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25th Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute


Speaker(s): Alan S. Kaplinsky, Amy L. Bomse, Andre M. Mura, Andrew J. Guzzo, Aravind Swaminathan, Arjun P. Rao, Arthur H. Bryant, Beth E. Terrell, Christopher J. Willis, Deborah Morris, Donna M. Murphy, Jane M. Azia, Jennifer Bennett, John J. Roddy, Julia B. Strickland, Kalpana Kotagal, Katherine E. McCarron, Katrina S. Christakis, Leah M. Nicholls, Leonard N. Chanin, Lisa Cole, Melissa Gardner, Nessa E. Feddis, Nicklas A. Akers, Nikhil S. Singhvi, Peggy L. Twohig (Invited), Richard Cordray, Shannon E. Smith, Shennan A. Kavanagh, Stacey Tutt, Thomas P. James, Toby J. Marshall, Veronica K. McGregor
Recorded on: Dec. 7, 2020
PLI Program #: 278961

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.


Amy L. Bomse is a shareholder specializing in attorney liability and conduct and complex business litigation.

Ms. Bomse is a member of the Complex Commercial Litigation and Attorney Liability and Conduct Practice Groups.  She focuses on representing lawyers and law firms. Ms. Bomse represents lawyers and law firms in a wide variety of litigation contexts include professional liability, fee disputes, disqualification motions and sanctions.  She counsels law firms and corporations on legal ethics and risk management.  She lectures and writes on legal ethics and professional responsibility.  She served on the State Bar Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct and was committee chair in 2019.

Ms. Bomse has substantial trial and appellate experience in state and federal courts.  She recently won a substantial verdict for Planned Parenthood Federation of America in a RICO jury trial against the Center for Medical Progress.  She has represented clients in jury trials involving technology licensing, negligence claims against a government entity and others.

From the start of her legal career, Ms. Bomse has maintained an active pro bono practice.  Her pro bono clients have included Planned Parenthood, the Equal Justice Society, and the City of San Francisco (marriage equality cases).  She represented homeless individuals in a civil rights lawsuit against Fresno.  She has been involved in several voting rights cases.  She is also active in the legal community as a member of the board of Legal Aid at Work and former member of the BASF Justice & Diversity Center.


Andrew assists consumers who have been unlawfully harmed by banks, credit reporting agencies, lenders, creditors, debt collectors, and furnishers of credit information. Throughout his career, Andrew has focused almost exclusively on representing consumers, primarily in FCRA, RESPA, FDCPA, and usurious lending matters. He has litigated more than 450 cases in federal court, including dozens of class actions against each of the “Big 3” credit reporting agencies and internet lenders who prey on financially vulnerable consumers. In 2019, Andrew received the National Consumer Law Center’s Rising Star Award, which is given to only a few consumer lawyers each year.


Aravind Swaminathan is the Global Co-chair of Orrick’s internationally recognized Cyber, Privacy & Data Innovation practice.  Aravind is one of four lawyers ranked nationally by Chambers USA (Band 2) in the category of Privacy and Cybersecurity Litigation, which described him as "extremely skilled in the field of cybersecurity[.]  He's always well prepared and consistently has the answer [clients] need."

As a strategic cybersecurity advisor, Aravind collaborates with his clients to proactively plan for a crisis and develop strategies to protect their business and brand. He guides everyone from large public company financial institutions to start-up technology companies to critical infrastructure providers through incidents, and develops business- and brand-centric tactics to mitigate and manage risk. He has directed more than 200 cybersecurity and data breach investigations, including those with national security implications. With extensive trial and litigation experience, he also defends his clients when cyber, privacy, and payments issues lead to regulatory investigations by the SEC, DOJ, FTC, and state Attorneys General and other litigation, including class action litigation and shareholder derivative suits.

Aravind’s background as an Assistant United States Attorney and Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section gives him first-hand understanding of federal agencies that allows him to swiftly navigate the system, partner with investigators and find creative solutions for his clients.


Arjun Rao practices in all areas of complex commercial litigation, with particular emphasis on consumer class actions and financial services litigation. He regularly counsels clients regarding regulatory matters and government investigations. He defends clients in a wide range of actions arising from lending and retail banking operations, including for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Truth-In-Lending Act and numerous provisions of state law, including California’s Unfair Competition Law and Consumers Legal Remedies Act, and the Uniform Commercial Code. In addition, Arjun has extensive experience representing clients in connection with automobile lending.

Arjun, who joined Stroock in 2012, serves on the advisory board of the Western Center on Law & Poverty. He was also named a Fellow on the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) in 2018.

Arjun has been repeatedly named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers and in 2019 was named to Benchmark Litigation’s “40 and Under Hot List” and Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Top Litigators and Trial Lawyers” list.


Arthur H. Bryant, Of Counsel at Bailey & Glasser LLP, is the former Chairman and Executive Director of Public Justice, a national public interest law firm created by trial lawyers and currently supported by – and able to call on – over 2,700 of the top plaintiffs’ lawyers in the country. Arthur is based in Bailey & Glasser’s new Oakland, CA, office. He has won major victories and made new law in consumer protection, constitutional law, toxic torts, civil rights, class actions, and mass torts. The National Law Journal has twice named him one of the 100 Most Influential Attorneys in America.

Arthur joined Public Justice (then Trial Lawyers for Public Justice) as its sole staff attorney in 1984. He became Executive Director in 1987 and was named Chairman in 2014, his 30th anniversary with the organization.  When Arthur became Executive Director, the organization had two staff (Arthur and the receptionist), a small office in Washington DC, fewer than 25 annual members, a $275,000 budget, and very few cases on its docket. When he became Chairman, it had thirty staff (including 15 attorneys), offices on both coasts, over 2,500 members, a $5.3 million budget, and a broader range of high-impact, precedent-setting cases than any public interest organization in the country.

Arthur has been honored by, among others, the American Association for Justice, the American Bar Association, Harvard Law School, Mass Torts Made Perfect, the Consumer Attorneys Associations of Los Angeles and San Diego, the Iowa Association for Justice, the New Jersey Association for Justice, the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association, and the Western Trial Lawyers Association.  The Oregon Trial Lawyers Association has named its public service award the Arthur H. Bryant Public Justice Award.

Arthur is a graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard Law School, where he captained his team to the Ames Moot Court Competition Championship. After serving as a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Gabrielle M. McDonald, he worked as an associate at the Philadelphia law firm of Kohn, Savett, Marion & Graf (now Kohn, Swift & Graf), handling First Amendment, civil rights, and complex civil litigation. While at that firm, he brought and tried the class action that forced the admission of women to Philadelphia's previously all-male Central High School.

In that case, Arthur’s first class action, he represented Herb Newberg, the author of Newberg on Class Actions, and his daughter. Arthur then worked with Newberg on the next edition of his treatise.


Beth E. Terrell is a founding member of Terrell Marshall Law Group PLLC, a Plaintiff side law firm in Seattle, Washington. With over twenty years of experience, Beth concentrates her practice in complex litigation, including the prosecution of consumer, defective product, and wage and hour class actions.  Beth has served as co-lead counsel on multi-state and nationwide class actions, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements for consumers and workers.  A member of the State Bar of California and the Washington State Bar Association, Beth Co-Chairs PLI’s Consumer Financial Services Institute, and frequently presents on a wide variety of topics, including class actions, consumer protection, legal ethics, gender equity, and electronic discovery. Beth is President of the Public Justice Foundation Board of Directors, serves on the Equal Justice Works' Board of Counselors, and is Chair of both the Northwest Consumer Law Center and the Washington Employment Lawyers Association.


Donna M. Murphy is the Deputy Comptroller for Compliance Risk Policy at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

In this role, Ms. Murphy oversees development of policy and examination procedures relating to consumer compliance, fair lending, Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), Bank Secrecy Act, and anti-money laundering issues. She serves as a key advisor to the Committee on Bank Supervision and to the Comptroller on compliance and CRA matters. She reports to the Senior Deputy Comptroller for Bank Supervision Policy. She took on this role in May 2016.

Prior to this role, Ms. Murphy served as the OCC’s Director of the Community and Consumer Law Division and oversaw the legal division that provided legal interpretations and advice to OCC policymakers, managers and examiners on consumer compliance and fair lending laws.

Prior to joining the OCC in March 2013, Ms. Murphy served in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice for more than 20 years. From 2003 to 2013 she served as a Deputy Chief in the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section of the division, including several years as Principal Deputy Chief of that Section, and was responsible for supervising the division's fair lending enforcement program. Previously, she was Deputy Chief and Special Counsel for Police Matters in the division's Special Litigation Section. She also served as a Deputy Chief and trial attorney in the Voting Section of the division.

Before joining the Justice Department, Ms. Murphy served as a law clerk for the Honorable Myron H. Thompson, U.S. District Judge in Montgomery, Alabama.

Ms. Murphy received her law degree from Yale Law School, and is a summa cum laude graduate of the American University in Washington, D.C.


Jane Azia is currently the Chief of the Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection in the office of Attorney General Letitia James and has been bureau chief since May 2011.  From April 2007 through April 2011, she served as the Director of Consumer Protection for the New York State Banking Department where she was responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable consumer protection laws and that consumers have access to and receive financial products and services that are fair and not predatory.  Prior to joining the Banking Department, Jane worked for nearly twenty-five years as an Assistant Attorney General in the New York Attorney General’s Consumer and Internet bureaus.  Jane has worked on a wide range of consumer issues, including predatory lending, credit and financial services, advertising, retail sales, health care, insurance, product safety, housing, telecommunications, telemarketing, food and drugs, privacy and online services.  Jane also spent five years as a legal services attorney in Brooklyn and Poughkeepsie.  Jane is a graduate of NYU Law School. 


Jennifer Bennett is a principal at Gupta Wessler PLLC, where she heads the firm’s new San Francisco office and focuses on cutting-edge public interest and plaintiffs’-side appellate litigation. Her practice covers a wide range of issues including civil rights, consumer protection, constitutional law, workers’ rights, and government transparency. Jennifer has been lead counsel or co-counsel in several significant plaintiff-side cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including recently arguing and winning a landmark victory on behalf of transportation workers challenging forced arbitration in New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira (2019)—the first case in over a decade in which the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the party challenging arbitration.

In addition to her U.S. Supreme Court litigation, Jennifer regularly handles appeals in both state and federal court on behalf of workers and consumers fighting forced arbitration and other barriers to access to justice. She frequently represents journalists, media organizations, and nonprofits challenging government secrecy, recently winning a groundbreaking case in the Ninth Circuit vindicating the public’s right to access court records. And she regularly represents plaintiffs in civil rights cases involving difficult or novel legal issues.

Jennifer clerked for the Honorable Marsha Berzon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Honorable Jesse Furman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and the Honorable Vince Chhabria of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and earned her J.D. from Yale Law School.

 


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.


Kalpana Kotagal is a Civil Rights & Employment Partner at Cohen Milstein and the co-author of the "Inclusion Rider," referenced by Oscar-winning actress Frances McDormand in her 2018 Best Actress acceptance speech.

Ms. Kotagal is also a highly-accomplished plaintiffs’ lawyer, representing women and other disenfranchised people in high-profile employment and civil rights class actions, involving issues related to the Title VII, Equal Pay Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Family Medical Leave Act.

A noted public speaker, Ms. Kotagal is often called on to address issues of employment and civil rights law, class actions, mandatory arbitration, and diversity in the workplace to a wide-range of audiences, including TEDxLinz, the Democratic Attorneys General Association, the American Constitution Society, among others. Along with Cohen Milstein’s Anita Hill, she was featured in the highly-acclaimed documentary, “This Changes Everything,” produced by Geena Davis, which addresses gender discrimination in Hollywood.

For her continued work in championing equity, diversity, and inclusion through her practice of law, Ms. Kotagal has received numerous industry recognitions, including being named Law360’s “Employment Law MVP,” recognizing the top five most influential employment lawyers in the United States.

In 2018, Harvard Law School named Ms. Kotagal a Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow. She also has had the honor of being the commencement speaker before the graduating classes of University of Pennsylvania Law School (2019) and University of California, Irvine School of Law (2018). 

Ms. Kotagal is also a prolific writer. Her recent Op-Eds include: “Push for Diversity in Hollywood Paves Path for Rest of America,” The Hill, March 28, 2018; “The ‘Inclusion Rider’ Should Be a Hollywood Standard,” The Washington Post, March 9, 2018; and “The Need for Female Equality and Diversity in Hollywood,” Variety, February 23, 2017 (Co-Authored with Cohen Milstein’s Anita Hill.)

Ms. Kotagal is a member of the Advisory Board of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and the People’s Parity Project. She sits on the Board of Directors of A Better Balance and Public Justice Foundation, and she is a member of the American Constitution Society Task Force on #MeToo in the Legal Profession. She is also a member of the Dean’s Council for Penn Law Women at the University of Pennsylvania, and, at the request of the Dean, Co-Chairs the Law School’s Alumni Advisory Board on Inclusion. She has also served as a member of the Center for Worklife Law’s Working Group on Pregnancy Accommodation and the National Employment Lawyers Association. 


Katrina is a partner at Pilgrim Christakis LLP, a financial services litigation boutique based in Chicago, and the Chair of the ABA Business Law Section’s Consumer Financial Services Committee. Her practice focuses exclusively on the defense of banks, mortgage originators and loan servicers, auto finance companies, credit card issuers, short term lenders, debt buyers and debt collectors in individual and class action cases around the country. She’s a Regent in the American College of Consumer Financial Services lawyers, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin Law School.


Leah M. Nicholls is a Senior Attorney in Public Justice’s Washington, DC headquarters. Leah litigates high-impact civil public interest cases at the trial and appellate levels, including cases involving access to courts, court secrecy, consumer protection, and Public Justice’s Food Project. She has briefed, argued, and won cases in state and federal appellate courts across the country and spoken at numerous national and state conferences on topics such as arbitration, class certification, standing, court secrecy, consumer protection, and ag-gag laws.

Leah first joined Public Justice in 2012, serving as the Kazan-Budd Attorney from 2012 to 2014, a Staff Attorney from 2014 to 2019, and a Senior Attorney beginning in 2019. Prior to joining Public Justice, she was a senior staff attorney for civil rights and general public interest at Georgetown University Law Center’s Institute for Public Representation. Previously, she served as the Supreme Court Assistance Project Fellow at Public Citizen Litigation Group and clerked for Texas Supreme Court Justice Harriet O’Neill.

She has also taught Federal Courts and Appellate Advocacy as an adjunct law professor at Georgetown University Law Center and the University of the District of Columbia. Leah currently serves as a Consumer Fellow to the American Bar Association’s Consumer Financial Services Committee and a Trustee of the District of Columbia Bar Clients’ Security Fund.

She earned her J.D. magna cum laude, Order of the Coif from Duke University Law School and her B.A. in History and Philosophy summa cum laude from Boston University. Leah has also received an L.L.M. in Advocacy from Georgetown Law, an L.L.M. in International and Comparative Law from Duke Law, and an M.A. in History from Boston University.


Leonard Chanin is Deputy to the Chairman of the FDIC.  In that role, he advises the Chairman on consumer protection issues, and provides advice on FDiTech’s efforts to promote innovative and transformative technologies in the financial services sector.  Prior to joining the FDIC in March 2019, Leonard was a Deputy General Counsel at Fifth Third Bank, advising the Bank on consumer financial services and related issues. 

Before joining Fifth Third Bank, Leonard worked at the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm of Morrison & Foerster, where he counseled banks and other institutions on federal consumer financial services laws. 

Leonard was the first Assistant Director of the Regulations Section at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Prior to holding that position he was Deputy Director of the Consumer Affairs Division at the Federal Reserve Board.

Leonard was the Chairman of the Truth in Lending Subcommittee of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association (Consumer Financial Services Committee).   He is Treasurer of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers and also serves as a judge on the Writing Competition Awards Program.


Lisa Cole is currently the Deputy Assistant Director for the Office of Regulations at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  The Office of Regulations supports and provides strategic direction for the Bureau’s rulemaking, interpretive guidance and regulatory implementation functions.  Lisa joined the Bureau in October 2012 and has served in a variety of roles in the Office of Regulations, including as Acting Assistant Director.  Prior to joining the Bureau, she was a Counsel in the Financial Institutions practice group at the law firm WilmerHale.  Lisa clerked for the Honorable Ann Claire Williams (retired) on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  She received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and B.B.A. from Howard University.


Nessa Feddis is Senior Vice President and Counsel, ABA’s Regulatory Compliance and Policy. She advocates for ABA members on a variety of consumer finance laws, fraud prevention, and payment system issues in the federal legislative and regulatory arenas, in particular the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. Her responsibilities include relaying ABA’s position on such issues to Congress, government agencies, and the public. She has testified before Congress on behalf of the banking industry.

She also supports ABA’s compliance education programs and products and represents the ABA in press and public forms as ABA spokesperson on consumer protection issues.

In recent years, she has been involved with regulatory and legislative matters relating to consumer credit, debit cards, privacy, deposit accounts, payments systems, emerging electronic payment systems, and fraud prevention.

She received her law degree from Catholic University and is a member of the Washington, D.C. Bar.  She is also a fellow and former President of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers and former Chair of the Subcommittee on Electronic Fund Transfers of the American Bar Association’s Consumer Financial Services Committee.  Her articles discussing regulatory and legislative developments in consumer banking matters have appeared in ABA Banking Journal and ABA Bank Compliance. 

 


Nick Singhvi is an Assistant Director in the Division of Financial Practices in the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, where his responsibilities include FinTech and auto financing.  Nick was lead attorney in the FTC's enforcement action against payday lender AMG Services, a case that resulted in the largest litigated judgment in agency history and was profiled in Netflix's Dirty Money and CNBC's American Greed.  Before joining the FTC in August 2011, Nick worked for 12 years at two law firms in New York and Washington.  He has also taught unfair trade practices law as an adjunct professor at George Mason University.


Peggy Twohig is currently the Assistant Director for Supervision Policy at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Office of Supervision Policy is responsible for developing supervision strategy across bank and nonbank markets and ensuring that policy decisions are consistent across markets, charters, and regions.

Prior to her work at the CFPB, Ms. Twohig was Director of the Office of Consumer Protection at the Department of the Treasury, where she worked on the proposal to create a new consumer agency as part of financial regulatory reform. Immediately before joining Treasury, Ms. Twohig served as Associate Director of the Division of Financial Practices at the Federal Trade Commission. Her 17-year tenure at the FTC focused on enforcement and policy issues related to consumer financial services.  Ms. Twohig’s career also included work as a litigator with the firm of Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Twohig received her law degree from the New York University School of Law and a Master’s degree in public policy from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1983. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable William K. Thomas in United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.


Professor Stacey L. Tutt is the Director of the newly formed Consumer Law Clinic at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.  The Consumer Law Clinic provides comprehensive advocacy to consumers through policy analysis, community education and outreach, and direct representation of consumers. As advocates for consumers and veterans exploited by predatory lending practices, the CLC investigates potential consumer protection claims and provide direct representation in state and federal court for violations of California's Unfair Competition Law and other unfair and/or deceptive business practices. The CLC is currently focused upon helping homeowners at imminent risk of foreclosure due to Property Assessed Clean Energy Assessment; helping student loan borrowers and build impact litigation to address breakdowns that affect millions of student borrowers nationwide; and representing low-income defendants in debt collection of government-imposed debt that presents a barrier to economic stability and re-entry into society. Direct representation may also include drafting amicus briefs in consumer cases, filing complaints with regulatory agencies, and disputing inaccuracies in consumer credit reports. The CLC also analyzes finance industry regulations and legislation to develop white papers, public comment, and empirical research on issues affecting low-income consumers. To increase community impact and address the growing needs of consumers, the CLC develops self-help materials and conducts community education and outreach to help protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices.

Professor Tutt was previously at the University of Illinois College of Law. She joined the faculty in June 2011 to develop and direct the Community Preservation Clinic, teaching students the skills of lawyering while exploring a community-based, non-traditional approach to poverty law. The clinic worked to develop and implement a comprehensive response to community blight brought on by the foreclosure crisis. In furtherance of its mission, the Clinic established foreclosure mediation programs thought central Illinois and has conducted statewide empirical research on attitudes and beliefs of borrowers in foreclosure.  The clinic's litigation focused upon mortgage servicing abuses, unfair deceptive practices, and fair credit reporting act violations.  In addition, the Clinic was integral in the development of a financial opportunity center through an integrated collaboration between a community action organization and community college.  The Clinic also engaged in large-scale neighborhood revitalization projects including development of a lease for deed program, community innovation fair, and a community land trust.

Professor Tutt is active both in the academy and in practice; she has served as president of the Board of Directors for Illinois Legal Aid Online, and prior to teaching, she was managing attorney at Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. in Bloomington, Illinois. In this role, she supervised civil legal services to low-income residents and seniors in Livingston, McLean, and East Woodford counties. For over six years, she represented clients in maintaining housing benefits, landlord-tenant issues, utility problems, obtaining public benefits, Orders of Protection, family law matters, prevention of mortgage foreclosures, and bankruptcy. Professor Tutt also created a Lawyer-in-the-Courtroom program for the McLean County Forcible Entry and Detainer docket call to assist in the prevention of homelessness. Prior to joining Prairie State, Stacey served as the associate director of career services at the University of Illinois College of Law.


Richard Cordray served for six years as the first Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by a bipartisan vote of the Senate. During his tenure, the Bureau returned over $12 billion to 30 million Americans, handled 1.3 million consumer complaints that resolved many individual problems, and adopted new rules to safeguard the mortgage market that caused the financial crisis of 2008 and the deep recession that followed. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Watchdog, to be released in March 2020, about consumer protection and the role and importance of the CFPB.

Before joining the Consumer Bureau, Rich served as Ohio’s Attorney General, where he and his team recovered over $2 billion for Ohio’s retirees, investors, and business owners and took major steps to protect consumers from fraudulent foreclosures and financial predators. He also served as Ohio Treasurer, where he led the State’s banking, investment, debt, and financing activities. He previously taught at Ohio State’s law school and served as a state legislator and as Ohio’s first Solicitor General. Rich has argued seven cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including by special appointment of both the Clinton and Bush Justice Departments.

Rich graduated from Michigan State University’s James Madison College, Oxford University in England, and the University of Chicago Law School. He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. He lives in Grove City, Ohio with his wife Peggy, a law professor at Capital University Law School, and twin children Danny and Holly.


Shennan Kavanagh is the Deputy Chief of the Consumer Protection Division at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. She is engaged in the day-to-day work in a variety of the Division’s core consumer finance investigations and litigation, including matters involving predatory lending, student loan servicing, automobile sales and financing and debt collection.

Ms. Kavanagh’s entire legal career has been devoted to representing low-income consumers and public service. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Ms. Kavanagh was a co-founder and partner at Klein Kavanagh Costello, LLP, a mission-driven consumer finance class action firm that litigated cases nationwide.  Her areas of concentration included predatory and discriminatory mortgage lending, unfair mortgage servicing, unfair debt collection and creditors’ violations of the bankruptcy code. Ms. Kavanagh practiced in the areas of consumer finance litigation and class actions as an associate at Roddy Klein & Ryan before starting her own firm.

In addition to complex class action litigation, Ms. Kavanagh has handled dozens of pro bono cases during her time in private practice, successfully preventing foreclosures for individuals, obtaining home loan modifications, and stopping harassing debt collectors.


Tom James serves as the Senior Assistant Attorney General in the Consumer Fraud Bureau of the Office of the Illinois Attorney General where he holds the position of Consumer Counsel. Tom has been a litigator in that Office since 1988 and has extensive knowledge of major federal and state consumer protection statutes. In recent years he has concentrated on credit-related unfair and deceptive financial practices and associated anticompetitive market behavior. He’s participated on various regional and national multi-state enforcement teams specializing in cases against individuals and institutions engaged in sales and marketing misrepresentation, predatory price distortion, wealth and equity stripping, fair-lending violations, and structural unfairness and loan product abuse in the home-loan and mortgage-lending, consumer-credit and securitization markets. Tom’s also worked extensively in drafting commentary, statutes and regulations in collaboration with legislative staff, not-for-profit organizations, major community banking and state bank associations, and state and federal regulators. He helped draft the Illinois High Cost Home Loan Act of 2004, the Illinois Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Act of 2007, and the Illinois Consumer Installment and Payday Loan Reform Act of 2010. Tom is a past member of the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Advisory Council.  Before becoming a lawyer, Tom worked as a housing counselor for the Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities in Chicago where he assisted inner-city public housing tenants relocate to privately-owned residential units on a metropolitan-wide basis. Tom earned his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and is licensed in California and Illinois.


Veronica McGregor is Chief Legal Officer at ShapeShift Global, Ltd, which is a crypto-currency trading platform.  A 20-year veteran of BigLaw at firms including Morrison Foerster, Jones Day and Hogan Lovells, Veronica has deep expertise in the intersection of banking and technology (aka FinTech) as well as extensive experience across all aspects of the payments and consumer financial services landscape. She has advised a broad array of companies including banks, payment system providers, wireless carriers, virtual currency exchanges, social networking companies, online service providers and software application developers.  She has counseled both start-ups and large technology companies in navigating the patchwork minefield of consumer financial services law and regulation.

Veronica is a frequent speaker on a wide range of financial services topics, including emerging payment systems, money transmission, mobile payments and virtual currencies.


Deborah Morris serves as Deputy Enforcement Director at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau where she oversees attorneys handling investigations, litigation, and exam support. Prior to joining the Bureau in June 2011, she served as Counsel to the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics, where she led high-profile congressional investigations and disciplinary proceedings. She previously served in the Tax Division of the Department of Justice, where she worked primarily on civil tax and bankruptcy cases, including complex tax shelter litigation and Chapter 11 reorganizations. She also served as a judicial law clerk following her graduation from Notre Dame Law School.


Lieff Cabraser partner Melissa Gardner represents clients throughout the United States in class action and multidistrict litigation with a focus on consumer protection and online privacy rights. She represents victims of fraud, unfair and deceptive marketing, data breaches and other privacy intrusions in every aspect of litigation and appeals. Melissa has contributed to the prosecution and successful resolution of important class actions such as In re Anthem, Inc. Data Breach Litigation, Perkins v. LinkedIn Corp., Campbell v. Facebook, Inc., and Matera v. Google LLC, which collectively have recovered tens of millions of dollars and have reformed business practices for the benefit of hundreds of millions of consumers nationwide.   

Melissa is a returned Peace Corps volunteer who has devoted significant time to her community through amicus briefing for consumer organizations, pro bono work, and leadership in organizations dedicated to the advancement of women in the legal profession. She has helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for non-profit organizations in the Bay Area through performances as a Co-lead Singer and Flautist for Lieff Cabraser’s house band, the R23s.  Melissa currently serves on the Board of Governors for California Women Lawyers. She was selected by Best Lawyers “Ones to Watch” list for 2021, and has been named a “Rising Star for Northern California” by Super Lawyers each year since 2017.


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.


Andre M. Mura represents plaintiffs in class action and complex litigation concerning consumers’ and workers’ rights, products liability, drug and medical devices. Prior to joining Gibbs Law Group LLP, Andre was senior litigation counsel at the Center for Constitutional Litigation PC, where he represented plaintiffs in high-stakes appeals and complex litigation. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a member of the Lawyers Committee of the National Center for State Courts, a member of Public Justice’s Class Action Preservation Project, an Ex-Officio Trustee of the Pound Civil Justice Institute, and Chair-Elect of the American Association for Justice’s LGBT Caucus.


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.


Katherine E. McCarron is an attorney with the Bureau of Consumer Protection, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C.  This division of the Commission has responsibility for enforcing federal statutes and regulations that pertain to information security and consumer privacy.  Ms. McCarron investigates and prosecutes violations of U.S. federal laws governing the privacy and security of consumer information and has worked on FTC enforcement actions under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.  She received her J.D., from Stanford Law School, her M.A. from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and her B.A. from Yale University.


Shannon Smith is a Senior Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the Consumer Protection Division of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. Her responsibilities include managing the division’s litigation, enforcement, consumer services, and outreach and education activities.  In addition to enforcing consumer protection laws, the division is responsible for administering the state’s Lemon Law Program and Manufactured Housing Program.  Shannon also oversees the Public Counsel Unit, which represents the interests of residential and small business ratepayers in utility regulatory matters.  Shannon joined the Consumer Protection Division in 2005 and was named Division Chief in 2012.

Prior to joining the Consumer Protection Division, Shannon represented the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission in telecommunications and energy regulatory matters (1995-2005) and the Department of Licensing and Department of Health in professional licensing disciplinary matters (1989-2005).  She has been with the Washington Attorney General’s Office since 1989.


Nicklas A. Akers is the Senior Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Consumer Law Section of the California Department of Justice, which investigates and prosecutes violations of California’s consumer protection and privacy laws.  His representative matters include People v. Heald (Corinthian Colleges) and the Volkswagen emissions litigation.  Nick also serves as a Judge Advocate and legal assistance attorney in the California State Guard.  He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, the Harvard School of Public Health, and UCLA, and he is admitted in California, Massachusetts and New York.  Nick lives in the San Francisco bay area with his wife, Amy Akers, M.D., and their daughter. 


Toby J. Marshall is a founding member of Terrell Marshall Law Group PLLC, where he concentrates his practice on complex civil litigation in the areas of wage and hour law, consumer protection, and civil rights.  Toby has represented workers, consumers, and other groups in a variety of class and collective actions.  He has tried and won cases in state and federal courts and has also successfully briefed and argued cases before the Washington Supreme Court, the Washington Court of Appeals, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Toby graduated from the University of Washington School of Law, where he served on the Moot Court Honor Board and was selected to the Order of Barristers.  He has been named several times to the annual Super Lawyers list in Washington Law & Politics.