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Class Action Litigation 2014


Speaker(s): Cameron R. Azari, Daniel L. Berger, David G. Keyko, Georgene M. Vairo, Gregory A. Markel, Jeremy A. Lieberman, Jeremy M. Creelan, Joel S. Feldman, Judith Goldiner, Karen Hanson Riebel, Keith M. Fleischman, Lauren McGeever, Lisa E. Cleary
Recorded on: Jul. 9, 2014
PLI Program #: 51666

Jeremy A. Lieberman became associated with the Firm in August 2004, and became a partner in January 2010. Mr. Lieberman serves on the Firm’s Management Committee. At Pomerantz, Mr. Lieberman specializes in securities litigation. He has had an active role in a number of high-profile securities class and derivative actions, including Comverse Technology Sec. Litig., in which he and his partners achieved a historic $225 million settlement on behalf of the Class, which was the second-largest options backdating settlement to date.

Mr. Lieberman was lead counsel in In re Medicis Corp. Sec. Litig., in which the Court recently approved an $18 million settlement, and is lead counsel in In re China North East Petroleum Corp. Sec. Litig., and In re Columbia Laboratories, Inc. Sec. Litig., and co-lead counsel in In re Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. Sec. Litig. and In re Linn Energy LLC Sec. Litig.

In In re China North East Petroleum Corp. Sec. Litig., Mr. Lieberman achieved a significant victory for shareholders in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, whereby the Appeals Court ruled that a temporary rise in share price above its purchase price in the aftermath of a corrective disclosure did not eviscerate an investor’s claim for damages. The Second Circuit’s decision was deemed “precedential” by the New York Law Journal, and provides critical guidance for assessing damages in a § 10(b) action.

Mr. Lieberman currently represents a number of banks and financial institutions in a class action on behalf of lenders arising out of the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) rate rigging scandal.

Mr. Lieberman regularly consults with Pomerantz’s international institutional clients, including pension funds, regarding their rights under the U.S. securities laws. Mr. Lieberman is working with the firm’s international clients to craft a response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Morrison v. Nat’l Australia Bank, Ltd., which limited the ability of foreign investors to seek redress under the federal securities laws. Currently, Mr. Lieberman is representing several UK and EU pension funds and asset managers in individual actions against BP plc in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Mr. Lieberman is a frequent lecturer regarding current corporate governance and securities litigation issues. In December 2013, he spoke at the Annual Provident Funds Coalition Conference in Eilat, Israel on Morrison and its implications for TASE investors. He also recently led a discussion regard U.S. securities class actions in Amsterdam.

Mr. Lieberman graduated from Fordham University School of Law in 2002. While in law school, he served as a staff member of the Fordham Urban Law Journal. Upon graduation, he began his career at a major New York law firm as a litigation associate, where he specialized in complex commercial litigation.


Daniel L. Berger is a director at Grant & Eisenhofer. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Berger was a partner at two major plaintiffs’ class action firms in New York, including Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann (BLBG), where he had litigated complex securities and discrimination class actions for twenty two years.

Mr. Berger’s experience includes trying three 10b-5 securities class actions to jury verdicts, which are among very few such cases ever tried. He also served as principal lead counsel in many of the largest securities litigation cases in history, achieving successful recoveries for classes of investors in cases including In re JPMorgan Chase & Co. Securities Litigation ($150 million);  In re Merck Vytorin/Zetia Securities Litigation ($215 million); In re Cendant Corp. Securities Litigation ($3.3 billion); In re Lucent Technologies, Inc. Securities Litigation ($675 million); In re Bristol-Myers Squibb Securities Litigation ($300 million); In re Daimler Chrysler A.G. Securities Litigation ($300 million); In re Conseco, Inc. Securities Litigation ($120 million); In re Symbol Technologies Securities Litigation ($139 million); and In re OM Group Securities Litigation ($92 million).

Mr. Berger has successfully argued several appeals that made new law favorable to investors, including In re Suprema Specialties, Inc. Securities Litigation, 438 F.3d 256 (3d Cir. 2005); McCall v. Scott, 250 F.3d 997 (6th Cir. 2001) and Fine v. American Solar King Corp., 919 F.2d 290 (5th Cir. 1990.) In addition, Mr. Berger was lead class counsel in many important discrimination class actions, in particular Roberts v. Texaco, Inc., where he represented African-American employees of Texaco and achieved the then largest settlement ($175 million) of a race discrimination class action.

Mr. Berger currently is a member of the faculty of Columbia University School of Law, where he is a Lecturer in Law.  He also serves on the Board of visitors of the Law School. Previously, Mr. Berger was a member of the Board of Managers of Haverford College from 2000-2003.  He also now serves as the Co-Chair of the Board of GO Project, a not-for profit organization that provides academic support for New York City public school students, and also serves as a Member of the Board of Grace Church School in New York.  He also served on the Board of in Motion, Inc., a non-profit organization providing legal services to victims of domestic violence, for six years.

Mr. Berger is a 1976 graduate from Haverford College, and graduated in 1979 from Columbia University School of Law.

 

Education:

  • Columbia University Law School, J.D. (1979)
  • Haverford College, B.A., (1976)

 

Admissions:

New York, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of NY


David Keyko is a partner in the law firm's Litigation practice and is located in the New York office. His practice has focused on major, complex litigation, often involving multiple parties. He has handled cases involving allegations of securities or other types of fraud, antitrust violations, ethics issues and trusts and estates issues across the country, often involving insurance coverage issues. He has conducted internal investigations and represented clients responding to government probes. He has also served as an expert witness in connection with legal malpractice litigation. Among the prominent cases Mr. Keyko has handled was the representation of a defendant in a $1.4 billion antitrust lawsuit.

Mr. Keyko was named the "New York City Best Lawyers Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law Lawyer of the Year" for 2012, 2017 and 2019. He has lectured and written widely on securities, antitrust, legal ethics and general litigation topics, and chairs PLI's programs on federal pretrial practice and ethics for corporate lawyers. He is a former columnist for the New York Law Journal and has written several dozen articles on litigation and ethics issues for such publications as the National Law Journal.

Mr. Keyko has undertaken a variety of pro bono projects, including representing for over 20 years a death row inmate in Alabama asserting that the inmate is innocent of the crime for which he was convicted, serving as Chair of the Board of  Mobilization for Justice Legal Services, Inc., and serving two terms as a member of the Departmental Disciplinary Committee of the First Department. He was Chairman of the Professional Responsibility Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He chaired the ad hoc committee of the Association that commented on proposed SEC regulations under Section 307 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. He is currently the chair of the Association's Legal Referral Service Committee and is a member of the ABA Legal Referral and Information Service Committee.

Mr. Keyko is a member of Pillsbury's Sarbanes-Oxley Committee, Opinions Committee and Professional Responsibility Committee. He is an adjunct professor at the Fordham University School of Law where he teaches legal ethics.


Georgene Vairo teaches and writes in the areas of mass tort litigation, class actions, international dispute resolution, federal practice and jurisdiction.   She has written Rule 11 Sanctions and the chapters on removal jurisdiction, venue, and multidistrict litigation in Moore’s Federal Practice.  In addition to dozens of articles about federal practice and procedure, including most recently Is the Class Action Really Dead? Is that Good or Bad for Class Members?, 64 Emory L.J. 477 (2014);  Lessons Learned by the Reporter: Is Disaggregation the Answer to the Asbestos Mess?, 88 Tulane L. Rev. 1039 (2014) ; and What Goes Around, Comes Around; From the Rector of Barkway to Knowles, 32 Univ. Texas Rev. of Litig. 721 (2013), she has published The Complete CAFA:  Analysis and Developments Under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (LEXIS 2011), and The Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act of 2011: Analysis and Case Law Developments (LEXIS 2013).

Professor Vairo served on the Board of Trustees of the Dalkon Shield Claimants Trust, and as its Chairperson. As Chair, she worked to develop systems for distributing over $3 Billion dollars to over 200,000 claimants.  She serves on the editorial board of Moore's Federal Practice, and is the author of two volumes of the Treatise.  She also is a member of the Rand Corporation’s Institute for Civil Justice Board of Overseers, and is a member of the American Law Institute.  In 2013, she was appointed Reporter to the ABA TIPS Task Force on Asbestos Litigation.  She has participated in numerous academic conferences, has lectured widely to the bench and bar at numerous programs of various national and local associations and institutes, and has served as an expert in complex civil litigation cases.

Professor Vairo received her B.A. from Sweet Briar College in Economics, and an M.Ed., with Distinction, in Social Studies from the University of Virginia.  She graduated first in her class from Fordham University School of Law.  She then served as a law clerk to the Honorable Joseph M. McLaughlin, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (then U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York); practiced antitrust law with Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom; and taught at Fordham University School of Law, where she also served for 8 years as Associate Dean.  She joined the Loyola Law School faculty in 1995.

Professor Vairo serves as the Vice Chair of and on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of Sweet Briar College, and as Vice President and on the Executive Committee of the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara; she has won national and California bicycle road race and criterion championships; loves sailing, trail running, her golden retrievers, and growing vegetables when it rains in California.


Gregory A. Markel is co-chair of the Securities Litigation Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and is Chairman of the Center for Corporate Governance at The New York County Lawyers Association. He recently won (for the third time) a Burton Award for distinguished legal writing. He is a nationally known trial lawyer, widely recognized by ratings publications, including Chambers, Legal 500, Super Lawyers and is a LawDragon Hall of Fame Member. Best Lawyers named him 2018 Lawyer of the Year for Merger Litigation. His practice concentrates on securities litigation, mergers and acquisition litigation, directors and officers defense, and antitrust litigation particularly in bet-the-company cases. Mr. Markel speaks and writes frequently on corporate governance, securities litigation, jury trial practice, and other legal topics. He is a member of the Boards of the New York County Lawyers Association, Junior Achievement of New York and the Historical Society of New York Courts.

A graduate of Yale Law School, he holds an MBA in finance and accounting from the University of Michigan and is a member of the litigation and antitrust sections of the American Bar Association.


Joel S. Feldman is a senior counsel at Sidley Austin’s Chicago office.

He has served as lead defense counsel in over 150 financial services class actions venued in over 30 federal and state courts throughout the U.S., covering ERISA benefit plans, annuities, life insurance, ERISA fee class actions, property and casualty insurance, and actuarial issues associated with financial services products.

Joel has won, through motion practice, a series of precedent setting class actions wherein many other similarly situated defendants had settled, often for large sums of money. Most recently he has won a series of dismissals with prejudice in ERISA fee cases. These include dismissals with prejudice of an ERISA stable value class action (Barchok v. Galliard et al, D. R.I.; on appeal), an excessive fee ERISA class action (McCaffree v. Principal Life Ins. Co., 8th Cir.) and an ERISA class action alleging that a plan’s 401(k) fund “menu” included too many actively managed funds with excessive fees (Rosen v. Prudential, D. Conn.).

Joel has also 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, wherein many other defendants had settled. He has also served as lead counsel in the only ERISA revenue sharing class actions where courts denied class certification (Ruppert v. Principal, S.D. Iowa) and granted summary judgment (Leimkuehler v. American United Life, S.D. Ind.). 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.). Joel 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, Joel 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.

Joel co-chaired for ten years the PLI National Class Action Conference in New York. He is the past chair of the Chicago Bar Association Federal Civil Procedure Committee, past chair of the American Bar Association Securities Litigation Subcommittee on Secondary Liability, and past editor-in-chief of Securities News, the official ABA publication for the Securities Law Committee.

In 2017, Joel was named a BTI “Client Service All-Star.” He is also recommended in Insurance: Advice to Insurers and ERISA litigation in The Legal 500 US 2014–2017, and has been recognized as a “Best Lawyer” in the 2014–2017 editions of The Best Lawyers in America in Insurance Law.


Judith Goldiner is the Attorney in Charge of the Law Reform Unit of the Civil Practice of the Legal Aid Society ("LAS"), the oldest and largest legal services program in the country.  She supervises the four units of the Law Reform Unit: public benefits, housing, homeless rights, and prisoner's rights, including four supervisors, thirteen staff attorneys, and four paralegals. She continues to develops and litigate an extensive housing law reform docket in state and federal courts, provides litigation assistance to Legal Aid's trial office attorneys, advocates at the state, city and federal level, including preparing and presenting testimony before the New York State Legislature, New York City Council, and numerous administrative agencies, conducts training for judges, attorneys, advocates and laypeople, participates in press conferences and media interviews, and supervises an extensive roster of pro-bono attorneys.




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.


Lauren McGeever is a New York based director for Epiq Class Action and Mass Tort Solutions for both US and UK based clients. Lauren is responsible for advising on and developing customized solutions for clients’ unique project demands. She provides consultative advice for all aspects of class action administration, from notice planning and implementation through disbursements.

CASE EXPERIENCE

In addition to many US class actions settlements over the last 15 years, Lauren also consulted on the Merricks v MasterCard collective action filed with Competition Appeals Tribunal in the United Kingdom as well as the representative action, Lloyd v Google, brought before the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice in England, pursuant to the Civil Procedure Rules rule 19.6. As a former paralegal at class action and mass tort firms, Lauren assisted litigation efforts on cases like the New York Diet Drug Litigation (Fen-Phen), and managed the administration of settlements in securities and consumer class actions and regulatory disbursement funds such as the SEC v Bank of America Fair Fund.


Lisa Cleary works closely with a broad range of corporations and tax-exempt organization clients on employment issues related to their highest level executives and other key employees.  For over 20 years, she has regularly advised boards of directors in connection with the negotiation of executive compensation, performance, transition and employment termination of CEOs.  Ms. Cleary has provided this sensitive advice for public companies, private entities and tax-exempt organizations and foundations, all of which operate under the same rules in these circumstances.  She often has assisted companies in navigating difficult situations where CEO termination occurs in the midst of critical litigation or other corporate crisis.

Ms. Cleary also provides advice to in-house counsel, human resources personnel, and line managers on minimizing the legal risks of individual employee terminations beyond executives, and also provides counseling to ensure compliance with applicable laws.  In addition, Ms. Cleary provides training on a broad range of employment matters, drafts and vets personnel policies and handbooks, and also provides advice on employer recordkeeping requirements.

Ms. Cleary assists clients in a broad range of employment-related litigation matters before administrative agencies, state and federal courts.  She also counsels clients with respect to employment contracts and regularly defends clients in wrongful discharge cases.  Ms. Cleary provides advice to clients regarding employee theft, whistleblower claims and complaints of discrimination and harassment, and regularly conducts internal investigations regarding such matters. She has also worked with local, state and federal prosecutors on behalf of clients regarding a broad range of issues. Ms. Cleary defends and prosecutes cases involving employment-related restrictive covenants, drafts and negotiates employment contracts and represents employers in connection with claims arising under ERISA.  She also conducts diversity training seminars and provides counsel on employee classifications and overtime issues under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Where consistent with client goals, Ms. Cleary also uses alternative dispute resolution procedures to achieve optimum results for clients.

Ms. Cleary also chairs the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. The Firm is consistently recognized for its commitment to pro bono service on behalf of low income New Yorkers. Ms. Cleary has received one of the Legal Aid Society's 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Pro Bono Publico Awards for her work on behalf of children in foster care and on behalf of runaway and homeless youth. Her past recognitions include the New York State Bar Association President's Pro Bono Service Award for the 1st Judicial District, the New York State Bar Association’s Root/Stimson Award, in honor of Elihu Root and Henry L. Stimson, whose careers personified the profession's commitment to public service, and the 2008 Public Service Law Firm Leadership Award from the Legal Aid Society. Ms. Cleary has also been recognized on multiple occasions by MFY Legal Services, Inc. for her contributions on behalf of clients with mental disabilities.

Representative Litigation Matters

Pharmaceutical Company
Successfully obtained summary judgment in federal court action where former employee claimed that age discrimination was reason for denial of promotion.

Privately-Held Company
Advice and counseling with respect to broad range of employment law issues.
Successfully obtained summary judgment in Eleventh Circuit in action commenced by former employee alleging religious and age discrimination.

International Corporation
Defense of investment bank in connection with glass ceiling claims.

Not-for-Profit  
Defense of Executive Director and not-for-profit in connection with charge of national origin discrimination.

Not-for-Profit
Representation of not-for-profit in action where complainants alleged denial of adoption application was based on religious discrimination.

Pension Funds
Representation of pension funds in a variety of employment, ERISA and pension litigation matters before the EEOC and state and federal courts.

Publishing Company
Representation of publishing company in action commenced against publisher and senior executive alleging sexual harassment in the workplace.

Cultural Organization
Counseling advice with respect to termination of security officers and other personnel matters.

Not-for-Profit
Defense of company in connection with reduction in force with respect to claims of reverse sex and religious discrimination.

Not-for-Profit
Defense of employment discrimination lawsuit commenced by former employee alleging constructive discharge based on HIV status.

Bank
Successful dismissal on statute of limitations grounds of federal court complaint alleging age discrimination.

EDUCATION
J.D., 1983, Duke University School of Law, Chancellor's Scholarship Recipient
B.A., 1980, Harvard University and Radcliffe College, magna cum laude

BAR ADMISSIONS
New York

COURT ADMISSIONS
U.S. District Court, Southern; Eastern; and Northern Districts of New York; District of Colorado, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit; Eleventh Circuit, U.S. Supreme Court

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
HONORS: Recipient, New York State Bar Association President's Pro Bono Service Award for the 1st Judicial District (Manhattan), nominated by New York County Lawyers' Association (1994); Recipient, New York State Bar Association’s Root/Stimson Award, in honor of Elihu Root and Henry L. Stimson, whose careers personified the profession’s commitment to public service, and in recognition of outstanding volunteer service to the community which has reflected honor on the legal profession (2001); Recipient, Legal Aid Society, Public Interest Law Leadership Award (2008); Named in Super Lawyers in the area of Employment & Labor; Recipient, Legal Aid Society, Pro Bono Publico Award (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013); Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Employment Law – Management and Litigation – Labor & Employment (2013)

MEMBERSHIPS: Fellow, American Bar Foundation; Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Executive Education Program (May 2006); MFY Legal Services, Inc. (Chairperson, Board of Directors, 1994–2000; Member of Board, 1992–Present); Volunteers of Legal Service, Inc. (Member, Board of Directors, 1996–Present); Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Member, Board of Directors, 2006-Present); Member, Practising Law Institute (Pro Bono Advisory Committee, 1997–Present), American Bar Association (Litigation and ADR Sections); New York State Bar Association (President’s Committee on Access to Justice, 1996-2004), New York County Lawyers' Association (Chair, Pro Bono Committee); Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Member, 2010-2013, Secretary, Judiciary Committee 2012-2013); Student/Sponsor Program


Cameron R. Azari, Esq., is a vice president of Epiq and the director of Hilsoft Notifications. Mr. Azari has more than 16 years of experience in the design and implementation of legal notification and claims administration programs. He and his staff are nationally recognized specialists in the creation of notification campaigns in compliance with Fed R. Civ. P. 23(c)(2) (d)(2) and (e) and similar state class action statutes.

Case Experience

Mr. Azari has been responsible for hundreds of legal notice and advertising programs. He’s an expert at providing consultative guidance with respect to all aspects of the class action settlement process from notice plan implementation through disbursements. Recent cases where Mr. Azari has been certified by the Court as a notice expert and filed an expert opinion and/or testified are listed below.

  • In re: Takata Airbag Products Liability Litigation (OEMs – BMW, Mazda, Subaru and Toyota), MDL No. 2599 (S.D. Fla.) ($553 million settlement regarding Takata airbags.The monumental Notice Plan included individual mailed notice to more than 19.7 million potential Class Members and notices via consumer publications, U.S. Territory newspapers, radio spots, internet banners, mobile banners, and specialized behaviorally targeted digital media.Combined, the Notice Plan reached more than 95% of adults aged 18+ in the U.S. who owned or leased a subject vehicle an average of 4.0 times each).
  • In re: Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices and Product Liability Litigation (Bosch Settlement), MDL No. 2672 (N.D. Cal.) (Comprehensive Notice Program within the Volkswagen Emissions Litigation that provided individual notice to more than 946,000 vehicle owners via first class mail and to more than 855,000 via email.A targeted internet campaign further enhanced the notice effort).
  • In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig “Deepwater Horizon” in the Gulf of Mexico, on April 20, 2010, MDL No. 2179 (E.D. La.).One of the largest claim deadline notice campaigns ever implemented, for BP’s $7.8 billion settlement claim deadline relating to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.Hilsoft Notifications designed and implemented the claim deadline notice program, which resulted in a combined measurable paid print, television, radio and Internet effort that reached in excess of 90% of adults aged 18+ in the 26 identified DMAs covering the Gulf Coast Areas an average of 5.5 times each.
  • In re: Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1720 (E.D.N.Y.). Monumental $6.05 billion settlement reached by Visa and MasterCard. The intensive notice program involved over 19.8 million direct mail notices to class members together with insertions in over 1,500 newspapers, consumer magazines, national business publications, trade & specialty publications, and language & ethnic targeted publications. Hilsoft also implemented an extensive online notice campaign with banner notices, which generated more than 770 million adult impressions, a case website in eight languages, and sponsored search listings.
  • In re: Energy Future Holdings Corp., et al.(Asbestos Claims Bar Date Notice), 14-10979(CSS) (Bankr. D. Del.).Large asbestos bar date notice effort, which included individual notice, national consumer publications, hundreds of local and national newspapers, Spanish newspapers, union labor publications, and digital media to reach the target audience.
  • In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig “Deepwater Horizon” in the Gulf of Mexico, on April 20, 2010, MDL No. 2179 (E.D. La.). Companion landmark settlements, one covering economic damages and the other medical claims, reached by BP. Notice efforts included over 5,400 insertions in 2,000+ publications, over 10,000 local television and radio spots, local and national banner ads, notices in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. Coordination of data clean-up and address searches and execution of email notice effort.
  • In Re: Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, MDL No. 2036 (S.D. Fla.). Multiple bank settlements in 2010-2017 involving direct mail and email to millions of class members and publication in relevant local newspapers. Representative banks include, Fifth Third Bank, National City Bank, Bank of Oklahoma, Webster Bank, Harris Bank, M & I Bank, Community Bank, PNC Bank, Compass Bank, Commerce Bank, Citizens Bank, Great Western Bank, TD Bank, Bancorp, Whitney Bank, Associated Bank, and Susquehanna Bank.
  • In re: Residential Schools Class Action Litigation, Canada. Application deadline notice program for the landmark settlement between the Canadian government and Aboriginal former students. This five phase notice effort began in 2011 with phase one, which included 37 general circulation newspapers in English and French, 38 Aboriginal publications in English, French, Inuktitut, Innuinaqtun, Siglit and Oji-Cree, approximately 2,293 radio spots in 14 languages (English, French, Cree, Dene’, Ojibway, North and South Slavey, Tlicho, Gwich’in, South Tutchone, Inuktitut, Oji-Cree, Innu and Atikamekw) and approximately 1,039 television spots in English, French, Inuktitut and Cree.The four additional phases of notice provided similar outreach.
  • In Re: Zurn Pex Plumbing, Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 1958, (D. Minn.). Nationwide building products settlement with individual mailed notice and an extensive publication notice effort.The publication notice alone exposed adults to the notice more than 201 million times during the notice period.
  • In re: Countrywide Customer Data Breach Litig., 3:08-md-01998-TBR, MDL No. 1998 (W.D. KY.). Notice effort involved direct mail to over 11,000,000 Class members and publication in over 2,000 newspapers nationwide.
  • In re: Puerto Rican Cabotage Antitrust Litigation, No. 08-md-1960 (D. P.R.). Involved a 2010 notice effort in English and Spanish of multiple settlements. Individual notice to all direct purchasers and publication in relevant U.S. and Puerto Rican general circulation and trade publications.
  • In re: Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Data Theft Litigation, MDL No. 1796 (D.D.C.). Notices appeared across the country in newspapers, consumer magazines and specialty publications with a total circulation exceeding 76 million.
  • In re: Heartland Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, 4:09-MD-2046, MDL No. 2046, (S.D. Tex.). Publication notice approved to appear nationwide in over 1,000 newspapers, in major consumer magazines and online via banner advertisements.
  • Vereen v. Lowe’s Home Centers, SU10-CV-2267B (Ga. Super. Ct.). Extensive point of sale notice program of a settlement providing payments up to $100,000 related to Chinese drywall – 100 million notices distributed to Lowe’s purchasers during a six-week period.

Education

Mr. Azari holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Willamette University and a Juris Doctor from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College.

Admitted to Practice

Mr. Azari is an active member of the Oregon State Bar.

Speaking Expertise

Mr. Azari has shared his expertise in the following notable speeches and articles.

  • “Recent Developments in Consumer Class Action Notice and Claims Administration."Berman DeValerio Litigation Group, San Francisco, CA, June 8, 2016.
  • “2016 Cybersecurity & Privacy Summit.Moving From ‘Issue Spotting’ To Implementing A Mature Risk Management Model.”King & Spalding, Atlanta, GA, April 25, 2016.
  • “Live Cyber Incident Simulation Exercise.” Advisen’s Cyber Risk Insights Conference, London, UK, February 10, 2015.
  • “Pitfalls of Class Action Notice and Claims Administration.” PLI's Class Action Litigation 2014 Conference, New York, NY, July 9, 2014.
  • “Class Settlement Update – Legal Notice and Court Expectations.” PLI's 19th Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute Conference, New York, NY, April 7-8, 2014 and Chicago, IL, April 28-29, 2014.
  • “Legal Notice in Consumer Finance Settlements - Recent Developments.” ACI’s Consumer Finance Class Actions and Litigation, New York, NY, January 29-30, 2014.
  • “Legal Notice in Building Products Cases.” HarrisMartin’s Construction Product Litigation Conference, Miami, FL, October 25, 2013.
  • “Legal Notice in Consumer Finance Settlements Getting your Settlement Approved.” ACI’s Consumer Finance Class Actions and Litigation, New York, NY, January 31-February 1, 2013.
  • “Perspectives from Class Action Claims Administrators: Email Notice and Response Rates.” CLE International’s 8th Annual Class Actions Conference, Los Angeles, CA, May 17-18, 2012.
  • “Class Action Litigation Trends: A Look into New Cases, Theories of Liability & Updates on the Cases to Watch.” ACI’s Consumer Finance Class Actions and Litigation, New York, NY, January 26-27, 2012.
  • “Data Breaches Involving Consumer Financial Information: Litigation Exposures and Settlement Considerations.” ACI’s Consumer Finance Class Actions and Litigation, New York, NY, January 2011.
  • “Notice in Consumer Class Actions: Adequacy, Efficiency and Best Practices.” CLE International’s 5th Annual Class Action Conference: Prosecuting and Defending Complex Litigation, San Francisco, CA, 2009.
  • “Planning for a Smooth Settlement.” American Conference Institute: Class Action Defense - Complex Settlement Administration for the Class Action Litigator, Phoenix, AZ, 2007.
  • “Structuring a Litigation Settlement.” CLE International’s 3rd Annual Conference on Class Actions, Los Angeles, CA, 2007.
  • “Noticing and Response Rates in Class Action Settlements.” Class Action Bar, Vancouver, British Columbia, 2007.
  • “Noticing and Response Rates in Class Action Settlements.” Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, LLP, New York, NY, 2006.
  • “Noticing and Response Rates in Class Action Settlements.” Bridgeport Continuing Legal Education, Class Action and UCL, San Diego, CA, 2006.
  • “Noticing and Response Rates in Class Action Settlements.” Stoel Rives Litigation Group, Portland, OR / Seattle, WA / Boise, ID / Salt Lake City, UT, 2005.
  • “Noticing and Response Rates in Class Action Settlements.” Stroock Stroock & Lavan Litigation Group, Los Angeles, CA, 2005.
  • “A Scientific Approach to Legal Notice Communication.” Weil Gotshal Litigation Group, New York, NY, 2003.

Publications

Mr. Azari has published many articles about class action noticing requirements, including: 

  • A Practical Guide to Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Publication Notice [E-book].April 2017.
  • “What You Need to Know About Frequency Capping In Online Class Action Notice Programs.” Class Action Litigation Report, June 2014.
  • “Class Action Legal Noticing: Plain Language Revisited.” Law360, April 2013.
  • “Clearing the Five Hurdles of Email - Delivery of Class Action Legal Notices.” Thomson Reuters Class Action Litigation Reporter, June, 2008.
  • “Twice the Notice or No Settlement.” Current Developments - Issue II, August, 2003.


Karen Hanson Riebel is a partner in Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P.  A 1991 dual-degree program graduate (J.D., B.A., cum laude) from the Boston University School of Law and the Boston University College of Liberal Arts, Ms. Riebel joined the firm in 1992.  

During her tenure at the firm, Ms. Riebel has been active in class action, consumer fraud, data breach, data privacy, securities, antitrust, and other complex litigation.  Ms. Riebel is currently working on the forefront of data breach litigation in the United States, most recently as a member of the five-person leadership committee appointed by the Honorable Lucy H. Koh in the In re Yahoo! Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 16-02752 (N.D. Cal.).  In addition, Ms. Riebel served or is serving as: Co-Lead Counsel for financial institution plaintiffs in Greater Chautauqua Federal Credit Union, et al. v. Kmart Corporation, et al., No. 15-02228 (N.D. Ill.); and MidWest America Federal Credit Union et al. v. Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc., No. 17-00514-AT (N.D. Ga.); Liaison Counsel for the financial institution plaintiffs and as a member of Plaintiffs’ Leadership Committee in In re Target Corp. Customer Data Security Breach Litig., No. 14-md-02522-PAM (D. Minn.), and on the Executive Committees for financial institution plaintiffs in In re Home Depot, Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litig., No. 14-02583-TWT (N.D. Ga.) and First Choice Federal Credit Union et al. v. The Wendy’s Company et al., No. 16-00506 (W.D. Pa.).  In addition, Ms. Riebel was appointed as co-lead counsel for plaintiffs in In re Community Health Systems, Inc., Customer Security Data Breach Litig., No. 15-00222, MDL 2595 (N.D. Ala.).  

Ms. Riebel is admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the federal and state courts of Minnesota.  She was a member of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota’s ECM/ECFE Advisory Committee, has served as an officer of the National Association of Shareholder and Consumer Attorneys (NASCAT) since 2007, is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Page Education Foundation, and is a member of the Board of Directors of Project for Pride in Living.


Mr. Creelan is a partner in the litigation department at Jenner & Block.  From 2010-2013, he served as Special Counsel to Governor Cuomo.  He joined Jenner & Block in 2006, after serving as Deputy Director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. At the Brennan Center, he developed and prosecuted numerous high-profile election law cases to protect voters’ rights. He also coauthored a landmark, comprehensive study of New York State's legislative process and, as an adjunct professor at the NYU School of Law from 2005 to 2007, Mr. Creelan taught an election law seminar.  He is a graduate of Yale Law School and Yale College.