News

News

Press Releases

Publications

Alerts

Articles

Key Contacts

Blog

In The Blogs

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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Standing in Uncertainty: Spokeo Three Years Later
By 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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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Trial Courts Wrestle with Expert Testimony and Daubert at Class Certification
By William DeVinney
March 19, 2019
Expert testimony plays a critical role in nearly all putative class actions, including at the class certification stage where parties rely on expert evidence to address the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. The Supreme...
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