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Consumer Financial Services Institute 2013 (18th Annual)

Speaker(s): Alan S. Kaplinsky, Andrew J. Pincus, Anthony Alexis , April Breslaw, Charles A. Harwood, Christopher J. Willis, David Scheffel, Deepak Gupta, Donald S. Maurice, Dr. Shannon R. Wheatman, Eric I. Halperin, Eric J. Mogilnicki , Gary B. Friedman, Grovetta N. Gardineer, Ira Rheingold, Jeff Sovern, Jennifer A. McCabe, John J. Roddy, John P. Relman, John W. Barrett, Jonathan D. Selbin, Julia B. Strickland, Leonard N. Chanin, Lucy E. Morris, Luke H. Brown, Matthew Lambert, Michael D. Calhoun, Michael D. Donovan, Noah A. Levine, Norman A. Googel, Rodrigo J. Alba, Stephen J. Newman
Recorded on: Apr. 8, 2013
PLI Program #: 42426

April Breslaw is a Deputy Assistant Director in the Supervision, Enforcement, and Fair Lending branch of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  Prior to holding this position, she served as a member of the team which organized the CFPB to begin operations after it had been created by the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. 

Today, Ms. Breslaw is responsible for supervising CFPB staff to ensure that the Bureau's nationwide examination program is carried out in alignment with CFPB strategic objectives, coordinating with senior leadership and policy professionals across CFPB to develop Bureau-wide strategy for protecting consumers, identifying and resolving complex policy and procedural issues that arise from CFPB supervisory activities, collaborating with senior members of the CFPB Office of Enforcement to determine how to effectively correct practices that harm consumers, and serving as a subject matter expert on consumer financial protection laws and regulations.

Previously, Ms. Breslaw served as the Managing Director for Compliance and Consumer Protection at the OTS and as the Acting Associate Director for Compliance Policy at the FDIC. Before focusing on consumer protection issues, Ms. Breslaw spent over a decade in the FDIC Legal Division in positions that involved responsibility for both litigated and transactional matters. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Miami and a Juris Doctor from the George Washington University National Law Center.

David Scheffel is a partner of Dorsey & Whitney LLP.  He specializes in litigation arising out of the mortgage industry. In that regard, he defends financial institutions against individual and class actions alleging predatory lending, violations of the Truth in Lending Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and disputes between lenders and securitization trusts. Mr. Scheffel writes and speaks extensively on the subprime market and mortgage industry.

Mr. Scheffel is involved in the management of cases before federal and state courts throughout the United States, including New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, California, Florida, Wisconsin and Washington State. Mr. Scheffel is actively involved in representing financial institutions in connection with regulatory investigations related to the mortgage industry.

Mr. Scheffel was a law clerk to United States District Judge Arthur D. Spatt of the Eastern District of New York. Before his clerkship, Mr. Scheffel was an assistant district attorney in the Bronx County District Attorney's Office where he conducted a number of bench and jury trials.

Mr. Scheffel graduated from Pace Law School, cum laude, where he was Managing Editor of the Law Review and selected to the Moot Court Board.

Mr. Scheffel is Vice-Chair of the Preemption and Federalism Subcommittee for the ABA Consumer Financial Services Committee.

Mr. Scheffel may be reached by phone at 212.735.0799 or by email at

Eric Halperin is the Special Counsel for Fair Lending in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department where he oversees the Division's fair housing and fair lending enforcement program and serves as an advisor to the Assistant Attorney General on lending issues. From 2004 until January 2010, Eric was at the Center for Responsible Lending, a national policy, research, and litigation organization whose mission is to eliminate abusive financial practices. Eric was the Director of CRL's Washington office, where he managed the litigation program and CRL's advocacy on various policy issues. This marks Eric's second stint at the Department of Justice. From 1998-2004, Eric was a trial attorney in the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section of Civil Rights Division, working primarily on litigation to enforce the Fair Housing Act. Eric received his B.A. from Wesleyan University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Grovetta Gardineer is the Deputy Comptroller for Compliance Policy at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

In that capacity, Ms. Gardineer is responsible for OCC policy and examination procedures relating to consumer issues and anti-money laundering. She serves as a key advisor to the Committee on Bank Supervision and to the Comptroller on compliance/Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) program matters. Ms. Gardineer is chair of the OCC’s Committee on Consumer Issues, which provides input to the National Risk Committee. She also represents the OCC on policy matters related to the compliance/CRA, fair lending, and BSA/AML programs, and serves as the OCC’s representative on the FFIEC Task Force on Consumer Compliance.

Ms. Gardineer brings more than 22 years of experience in bank supervision and regulation to the OCC. Prior to joining the agency, she worked for the Office of Thrift Supervision, where she served as the Managing Director for Corporate and International Activities. Before that, she was the Managing Director for Supervision Policy, where she was responsible for several programs, including capital policy, credit risk, trust operations, accounting policy, and information technology risk assessment. Prior to joining the OTS, Ms. Gardineer spent several years as an attorney with the FDIC handling enforcement actions and preparing policies and regulations affecting the financial services industry.

Ms. Gardineer earned her J.D., cum laude, from North Carolina Central University and her B.A. from Wake Forest University.

Lucy Morris is a Deputy Enforcement Director at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, overseeing Bureau investigations and litigation. Prior to the CFPB, Lucy worked at the Federal Trade Commission for over twenty years where she specialized in consumer financial protection and was the recipient of the FTC's Chairman's Award. Lucy graduated from Hastings College of the Law and worked at a civil litigation defense firm before joining the FTC.

Michael Calhoun is President of the Center for Responsible Lending, which is the policy affiliate of Self-Help, the nation's largest community development lender that has provided over $6.4 billion in financing for first time homeowner loans and small business loans. The Center for Responsible Lending is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research and policy institute focusing on consumer lending issues. Mr. Calhoun was a principal drafter of the North Carolina acts regulating predatory mortgage loans and mortgage brokers and lenders, and he has more than twenty five years experience in consumer lending. He has authored numerous papers on the subject and has testified before Congress and many state legislatures.  Prior to working for CRL, he was head of several lending divisions at Self-Help, including secondary mortgage market programs. He is a former member and chair of the Federal Reserve Consumer Advisory Committee. Mr. Calhoun received his B.A. degree in economics from Duke University, and his J.D. degree from the University of North Carolina. 

Don Maurice is President of Maurice & Needleman, P.C., whose attorneys specialize in all areas of creditors’ rights and financial services litigation. In nearly 25 years of practice, Don has successfully litigated for the financial services industry in both State and Federal courts. He has provided defense for claims brought under the Truth in Lending Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, FDCPA, Fair Credit Reporting Act, New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, Magnuson-Moss Act and other state consumer lending regulations. Don is peer-rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell, the worldwide guide to lawyers.1 He has been recognized by Law & Politics Magazine as a New Jersey Super Lawyer in Bankruptcy & Debtor/Creditor Law and as a Corporate Counsel Super Lawyer.2 His firm has been named a “Go-to Law Firm for the Top 500 Companies,” and a “Go-to Financial Law Firm” by Corporate Counsel Magazine/ALM Publications3. He currently serves as vice chair of the Debt Collection Practices and Bankruptcy Subcommittee of the American Bar Association’s Consumer Financial Services Committee, Business Law Section.

Credentials: Admitted to Bar in 1988 in New Jersey, District of Columbia, 2011, New York, 2012; Admitted to U.S. Districts Courts – New Jersey, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, Nebraska and District of Columbia; Admitted to U.S. Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Second, Third Circuit, Eighth and Ninth Circuits. Admitted to U.S. Supreme Court.

Certifications: American Board of Certification, Creditors’ Rights Specialist.4

Education: Boston University (B.A., 1985); Case Western Reserve University (J.D., 1988).

: American Bar Association (Section of Litigation and Business Law), Vice-Chair, Debt Collection and Bankruptcy Subcommittee; National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys, Chair, Ethical Practices Subcommittee; District of Columbia Bar Association; New York Bar Association; DBA International (Education Committee Member).

Publications: Say What You Mean: The FDCPA and Problems of Interpretation, with Laurie A. Lucas and Tomio B. Narita, 68(2) The Business Lawyer 659-668 (February 2013); Ensuring Compliance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Practicing Law Institute, 18th Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute, p. 717 (2013); A Primer on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Practicing Law Institute, 17th Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute, p. 581 (2012); FDCPA Update: An Industry In Transition, 67(2) The Business Lawyer 639 (Feb. 2012) with Tomio B. Narita and Laurie A. Lucas; Courts Diverge on What Constitutes a “Statement of Financial Condition” in Non-Dischargeability Actions, American Bankruptcy Institute, Consumer Bankruptcy Committee Newsletter, V. 5, No. 3, July 2007; Amended Regulation “E” Impacts Collections, NARCA Newsletter, Second Quarter 2006; Automobile Lenders Use “Replevins” To Recover Their Collateral, CU Solutions, Winter 2005; Prime Time: U.S. Supreme Court Holds Cram Downs Will Pay Interest at Prime Plus (Nothing?), CU Solutions, Fall 2004; New Jersey Supreme Court to Motor Vehicle Lessors: Pay for Lessees' Towing, Storage and Repairs, CU Solutions, Spring 2004; Complete Guide to Credit and Collections Law, Winston, Arthur, Contributing Author, Prentice Hall, 2002. Contributor, NARCA Collector's Guide, 2000; Truth in Lending Developments, NARCA Newsletter, Fall 2000; Unpaid Assessments Not Always Lost When Unit Owners File Bankruptcy, Community Trends, January 2000; HO6 Policies in Community Associations, Community Trends, November 1999.

Lectures: When Debtors Attack: Defending State Law Claims, NARCA Spring Meeting, May 2012; Billion Dollar Issues: Protecting the Client’s Brand, NARCA Spring Meeting, May 2012; Ensuring Compliance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, National Business Institute, May 2012; Averting Potential Ethical Problems in Collections, National Business Institute, May 2012; Collection and Bankruptcy Issues, 17th Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute, PLI, April and May 2012; Recent Trends and Class Actions in Financial Services Litigation, DBA International Annual Conference, February 2012; The FDCPA and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, The Credit Law Institute and the Conference on Consumer Finance Law, October 2011; The NARCA Professional Code and Attorney Ethics, NARCA Fall Meeting, October 2011; Strategies for Defending Harassment Claims, 15th Annual MAP Conference ACA International, July 2011; Getting Sanctions Awarded in Consumer Litigation, NARCA Spring Meeting, May 2011; Protecting the Client’s Brand: Developing Compliance Programs to Deal with Today’s Hot Topics, NARCA Spring Meeting, May 2011; Update on Debt Collection Issues and Developments including Ethics, Conference on Consumer Finance Law, October 2010; Defending Call Volume Cases, NARCA Fall Meeting, October 2010; Ethical Issues In Consumer Financial Services Litigation, American Bar Association 2010 Annual Meeting, August 2010; Defending State Law Claims, MAP Legal Education Conference ACA International, July 2010; Impact of Jerman v. Carlisle, NARCA Spring Meeting, May 2010; Bill of Sale & Purchase Agreement Issues, ACA International Teleseminar, February 2010; Cases, Claims and Industry News, ACA International Teleseminar, November 2009; Ethics for Collection Industry Attorneys, NARCA Fall Meeting, October 2009; Individual Liability & Emotional Distress, ACA International, 13th Annual MAP Conference, July 2009; Novel FDCPA Claims; Hot Topics for Asset Purchasers; ACA International, 12th Annual MAP Conference, July 2008; Claims Against Collection Attorneys, Litigation Trends Across the Country, NARCA Spring Meeting, May 2008; Communicating with Debtor's Counsel, American Bar Association, April 2008; Litigation Privilege and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, American Bar Association, August 2007; Evidence for Asset Purchasers, NARCA Spring Meeting, May 2007; Current Trends in Bankruptcy Law, New Jersey Credit Association, November 2001; Bankruptcy Developments and GLB Privacy Policy, Furniture Marketing Group, July 2001; Coming Revisions to Article 9, New Jersey Credit Association, October 2000.

Other: District XIII Ethics Committee (New Jersey), 1994-1995.

Notable Decisions: Dunham v. Portfolio Recovery Assoc., LLC., 663 F. 3d 997 (8th Cir. 2011); Peterson v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs., LLC, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 11453 (3d Cir. 2011); Shand-Pistilli v. Prof'l Account Servs., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64446 (E.D.Pa. June 16, 2011); Ogbin v. GE Money Bank, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64735 (D.N.J. June 13, 2011); Perkins v. AT&T Mobility, LLC, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16614 (D.N.J. February 17, 2011); Dunham v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs., LLC, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14514 (E.D.Ark. February 11, 2011); Gorbaty v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs., LLC, 355 Fed. Appx. 580 (3d Cir. N.J. 2009) cert. denied, 130 S. Ct. 2116 (U.S. 2010); DiMedio v. HSBC Bank, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52238 (D.N.J. June 22, 2009); Dotson v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs., LLC, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46903 (E.D. Pa. 2009); Goodman v. Kleiman (In re Kleiman), 2007 Bankr. LEXIS 1763 (Bankr. D.N.J. 2007) aff'd Kleiman v. Goodman (In re Kleiman), 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6695 (D.N.J. Jan. 30, 2008); Goodmann v. People's Bank, 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 31555 (3d Cir. 2006); Fountain v. Giove Law Office, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93972 (D.N.J. 2006); Sovereign Bank v. United National Bank, 359 N.J.Super. 534, 821 A.2d 87 (App. Div. 2003); Chemical Bank v. James, 354 N.J.Super. 1, 803 A.2d 1166 (App. Div. 2002).

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1. CV, BV and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.

2. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. "Super Lawyers" is a publication of Thomson-Reuters and the methodology for selection is available at

3. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. "Go-To Law Firms” is a publication of American Legal Media and the methodology for selection is available at

4. The American Board of Certification is approved by the American Bar Association.

Charles Harwood became the Acting Director of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection on January 1, 2013.  Prior to that, he served for more than 3½ years as a Deputy Director of the Bureau and for 20 years as the Director of the Federal Trade Commission's Northwest Regional Office, located in Seattle.  From 1983 to 1989, Mr. Harwood was counsel to the U.S. Senate's Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and he also worked briefly for a former chair of the FTC.   

Mr. Harwood was recently reappointed by the Secretary of the Interior to a second full term as a commissioner of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board.   Housed in the Department of the Interior, the IACB promotes the economic development of American Indians and Alaska Natives through the expansion of the Indian arts and crafts market and enforcement of laws concerning the marketing of such arts and crafts.
Mr. Harwood is a member of the Oregon and District of Columbia Bars.  He received a B.A. from Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA, and a J.D. from Willamette University College of Law, Salem, OR.  

Dr. Shannon Wheatman began her class action career in 2000 at the Federal Judicial Center where she was instrumental in the development of model notices to satisfy the plain language amendment to Rule 23. Dr. Wheatman has been involved in over 200 class actions and has been recognized as a notice expert in state and federal courts across the U.S. and in Canada. Dr. Wheatman specializes in designing, developing, analyzing, and implementing large-scale legal notification plans. She provides testimony on the best notice practicable. Her plain language expertise was advanced by her education, including her doctoral dissertation on plain language drafting of class action notice and her master's thesis on comprehension of jury instructions. Dr. Wheatman's selected case experience includes:


Brookshire Bros. v. Chiquita, No. 05-CIV-21962 (S.D. Fla.).
Friedman v. Microsoft Corp., No. 2000-000722 (Ariz. Super. Ct.).
Gordon v. Microsoft Corp., No. 00-5994 (4th Jud. D. Ct. Minn.).
In re TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litig., MDL No. 1827 (N.D. Cal.).
In re: Online DVD Rental Antitrust Litig., MDL No. 2029 (N.D. Cal.).
Peek v. Microsoft Corp., No. CV-2006-2612 (Cir. Ct. Ark.).
Spence v. Microsoft Corp., No. 00-CV-003042 (Cir. Ct. Wis.).
Sweetwater Valley Farm, Inc. v. Dean Foods, No. 2:07-CV-208 (E.D. Tenn.).

Consumer and Product Liability

Beringer v. Certegy Check Servs., Inc., No. 8:07-cv-1434-T-23TGW (M.D. Fla.) (data breach).
Carnegie v. Household Int'l, No. 98-C-2178 (N.D. Ill.) (rapid tax refund loan).
Ciabattari v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., No. C-05-04289 (N.D. Cal.) (run flat tires).
Cotton v. Ferman Mgmt. Servs. Corp., No. 02-08115 (13th Jud. Cir. Ct. Fla.) (automotive products).
CSS Inc. v. FiberNet, L.L.C., No. 07-C-401 (Cir. Ct. W. Va.) (telecommunications).
Davis v. Am. Home Prods. Corp., No. 94-11684 (Civ. D. Ct. La.) (Norplant contraceptive).
Defrates v. Hollywood Video, No. 02L707 (Cir. Ct. Ill.) (video rentals).
FIA Card Services, N.A. v. Camastro, No. 09-C-233 (Cir. Ct. W. Va) (credit card arbitration).
Ford Explorer Cases, JCCP Nos. 4226 & 4270 (Cal. Super. Ct.) (consumer fraud).
Gardner v. Stimson Lumber Co., No. 00-2-17633 (Wash. Super. Ct.) (hardboard siding product).
Grays Harbor v. Carrier Corp., No. 05-CIV-21962 (W.D. Wash.) (high efficiency furnace).
In re Educ. Testing Servs. PLT 7-12 Test Scoring Litig., MDL No. 1643 (E.D. La.) (teacher's testing).
In Re: Enfamil LIPIL Mktg. & Sales Practs. Litig., No. 11-MD-02222 (S.D. Fla.) (infant formula).
In re High Sulfur Content Gasoline Prods. Liability Litig., MDL No. 1632 (E.D. La.) (tainted gas).
In re Lupron Mktg. & Sales Practices Litig., MDL No. 1430 (D. Mass.) (pharmaceutical).
In Re: Checking Account Overdraft Litig., MDL No. 2036 (S.D. Fla.) (overdraft fees).
In re: SCBA Liquidation, Inc., f/k/a Second Chance Body Armor, Inc., No. 04-12515 (Bankr. W.D. Mich.) (bullet proof vest).
In re Serzone Prods. Liability Litig., MDL No. 1477 (S.D. W. Va.) (pharmaceutical).
In re TJX Comp. Retail Sec. Breach Litig., MDL No. 1838 (D. Mass.) (data breach).
In re Trans Union Corp. Privacy Litig., MDL No. 1350 (N.D. Ill.) (credit report privacy).
In Re: Wachovia Corp. "Pick-a-Payment" Mortgage Mktg. & Sales Practs. Litig., No. M:09-CV-2015 (N.D. Cal.) (negative amortization).
Keilholtz v. Lennox Hearth Prods., No. 08-CV-00836 (N.D. Cal.) (gas fireplaces).
Kramer v. B2Mobile, LLC, No. 10-cv-02722 (N.D. Cal.) (text messaging).

Gary B. Friedman is founding partner of Friedman Law Group LLP ("FLG"), a seven-lawyer litigation firm focusing on the representation of businesses and individuals in complex antitrust actions. In recent years, FLG has acted as national lead counsel, spearheading the efforts of some 20 law firms, on behalf of merchants in a series of antitrust class actions challenging certain anticompetitive policies of American Express.  FLG has also played  a leading role in prosecuting antitrust claims against Visa, MasterCard and many of their member banks on behalf of U.S. merchants, including a key role in the negotiation of the $7.2 billion settlement that has been proposed to the Court in In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant-Discount Antitrust Litigation (E.D.N.Y.). 

Friedman is a 1987 graduate of University of Chicago Law School.  He practiced at both Skadden, Arps and at Sidley & Austin, where he focused on complex antitrust and securities litigation and white collar criminal matters (plus a curious sideline representing Don King Productions in boxing industry contract disputes and negotiations.)  In 1996, he left large-firm defense practice to establish his own firm representing plaintiffs, mostly in civil rights cases. In 1999, representing an abused female officer, Friedman became the first attorney to ever successfully challenge the "code of silence" in the NYPD as an unlawful municipal custom under 42 U.S.C. §1983.  In 2002, his firm secured the largest-ever emotional distress jury verdict in a New York employment discrimination case. And Friedman likewise made the transition to the plaintiffs' side in the boxing industry, representing numerous champions and contenders in litigations and negotiations with promoters, HBO and others.

In recent years, in addition to his complex litigation practice at FLG, Friedman has published and spoken extensively on aggregate litigation in general and class action waivers in particular.  Most recently, along with co-author (and wife) Myriam Gilles, he published After Class: Aggregate Litigation In The Wake Of AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, 79 Univ. Chi. L. Rev. 623 (2012). 

Ira Rheingold is Executive Director and General Counsel of the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA), an organization dedicated to protecting consumers from unfair and deceptive business practices. At NACA, Mr. Rheingold has testified before both Houses of Congress on various mortgage lending and consumer finance issues, offered commentary before federal agencies charged with regulating financial service industries and protecting consumers, and helped draft amicus briefs on issues of great concern to consumers before the nation's highest courts. Mr. Rheingold also manages the Institute for Foreclosure Legal Assistance, a joint project of NACA and the Center for Responsible Lending. Currently, Mr. Rheingold serves as the co-chair of the Financial Services Committee of the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD)

Before coming to NACA, Mr. Rheingold worked at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago as a supervisory attorney in charge of the Foreclosure Prevention and Senior Housing Projects. His responsibilities included community outreach and education, legal and policy advocacy and the development of impact litigation against predatory mortgage lenders. The major focus of his litigation practice was the representation of senior and disabled homeowners victimized by mortgage brokers, lenders and contractors who targeted minority low-income communities with high interest, high fee home equity loans. Mr. Rheingold also worked for three years as a legal services attorney in suburban Washington D.C.  At that job, his primary work included welfare advocacy and homelessness prevention. Prior to becoming a legal services attorney, Mr. Rheingold worked as an advocate for low-income community groups in rural Southern Maryland. He is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center.

Jennifer McCabe is a Principal in the Washington DC office of Cornerstone Research, a consulting firm that provides expert testimony and economic and financial analysis to attorneys in all phases of commercial litigation and regulatory proceedings. She has consulted on numerous securities cases involving 10b-5 disclosure allegations, ERISA stock drop claims, and mutual fund market timing issues. She has analyzed damage issues in a variety of breach of contract claims in federal and state courts as well as in alternative dispute settings. She has also analyzed issues raised during SEC and CFTC investigations of market manipulation in the energy, pharmaceutical, and financial services industries. Ms. McCabe has developed particular expertise in working with large datasets to analyze damages issues on behalf of financial services firms. 

Prior to joining Cornerstone Research, Ms. McCabe worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce, investigating potential violations of U.S. and international trade law. Ms. McCabe received her M.B.A., with specializations in finance and statistics/operations research, from the Stern School of Business at New York University and her B.A., with majors in economics and history, from Connecticut College. 

John Relman is the founder and director of Relman, Dane & Colfax PLLC. Mr. Relman has represented scores of plaintiffs and public interest organizations in individual and class action discrimination cases in federal court.

Prior to the formation of the firm, Mr. Relman served as project director of the Fair Housing Project at the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. Under his leadership the project achieved national recognition, winning some of the largest housing, lending, and public accommodations discrimination jury verdicts and settlements obtained in the country. Prior to joining the Lawyers' Committee, Mr. Relman worked as a staff attorney at the National Office of the Lawyers' Committee.

Professional Activities

Mr. Relman has written and lectured extensively in the areas of fair housing and fair lending law and practice and has provided numerous training classes and seminars for plaintiffs' lawyers, fair housing organizations, the real estate industry, and lending institutions. He is the author of Housing Discrimination Practice Manual, published by the West Group.

Mr. Relman teaches public interest law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he serves as an adjunct professor.

Selected Published Cases

Mr. Relman's better-known cases include Timus v. William J. Davis, Inc. ($2.4 million jury verdict for housing discrimination against families with children); Dyson v. Denny's Restaurants ($17.725 million class settlement for racial discrimination against customers); Pugh v. Avis Rent-A-Car ($5.4 class settlement for racial discrimination in the rental of cars); Gilliam v. Adam's Mark Hotels ($2.1 million class settlement for racial discrimination against guests); and Kennedy v. City of Zanesville ($10.8 million race discrimination jury verdict).

Honors and Awards

Mr. Relman has received numerous awards and honors, including the Mildred & Richard Loving Civil Rights Award, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission for Commitment and Support to Equal Opportunity in Housing, the Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington for Outstanding Contributions to Fair Housing in Greater Washington, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council for Outstanding Contributions to Fair Housing in the Nation, and the Government of Montgomery County, Maryland for Valuable Contributions to Fair and Affordable Housing. Mr. Relman was named one of the best lawyers in America in 2007 and one of the best civil rights lawyers in Washington, D.C. by Washingtonian Magazine.

J.D., University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
A.B., Harvard University, cum laude

Bar Admissions
District of Columbia
Massachusetts (inactive)

Honorable Sam J. Ervin III, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Honorable Joyce Hens Green, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Leonard Chanin is a recognized expert in the field of consumer financial protection with extensive experience in regulation and supervision of the myriad statutes affecting retail banking, Leonard Chanin counsels financial institutions on consumer financial services law issues.

Before rejoining Morrison & Foerster, Mr. Chanin served as the Assistant Director of the Office of Regulations of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. There, he headed the agency's rulemaking team by supervising nearly 40 lawyers responsible for promulgating rules and regulations implementing consumer financial protection legislation. He also provided legal opinions to Bureau supervisory and enforcement offices on federal consumer financial protection laws.

Prior to joining the CFPB, Mr. Chanin served as Deputy Directory of the Division of Consumer and Community Affairs at the Federal Reserve Board. During his tenure at the Federal Reserve Board, Mr. Chanin provided legal opinions and policy recommendations to the Board and the Division on federal consumer financial services laws, negotiated rules and policies with the other federal banking agencies and provided legal views on enforcement actions against state member banks. From 1999-2005, Mr. Chanin was Of Counsel in Morrison & Foerster's Financial Services group in Washington, D.C., where he counseled clients on federal consumer financial services laws.

While attending Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Mr. Chanin was on the board of the Washington University Law Review.

Mr. Chanin is admitted to practice in Washington, D.C.


American University (B.A., 1979)
Washington University in St. Louis (J.D., 1984)

MICHAEL D. DONOVAN is a founding member of the Philadelphia firm of Donovan Axler, LLC, and focuses his practice on securities and consumer class actions. From 1984 through 1987, Mr. Donovan was a trial and appellate attorney with the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. Since entering private practice, he has served as co-lead counsel in numerous securities, consumer and employment class actions. In the last six years he has tried to judgment four significant class actions: Samuel-Bassett v. Kia Motors America, Inc. ($5.6 million jury verdict on behalf of Pennsylvania consumers); Braun and Hummel v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ($187 million jury verdict and judgment on behalf of Pennsylvania hourly employees of Wal-Mart); Little v. Kia Motors America, Inc. ($6 million jury verdict on behalf of New Jersey consumers); and In re Sovereign Bancorp Shareholders Litig. (settlement judgment after six days of preliminary injunction hearings).  In 2002, Mr. Donovan obtained a landmark Truth in Lending Act decision from the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Rossman v. Fleet Bank (R.I.), N.A., 280 F.3d 384 (3d Cir. 2002), holding that a bank may not change a credit card promise of no annual fee.  He also obtained landmark decisions from the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court and the New Jersey Supreme Court in Lemelledo v. Beneficial Finance Co., 674 A.2d 582 (N.J. App. Div. 1996), aff'd, 150 N.J. 255, 696 A.2d 546 (N.J. 1997), concerning loan and insurance packing. He argued and appeared on behalf of the consumer cardholders before the Supreme Court of the United States in Smiley v. Citibank (South Dakota), N.A., 517 U.S. 735 (1996).

Norman Googel has been engaged in the continuous practice of civil law in the State of West Virginia from the time he was admitted to the bar in 1980, up to and including the present. 
 Prior to coming to the Attorney General's Office, Norman was employed as a legal aid lawyer for nearly 15 years in the southern coalfields of West Virginia. There he specialized in representing adult victims of domestic violence, children in abuse, neglect and delinquency proceedings, prisoners facing inhumane conditions, and tenants seeking decent housing.

 He has been continuously employed as an Assistant Attorney General at the Attorney General's Division of Consumer Protection since March 20, 1995, up to and including the present. 
 While at the Division, he has sought to protect consumers from a wide range of unfair or deceptive sales and credit practices with a focus on Internet payday loans, unscrupulous debt relief schemes, and abusive debt collection practices.

 When not at work, Norman spends his spare time with his wife, Chelena McCoy, and his two sons, Barak and Isaac.

Rod Alba joined American Bankers Association in July 2008 as Vice President, Mortgage Finance & Senior Regulatory Counsel in ABA's Mortgage Markets, Financial Management & Public Policy Department. In this role, Rod is responsible for oversight on all residential real estate lending laws, regulations and other legal developments. Rod is the ABA staff liaison to the Mortgage Markets Committee, responsible for policy formulation on issues affecting real estate finance.

Prior to ABA, he served as Legislative Counsel to the Mortgage Bankers Association, advising and coordinating the industry's state and federal legislative efforts. Rod also served as the Mortgage Bankers Association's Senior Director of Government Affairs. In this capacity, Rod was MBA's lead counsel on all legal and regulatory issues affecting real estate finance issues. Rod served as head of the MBA's Regulatory Compliance and Legal Issues Committees, where he organized the advisory and advocacy activities of the industry's legal and regulatory experts. 

Before joining MBA, Rod was an attorney with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, in the Office of General Counsel, GSE/RESPA Division. As Senior Attorney for RESPA, Rod participated in the drafting and development of every rule and administrative interpretation under RESPA and Regulation X from 1994 to 2000.

Rod is a frequent speaker on panels and conferences relating to legal and regulatory developments in mortgage lending. In his experience with the mortgage industry, Rod has held roles in both public and private sectors. From 2004 to 2007, Rod served as Vice President for Federal and Regulatory Affairs with ACC Capital Holdings, in Washington, DC. In addition, Rod served as special projects counsel to National Council of La Raza, the largest Latino civil rights organization.

Rod has received numerous recognition awards in his years with MBA and HUD. Prior to that, Rod was recognized with a Congressional Fellowship and served in a legal capacity in various federal administrative agencies. His education includes a Juris Doctor (1993) from Syracuse University College of Law and a B.A. in Economics (1990) from the University of Maryland, College Park Campus.

Alan S. Kaplinsky is a senior partner and Practice Leader of the more than 100-person Consumer Financial Services Group at Ballard Spahr LLP in their 15 offices.  He devotes his practice exclusively to: (i) counseling financial services companies with respect to bank regulatory and transactional matters, particularly consumer financial services law, and (ii) defending them when they are sued by consumers and governmental enforcement agencies in individual and class action lawsuits.  Mr. Kaplinsky was the first president of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers, an organization founded in order to honor those lawyers who have made substantial contributions to the development of consumer financial services law.  In April of 2016, he received the American College’s Lifetime Achievement Award.  The award is granted periodically to a person whose career has produced significant contributions to the field of consumer financial services law.  He is a past chair of the Committee on Consumer Financial Services of the Section of Business Law of the American Bar Association.  He has been named as a tier one banking and consumer financial services lawyer in the 2006-2019 editions of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, a directory of America’s leading lawyers.  He has also been named in The Best Lawyers in America under financial services regulation law and banking and finance litigation from 2007-2019.  For 25 years, he has annually co-chaired for Practicing Law Institute its Annual Institute on Consumer Financial Services in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.  Mr. Kaplinsky was named to the National Law Journal’s 2015 list of Litigation Trailblazers for pioneering work in the area of consumer arbitration and the use of class action waivers.  He was featured in the November 1, 2015 New York Times lead front page article about pioneering class action waivers in consumer arbitration provisions.  In April 2019, Mr. Kaplinsky testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on “Arbitration in America.”  He was instrumental in launching his Firm’s blog and podcast series, Consumer Finance Monitor, devoted to the activities of the CFPB as well as federal and state agencies and attorneys general and other significant consumer financial services developments.  Mr. Kaplinsky was recently selected for his work on the Consumer Finance Monitor blog for the National Law Review’s 2018 Go-To Thought Leadership Award to honor excellence in legal news and analysis.

Andrew Pincus focuses his appellate practice on briefing and arguing cases in the Supreme Court of the United States and in federal and state appellate courts; developing legal strategy for trial courts; and presenting policy and legal arguments to Congress, state legislatures, and regulatory agencies.

Andy has argued 24 cases in the Supreme Court, including AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740 (2011). For his victory in Concepcion, Andy was named Litigator of the Week by the American Lawyer and Appellate Lawyer of the Week by The National Law Journal. Andy’s work in Concepcion and successful defense of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s right to run for office were cited by the American Lawyer in its article naming Mayer Brown as one of the top six US litigation firms in the 2012 Litigation Department of the Year report. Law360 profiled Andy as part of its “2014 Appellate A-List” series.

In the upcoming Supreme Court Term, Andy will argue Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, a case presenting important questions regarding Congress’s authority to create forms of injury that satisfy Article III’s standing requirement.

A former Assistant to the Solicitor General in the United States Department of Justice (1984-1988), Andy co-founded and serves as co-director of the Yale Law School's Supreme Court Advocacy Clinic (2006-present), which provides pro bono representation in 10-15 Supreme Court cases each year.

Andy’s practice also includes detailed written and oral advocacy before Congress, other legislative bodies, and regulatory agencies regarding a variety of policy and legal issues. He frequently testifies before Congress on a variety of subjects, including patent reform, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, reform of the federal litigation system, and the Supreme Court's decisions in cases involving business law issues. Andy successfully represented clients in connection with passage of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act.

While serving as General Counsel of the United States Department of Commerce (1997-2000), Andy had principal responsibility for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act. He also participated in formulation of policy concerning intellectual property protection, privacy, domain name management, taxation of electronic commerce, export controls, international trade, and consumer protection.

Andy graduated in 1981 from Columbia Law School, where he was Notes & Comments Editor of the Law Review and a James Kent and Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He was an undergraduate at Yale University, graduating in 1977 cum laude.

Following law school graduation, Andy was Law Clerk to the Honorable Harold H. Greene, United States District Court for the District of Columbia (1981-1982), after which he practiced with another major law firm in Washington.

Anthony Alexis
Assistant Director for Enforcement
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Washington, D.C.


Tony Alexis is the Enforcement Director at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Tony previously served as the Deputy Enforcement Director for Field Litigation at the Bureau in which capacity he was responsible for enforcement work conducted out of the CFPB’s four regional offices. Before joining the Bureau, Tony was a partner at Mayer Brown LLP in its Washington, D.C. office where his practice focused on government investigations and complex litigation. Tony spent 13 years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia, where he served as the senior attorney in the Fraud & Public Corruption Section and as the Deputy Chief of the Federal Major Crimes Section. Prior to his service in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Tony was a Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Fraud Section of the Civil Division. A graduate of George Washington University, Tony received his J.D. from the Howard University School of Law and served as a Judicial Law Clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in St. Louis.

Deepak Gupta is the founding principal of Gupta Wessler PLLC. He specializes in Supreme Court, appellate, and complex litigation on a wide range of issues, including constitutional law, class actions, and consumers’ and workers’ rights. He has also taught public interest law and appellate advocacy at Georgetown and American universities.

Deepak has briefed and argued a wide range of statutory and constitutional cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, several state supreme courts, and federal appellate courts nationwide. He argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion (2011), a landmark case at the intersection of arbitration, preemption, and class actions. He was lead counsel in Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman (2017), arguing on behalf of a group of small merchants in a constitutional challenge to swipe-fees laws brought in the wake of the $7 billion Visa swipe-fee antitrust settlement. More recently, Deepak was appointed by the Supreme Court to brief and argue in support of a judgment left undefended by the Solicitor General in Smith v. Berryhill. He also serves as counsel for the plaintiffs in two cases challenging President Trump's violations of the Constitution's Emoluments Clauses, CREW v. Trump and District of Columbia v. Trump.

Before founding his firm in 2012, Deepak served as Senior Litigation Counsel and Senior Counsel for Enforcement Strategy at the CFPB. As the first appellate litigator hired under Elizabeth Warren’s leadership, he was instrumental in launching the Bureau’s amicus program, defending its regulations, and working with the Solicitor General’s office on Supreme Court matters. For seven years previously, he was an attorney at Public Citizen Litigation Group, where he founded and directed the Consumer Justice Project and was the Alan Morrison Supreme Court Project Fellow. He received his law degree from Georgetown, studied Sanskrit at Oxford, and received his undergraduate degree in philosophy from Fordham.

Deepak serves on the boards of directors for the Alliance for Justice, The Impact Fund, the Biden Institute, the Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies, the Legal Affairs Committee of the American Association for Justice, and the Class Action Preservation Committee of Public Justice.

John is a partner in Bailey & Glasser’s Boston office. His practice is devoted to representing consumers in class actions, challenging unfair and deceptive business practices, and serving as relator’s counsel in qui tam “whistleblower” actions. In the last two decades the settlements in cases he has litigated have returned more than $850 million to consumers harmed by marketplace misconduct. John regularly writes and speaks on class action practice and consumer financial services law, and has published dozens of articles on these topics. He is a fellow of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers, and serves on the Consumer Financial Services Law Report Board of Advisors, the Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Appleseed Foundation, and the National Consumer Law Center Partners Council. He is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates and the Volunteer Lawyers Project. John has co-chaired PLI’s Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute for the past 21 years.

Jonathan Selbin is an equity partner in the New York office of Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP.  He chairs the firm’s Economic Injury Product Defect Practice Group, and serves on the firm’s Executive Committee.

Jonathan has argued successfully in the Fifth, Sixth, and Ninth Circuits, obtaining favorable opinions in McManus v. Fleetwood Enters., 320 F.3d 545 (5th Cir. 2003); In re Whirlpool Corp. Front-Loading Washer Products Liab. Litig., 678 F.3d 409 (6th Cir. 2012), vacated sub nom., Whirlpool Corp. v. Glazer, 133 S. Ct. 1722 (2013), reinstated

Glazer v. Whirlpool Corp. (In re Whirlpool Corp. Front-Loading Washer Prods. Liab. Litig.), 722 F.3d 838 (6th Cir. 2013); and Omstead v. Dell, Inc., 594 F.3d 1081 (9th Cir. 2010).  He also obtained a favorable opinion as appellate counsel in Butler v. Sears, 702 F.3d 359 (7th Cir. 2012), vacated, Sears, Roebuck & Co. v. Butler, 133 S. Ct. 2768 (2013), reinstated, Butler v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 727 F.3d 796 (7th Cir. 2013). 

Jonathan currently serves as lead counsel in In re: Whirlpool Corp. Front-Loading Washer Litig., MDL No. 2001 (N.D. Ohio); co-lead counsel in In re: Imprelis Herbicide Litig., MDL No. 2281 (E.D. Pa.); and interim co-lead counsel in In re: Capital One TCPA Litig., MDL No. 2416 (N.D. Ill.). He previously served as co-lead counsel in In re: Mercedes-Benz Tele Aid Contract Litig., MDL No. 1914 (D.N.J), where he obtained certification of a nationwide consumer protection litigation class, and twice successfully defended it in the Third Circuit.

Both Whirlpool and Sears were in the Supreme Court this past Term.  With Professor Samuel Issacharoff, Jonathan was a primary author of the certiorari opposition papers in each.  Both cases are again in the Supreme Court, and again with Professor Issacharoff, Jonathan is a primary author of the certiorari opposition papers.

Together, cases in which Jonathan has played a lead role have resulted in court-approved class action settlements with a combined total recovery for class members exceeding $2 billion in cash, plus other relief, such as extended and enhanced warranties.

Jonathan is a 1993 magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School.  He clerked for Hon. Marilyn Hall Patel in the Northern District of California from 1993-1995 prior to joining Lieff Cabraser.

Luke H. Brown is an Associate Director at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in Washington, D.C.  In this position, he directs the Supervisory Policy Branch and leads efforts to develop sound policy and examination guidance to ensure that FDIC supervised banks comply with consumer protection laws and regulations.  He also serves as the FDIC's representative to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council's (FFIEC) Consumer Compliance Taskforce, which promotes policy coordination and uniform enforcement of laws and regulations among the federal banking agencies. 

Before joining the FDIC, Mr. Brown served as Director of Regulatory Reporting and head of the regulatory affairs group at Fannie Mae. Prior to joining Fannie Mae, he served as Special Assistant to the Deputy General Counsel and as an enforcement attorney at HUD.

Mr. Brown received a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School and a B.A. from St. Bonaventure University.

Mr. Newman has experience in defending class actions and other representative litigation, as well as proceedings commenced by government officials on behalf of the general public. He has defended many cases under California’s Unfair Competition Law and Consumers Legal Remedies Act, representing a broad range of companies, including Internet-based businesses, retailers, banks, insurers and manufacturers.

Mr. Newman also has handled litigation involving a variety of other issues, including data security, consumer privacy, securities fraud, accountants’ malpractice, actuaries’ malpractice and insurance.

Representative Matters

  • Cel-Tech Communications, Inc. v. Los Angeles Cellular Tel. Co., 20 Cal. 4th 163 (1999) (counsel for amicus curiae Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce in Unfair Competition Law/Unfair Practices Act matter)
  • Batzel v. Smith, 333 F.3d 1018 (9th Cir. 2003) (establishing immunity for Internet publisher against defamation suit)
  • Wiz Technology, Inc. v. Coopers & Lybrand, 106 Cal. App. 4th 1 (2003) (affirming summary judgment in accountants’ liability case)
  • Discover Bank v. Superior Court, 134 Cal. App. 4th 886 (2005) (upholding class action waiver and compelling arbitration)
  • Baker v. Washington Mutual Finance Group, LLC, 193 Fed. Appx. 294 (5th Cir. July 24, 2006) (approval of complex class action settlement)
  • Berry v. American Express Publishing, Inc., 147 Cal. App. 4th 224 (2007) (establishing that Consumers Legal Remedies Act does not regulate credit agreements)
  • Sanchez v. American Express Travel Related Services Co., 865 N.E.2d 410 (Ill. App. Ct. 2007) (affirming summary judgment in case relating to foreign currency conversion practices)
  • Carvalho v. Equifax Info. Servs., LLC, 629 F.3d 876 (9th Cir. 2010) (affirming summary judgment in favor of credit bureau on claim challenging reinvestigation practices)
  • Epstein v. JPMorgan Chase & Co., 2014 WL 1133567 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 21, 2014) (dismissing class action relating to credit balances on credit card accounts)

Practice Group

Financial Services/Class Action Litigation


J.D., with honors, University of Chicago, 1995; Member, The University of Chicago Law Review

A.B., magna cum laude in Economics, Harvard University, 1992; Member, The Harvard Crimson

Judicial Clerkship

Law Clerk, the late Hon. M. Blane Michael, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

Widely recognized as one of the best litigators in the country, Julia Strickland leads a broad national practice that focuses on the defense of class actions and other complex actions. Ms. Strickland is regularly called by major financial services companies and others when they are confronted with complex issues that put them at substantial economic and reputational risk. She is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, Managing Partner of the Los Angeles office, and head of the firm’s national Financial Services Litigation, Regulation and Enforcement Group.

In addition to her experience defending complex and class actions through dispositive motion practice, trial and/or appeal, Ms. Strickland has settled all types of complex and class actions. She is versatile and creative in addressing settlement considerations, both legal and business, and in developing settlement structure options unique to the particular case. She also routinely represents companies in compliance counseling, regulatory proceedings and responding to claims by federal and state regulators and enforcement authorities. Representative clients include JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, TransUnion, Discover, American Express, Citigroup, HSBC, PayPal, BMW Financial Services, Zappos and Synchrony Bank, among others.

Ms. Strickland once again received top honors in Chambers USA 2019 with a Band 1 ranking in the Financial Services Regulation: Consumer Finance Litigation–Nationwide category.  Ms. Strickland is one of only three attorneys across the country to receive this recognition.

For more than 14 years running, The Los Angeles Daily Journal has named Ms. Strickland one of California’s “Top Women Lawyers.” She was also selected by Law360 as a 2017 Banking MVP joining an elite slate of only six lawyers nationally who have distinguished themselves from their peers. The Los Angeles Business Journal honored Ms. Strickland in 2019 as both a “Top Litigator and Trial Lawyer” and as one of their “Most Influential Women Lawyers.” She was also featured in their Leader in Law awards, where she was named one of their “Lawyers of the Year” for 2016 and 2017. Ms. Strickland was recognized by leading corporate counsel as a member of the BTI Consulting Group’s “Client Services All-Stars” for her “uncanny ability to anticipate opposing counsel,” as well as being “very customer focused and practical.” She has also been repeatedly recognized by Super LawyersBenchmark LitigationThe Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Business Journal and The Best Lawyers in America.

Christopher J. Willis is an Atlanta-based partner at Ballard Spahr and The Practice Group Leader of the firm's Consumer Financial Services Litigation Group. He counsels financial institutions on consumer financial regulatory matters, advises them on compliance with consumer financial services laws, and defends them in both individual and class action lawsuits, as well as governmental enforcement actions (including numerous CFPB enforcement investigations). Chris chairs the firm's Fair Lending and Collection Documentation Task Forces. Chris is a frequent author and speaker on issues relating to consumer financial services.

Noah Levine represents clients in a diverse range of litigation matters, including class actions and appeals. He has defended businesses in consumer class actions under federal banking statutes, federal and state consumer protection laws, and antitrust laws, and litigated data breach, privacy and other complex commercial matters. 

Mr. Levine's litigation practice is divided between appellate and trial work. On the appellate side, he has prepared merits briefs, petitions for certiorari and amicus briefs before the US Supreme Court and numerous federal appellate courts in cases involving arbitration, banking, constitutional, commercial, insurance, intellectual property and securities matters. Mr. Levine has presented oral argument in many of the same cases, in the US Courts of Appeals for the Second, Eighth, Ninth and Federal Circuits. On the trial side, Mr. Levine frequently represents financial institutions in class actions and other complex commercial litigation involving banking, consumer protection, data breach, privacy, intellectual property and constitutional matters.  

Mr. Levine joined the firm in 2002, and is the head of the Business Trial Group. Prior to joining WilmerHale, Mr. Levine was associated with a law firm in Seattle, Washington, and spent one year at the US Department of Justice as a Bristow Fellow in the Office of the Solicitor General.

Representative Matters

Class Actions

  • Representing financial institution in putative class action in bankruptcy court asserting discharge-injunction claims related to charged-off, sold credit card debts
  • Representing financial institution in putative class action asserting federal and state law claims related to the provision of debit cards for juror service payments
  • Successfully defeated class certification in Fair Housing Act matter brought against secondary-market purchaser of mortgage loans
  • Represented company in, and settled, putative class actions asserting various privacy and tort claims related to major cyberattack
  • Successfully defeated putative class action brought by merchant asserting contract-related claims related to payment processing services
  • Represented financial institution in, and settled, putative class action asserting claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act related to use of consumer reports
  • Successfully defeated putative class actions asserting claims under the Truth in Lending Act and state contract law regarding repricing of credit card debt
  • Successfully defeated putative class action asserting state law claims related to allocation of credit card payments
  • Represented financial institution in, and settled, class action asserting state law claims related to provision of debit cards to prisoners upon release from prison
  • Successfully defeated federal privacy claims in putative class action related to loss of customers' personally identifying information


  • Represented bank in appeal from denial of motion to compel arbitration in putative class action asserting discharge-injunction claims in federal bankruptcy court
  • Represented defendant trading firm in appeal from dismissal of claims under the Commodity Exchange Act
  • Successfully represented payment processor in appeal of decision dismissing merchant's putative class-action claims
  • Successfully represented life insurance company in certified class action involving state-law claims related to sales of indexed universal life insurance policies
  • Successfully represented secondary-market purchaser of mortgage loans in interlocutory appeal of district court decision denying certification of a class under Fair Housing Act
  • Successfully represented financial institution in appeal of decision granting motion to compel arbitration
  • Successfully represented national banks in appeal asserting putative class-action claims under the National Bank Act related to credit card late and overlimit fees

Honors & Awards

Mr. Levine was recommended by The Legal 500 United States in 2016 for his dispute resolution and general commercial litigation practice.


Jeff Sovern is a Professor of Law at St. John’s University in New York. The New York Times has called him "an expert in consumer law," He co-authored a casebook, Consumer Law: Cases and Materials (4d ed. 2013 West) with Professors John A. Spanogle, Ralph J. Rohner, Dee Pridgen, and Christopher Peterson. His scholarly writings have appeared in the Wisconsin Law Review, Fordham Law Review, Washington Law Review, William and Mary Law Review, Ohio State Law Journal (twice), University of California-Irvine Law Review, Maryland Law Review, SMU Law Review, The Business Lawyer, Federal Rules Decisions, the University of Pittsburgh Law Review (twice), Missouri Law Review, McGeorge Law Review, DePaul Law Review, Advancing the Consumer Interest, the Annual Review of Banking Law, the Journal of Consumer Affairs (twice), the Journal of Commercial and Consumer Law (twice), and elsewhere. Professor Sovern also has a forthcoming article in the Rutgers Law Review. His writings have been cited to in numerous casebooks, treatises, law review articles, and court decisions. He is a co-coordinator of the Consumer Law and Policy Blog, which can be read at, and editor of the Consumer Law Abstracts eJournal for the Social Science Research Network, available at

Professor Sovern has published a number of op-eds, including essays in The New York Times (multiple times), USA Today, The Boston Globe, Fortune, the Christian Science Monitor, the American Banker (multiple times), the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (multiple times), The New York Daily News, The Hill (multiple times),, Politico, and Commonweal, among other places. 

The American Council on Consumer Interests awarded Professor Sovern the Russell A. Dixon Prize in 2002 and the 2010 Applied Consumer Economics Award. He has spoken at a variety of conferences, including twice before at the Practicing Law Institute's Consumer Financial Services Institute.

Before joining the law faculty, Professor Sovern served as a law clerk to Judge Frank A. Kaufman of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland and practiced law in the litigation department of a major New York City law firm.  He holds A.B. and J.D. degrees from Columbia University.

John Barrett concentrates his practice in class actions and complex litigation, and is experienced in trial and appellate work. John litigates class action cases involving predatory lending, illegal loan servicing, antitrust, telemarketing, and other state and federal consumer law matters.

He is a 1996 graduate of Boston University School of Law (cum laude), and a 1988 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (B.A., English). He is a former law clerk for Chief Judge Charles H. Haden II, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, 1996-1998.

Matthew Lambert is Policy Counsel at the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. In this role, he develops and represents legislative, regulatory, and legal positions for state regulators before federal, state, and non-governmental bodies including Congress and the federal banking regulators. Matt's issue portfolio includes preemption, risk retention, ability to repay, and housing finance reform. Matt also provides support to the Multi-State Mortgage Committee, the body charged with coordinating the examination and supervision of mortgage lenders operating in more than one state. Matt has a B.S. in Commerce from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from Rutgers School of Law - Newark, where he was a Dean's Merit Scholar and received the Academic Achievement Award for Corporate Law. He is admitted in New York and Washington D.C.

Combining his experience at the center of public policy debates as Chief of Staff to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and his more than 20 years of experience advising and representing financial institutions, Eric Mogilnicki focuses his practice on investigations, examinations and enforcement actions by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Trade Commission, and prudential regulators.  Mr. Mogilnicki served in the Senate when the CFPB was designed, and has been a national leader within the private bar on CFPB issues since the Bureau first opened its doors.  His experience spans the lifecycle of interactions with the CFPB and other agencies, from anticipating and managing initial requests for information to the resolution of enforcement actions.  Mr. Mogilnicki’s clients include major banks and credit card issuers, federal credit unions, financial technology companies, and national financial trade associations.