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Non-Federal Question Class Actions 2002: Prosecution & Defense Strategies

Author(s): Joel S. Feldman, Keith M. Fleischman
Practice Area: Litigation
Published: Aug 2002
PLI Item #: 403
CHB Spine #: H679

JOEL S. FELDMAN is a Global Coordinator for Sidley’s Financial Services/Consumer Class Action Practice Team, a group of over 40 litigators nationwide.

Mr. Feldman has served as lead defense counsel in over 85 class actions venued in over 30 federal and state courts throughout the United States. These class actions have covered ERISA benefit plans, annuities, life insurance, health benefits and health coverage, service warranties, TCPA, California 17200 claims, and other consumer claims.

Mr. Feldman has won, through motion practice, a series of precedent setting class actions. Most recently, he served as lead counsel in winning the only complete class certification denial (Rowe v. Bankers, N.D. Ill.) and only complete summary judgment victory (Kennedy v. Jackson National, N.D. Cal.) amid the myriad of senior citizen annuity class actions. He has also served as lead counsel in the only ERISA revenue sharing class actions wherein courts have denied class certification (Ruppert v. Principal, S.D. Iowa) and granted summary judgment (Leimkuehler v. American United Life, S.D. Ind., 7th Circuit). He served as lead counsel in the first summary judgment victory among the many retained asset class actions (Rabin v. MONY, S.D. N.Y), and won the denial of class certification in a cost of insurance class action, wherein numerous other defendants in similar class actions had settled (Gregurek v. United of Omaha, C.D. Cal.). Mr. Feldman also served as lead counsel in In re Industrial Life Insurance Litigation, MDL No. 1371 (E.D. La.), where in 2006 the court denied class certification after almost all other defendants had settled.

In addition to motion practice victories, Mr. Feldman successfully tried a securities fraud class action to a jury verdict, named by the National Law Journal as one of the top ten trials of the year.

Mr. Feldman co-chaired from 1998-2009 the PLI National Class Action Conference in New York. Mr. Feldman has authored numerous class action articles, including:

Wal-Mart’s Lasting Rule 23(b)(3) Impact: Establishing Strict Evidentiary and Burden of Proof Standards for Class Certification,” BNA Class Action Litigation Report, v. 13 at 1270 (November, 2012).

“Evolving Use of Experts in Class Certification Proceedings,” BNA Class Action Litigation Report, v. 12 at 569 (June, 2011).

“Evidentiary & Burden of Proof Standards for Class Certification,” BNA Class Action Litigation Report, v. 11 at 536 (June, 2010).

Mr. Feldman is a 1974 graduate of Oberlin College and a 1979 graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, where he served as Case and Note Editor for the Georgetown Law Journal. Upon graduation, Mr. Feldman clerked for the Honorable Thomas Aquinas Flannery, of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Keith M. Fleischman, is a nationally recognized litigator and trial lawyer having successfully investigated, litigated and tried to verdict some of the largest and most complex civil and criminal cases in the country.  Keith is currently the principal at Fleischman Law Firm, PLLC, a litigation boutique he founded in Manhattan over six-years ago.  Keith’s practice presently focuses on representing public and private companies, financial institutions, and institutional and individual investors in connection with the prosecution and defense of complex financial and commercial litigation on a national scale.

Keith began his legal career with the Bronx District Attorney’s Office. In 1988, Keith joined the United States Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section as a trial lawyer. During his tenure, he supervised international undercover operations involving counterfeiting, money laundering and passport fraud. As a member of the Dallas Bank Fraud Task Force, he successfully tried to verdict several of the largest criminal prosecutions brought by the government during the Savings and Loan Crisis, including serving as the chief federal prosecutor in a two year investigation that culminated in a four month trial.

In 1990, Keith accepted a position as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Connecticut, where he was in charge of financial fraud, originated the Connecticut Bank Fraud Working Group and was a member of the New England Bank Fraud Task Force Coordinating Committee. As an AUSA, he successfully investigated and prosecuted major financial, violent and white-collar violations.

After leaving the government, Keith spent eleven years at the national plaintiffs’ firm Milberg, Weiss, where he rose to Senior Managing Partner and established himself as one of the premier plaintiffs’ lawyers in the country. During this period, Keith litigated and negotiated to settlement numerous high profile individual and class actions. Prior to founding the Fleischman Law Firm in 2011, Keith served as a Director in the New York office of Grant & Eisenhofer, litigating high profile complex lawsuits including class actions.

Keith has been a trial practice instructor at the Trial Practice Institute of the U.S. Justice Department, and served for ten years as co-chairman of the Practicing Law Institute’s annual conference on class actions. He has lectured in the United States, Canada and Europe on the investigation, litigation and prevention of securities and financial fraud.