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Pro Bono Litigation Skills 2016

Speaker(s): Elizabeth S. Letcher, Nelson Goodell, Scott Maurer
Recorded on: Feb. 23, 2016
PLI Program #: 165753

Elizabeth Letcher is a consumer advocate and attorney who has practiced in the public interest for nearly twenty years.   She represents homeowners and other consumers in mortgage servicing and related litigation, and offers consulting to attorneys and others on mortgage servicing and loan modification.

Before opening the Law Offices of Elizabeth S. Letcher in 2015, she was the Director of Litigation at the nonprofit Housing and Economic Rights Advocates, leading the organization’s individual and class litigation in areas ranging from predatory lending to mortgage servicing and modification issues to unfair debt collection, and performing non-litigation related advocacy as well.  She has testified as an expert on foreclosure rescue and loan modification issues, and conducts worships and trainings for consumers and attorneys on related issues.

Before her six years at HERA, Ms. Letcher had a civil rights oriented practice, both as an associate at a small firm and on her own, which focused on challenges to government conduct and practices, employment discrimination and public benefits suits, and civil, administrative, and criminal appeals.  Ms. Letcher is a 1994 graduate of Berkeley Law.  She clerked for the Hon. Thelton E. Henderson of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and the Hon James R. Browning of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and was a Skadden Fellow at the Employment Law Center in San Francisco.

Scott Maurer is an Associate Clinical Professor of Law at Santa Clara University.  He has worked as a clinician at the Katharine and George Alexander Community Law Center since 1996.  Prof. Maurer co-teaches a variety of clinical skills courses at the Law Center, where his students provide advice and legal representation to low-income residents on consumer protection matters.  He also teaches Civil Procedure at Santa Clara Law and has taught a number of substantive consumer protection courses there.

Prof. Maurer’s primary practice areas involve unfair debt collection as well as unfair and deceptive acts and practices in the sale, financing and repossession of motor vehicles.  Students under Prof. Maurer’s supervision have litigated a significant number of cases under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and California Rosenthal Act, including several class actions.

Prof. Maurer has frequently presented continuing legal education seminars in the area of fair debt collection and has been asked to address audiences on the subject of the FDCPA on numerous occasions including:

  • as a panelist at the 2009 Federal Trade Commission’s San Francisco Roundtable regarding debt collection abuse in the litigation context.
  • as a panelist at the Portland, Oregon 2010 annual conference of the National Association of Attorneys General regarding debt collection abuse in the litigation context.
  • as a panelist at the 2016 CFPB Field Hearing on Debt Collection in Sacramento, California

An Honors graduate of Tulane Law School, Nelson Goodell’s practice focuses on real estate disputes, with a heavy emphasis on helping troubled homeowners prevent foreclosure through litigation. Mr. Goodell has testified before the California Legislature regarding proposed legislation designed to provide more protections to Californians in the foreclosure process. Mr. Goodell has tried cases in front of judges and juries in state and federal courts in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has had success at both the trial and appellate level.