PLI PLUS 2.0 is now available – click here to test drive the new platform.
Skip to main content

Defending Data Privacy, Behavioral Advertising and Security Breach Class Action Suits 2016: What Every Litigator and In-House Lawyer Needs to Know

Speaker(s): Christine M. Reilly, David Townsend, Sr., Hilary Ware, Ian C. Ballon, Jay Edelson, Jennifer L. Duffy, Jonathan R. Mayer, Joseph C Spero, Monica S. Desai, Patricia Wyrod, Rafey S. Balabanian, Renée T. Lawson, Robert J. Herrington, Rosemarie T. Ring
Recorded on: Jan. 22, 2016
PLI Program #: 150081

Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero has presided as trial judge in criminal and civil cases in a variety of subject areas, including patent, employment, civil rights, commercial contract, trademark, and federal misdemeanor cases. He has also served as a settlement judge in over 1500 cases.

Judge Spero serves on the Court's Executive Committee, as Chair of the Court's Reentry Committee and of the Diversion Committee, and serves as Liaison Judge for Pretrial Services and Probation. He also serves on various circuit and national committees including the Magistrate Judges Advisory Group of the Administrative Office of the Courts, and on the Capital Case Committee of the Ninth Circuit.

A 1981 graduate of Columbia University School of Law, he clerked for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He worked as an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and as associate then partner at Coblentz, Cahen, McCabe & Breyer (now Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass).

While in private practice, he trained as a mediator at Harvard Law School and served as a mediator in the Northern District's Alternative Dispute Resolution Program. He also served as a Judge Pro-Tem for the San Francisco County Superior Court.

Judge Spero served as pro bono counsel in a variety of cases. He received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the Bar Association of the City of New York.

Jay Edelson is the Founder and CEO of Edelson PC, which has been recognized by Law360 as an “Illinois Powerhouse” and named a "Consumer Protection Group" of the year (2017). He is considered one of the nation’s leading class and mass action lawyers, having secured over $1 billion in settlements and verdicts for his clients. Law360 has described Jay as a “Titan of the Plaintiff’s Bar.”

Jay has been recognized by the American Bar Association for being one of the “most creative minds in the legal industry” and has “taken on some of the biggest companies and law firms in the world, and has had success where others have not.” He has also been called of the most “feared” litigators in Silicon Valley and, according to a New York Times profile, his success in the privacy space has made him Tech’s “least friended” man. Put plainly, according to Chicago Lawyer Magazine, “when it comes to legal strategy and execution, Edelson is simply one of the best in the country.”

Commentators have singled out Jay’s willingness to tackle problems other lawyers shy away from and his creativity in finding winning strategies.  He has successfully litigated cases of first impression against the national banks in the wake of the housing collapse, leading to the reinstatement of over $3 billion in home credit lines. Through his privacy cases, he has “fostered a reputation for his uncanny ability to come up with creative standing and damages arguments” leading to “momentum-shifting rulings in challenges to the data security and information-gathering practices of companies.”

Jay has been chosen by courts and other institutions to handle some of the most complex and significant issues facing the nation today. He is leading the student-athlete concussion multi-district litigation against the NCAA, considered to be “one of the largest actions pending in the country.” His victory in the United States Supreme Court in Robins v. Spokeo has been called the most significant consumer privacy case in recent times.

Jay is representing dozens of governmental entities in lawsuits against the drug manufacturers and distributors responsible for the opioid epidemic in primarily state-based actions.

Jennifer Duffy

Jennifer Duffy has extensive experience in class action litigation and works with the legal team at KamberLaw. Ms. Duffy specializes in class action cases involving data breaches, privacy violations, employment practices, pharmaceutical injuries, products liability, technology, public and private services and banking. 

Ms Duffy has consulted with think tanks and university graduate computer science departments for issues related to security and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS).   Her case experience focuses on the latest advancements in honeypot detection systems for network and server security of both private and governmental entities.

Ms Duffy has been involved in litigating several Multi District Panel data breach cases.  She is experienced in evaluating cases for class action viability as well as managing case litigation on a national basis.  The currently pending cases concern surreptitious tracking; privacy violations; and medical and financial data breaches.  Most of her case experience involves Fortune 500 corporations.

Before joining KamberLaw, Ms. Duffy practiced class action law with Girardi Keese and Kabateck Brown Kellner. Prior to her work in complex litigation, Ms. Duffy was a Prosecutor for the City of Long Beach, CA and a criminal defense attorney. She has tried many cases and handled many appeals.  She was a member of the California Appellate Project for the Second District Court of Appeals. Ms. Duffy is admitted to practice law in California State and Federal Courts.


Jonathan Mayer is a Ph.D. candidate in computer science and a lawyer at Stanford University, where he received his J.D. in 2013. He was named one of the Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2014, for his work on technology security and privacy. Jonathan’s research and commentary frequently appear in national publications, and he has contributed to federal and state law enforcement actions.

Jonathan is a Cybersecurity Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, a Junior Affiliate Scholar at the Center for Internet and Society, and a Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellow. He earned his A.B. at Princeton University in 2009, concentrating in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Monica Desai advises clients from the technology and communications sectors on the regulation of their industry by such agencies as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), helping her clients understand and navigate existing—and shape pending—complex regulatory rules and policy. Much of her work involves representing client interests before the FCC through the development of policy initiatives and regulatory proposals related to media, privacy, Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS), and spectrum issues. Ms. Desai has served as an expert witness and consults on litigation related to FCC issues, and represents clients before Congress. She advises investors in the technology communications sectors, and counsels governments around the world on the development of communications law and regulation.

Before joining Patton Boggs, Ms. Desai spent more than a decade in senior positions at the FCC, under Republican and Democratic administrations, including service as chief of the Media Bureau, chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, deputy chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and legal advisor to a former FCC commissioner.

As chief of the Media Bureau at the FCC, Ms. Desai established, directed, and conducted  oversight of all policy, budget, personnel, press-related, Congressional, and administrative matters within the Media Bureau; she also testified twice before Congress during this time regarding digital television and cable issues. She also developed, administered and advised the chairman and commissioners on FCC licensing programs for cable television, broadcast television and radio, as well as orders and federal rules related to video franchising, Direct Broadcast Satellite service, program carriage, program access, cable ownership, media ownership, leased access, digital television, digital audio broadcasting, and other matters. Ms. Desai draws on that background when advising private sector clients on media-related issues, including mobile marketing, program  access and program carriage, children’s programming, set-top box issues, and review of transactions before the FCC.

Similarly, in her capacity as chief of the Consumer Governmental Affairs Bureau at the FCC, Ms. Desai advised the chairman and commissioners, developed orders, and managed all rulemaking proceedings related to general consumer and disability policies, including closed captioning, TCPA, TRS, and hearing aid compatibility. She also served as liaison from the FCC to industry leaders, federal advisory committees, consumer groups, disability groups, and professional associations in coordinating consumer issues, and managed the FCC’s relationship with federal, state, and tribal government agencies. Ms. Desai’s experience with these issues is especially valuable when representing private sector clients before the FCC and in Congress on consumer and accessibility issues. A significant component of her work has involved TRS and TCPA rules and policies. Ms. Desai’s experience also encompasses relevant privacy-related issues, and representing clients on those issues before the FTC.

Ms. Desai leverages her FCC background when counseling and advocating on behalf of clients at the FCC and in Congress on matters involving spectrum and wireless infrastructure. She has extensive experience in wireless infrastructure issues, waivers, historic preservation issues, and review of transactions before the FCC.


  • Government Relations and Lobbying
  • Technology and Communications


  • Technology and Communications


  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D.,
    cum laude
  • George Washington University, B.B.A.,
    magna cum laude, National Merit Scholar


  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland


  • Federal Communications Bar Association, Executive Committee (2008 – present)


  • Honoree, FCC Leaders and Minority Media and Telecommunications Council Women's History Month Celebration (April 10, 2013)
  • Featured as “Geek of the Week” by the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council’s Broadband and Social Justice Blog (Week of April 1, 2013

Renée Lawson is Deputy General Counsel at Zynga.  In addition to playing lots of fun Zynga games like Words with Friends and FarmVille, Renée leads Zynga’s product compliance, intellectual property, employment, government affairs, and litigation teams. She also is a Co-Founder and Board Member of Alta Vista School, a progressive elementary and middle school in San Francisco with a focus on math, science and technology. 

Prior to joining Zynga, Renée was a partner at Morgan Lewis in San Francisco for six years and started her legal career at Brobeck Phleger and Harrison.  She specialized in the areas of intellectual property and commercial litigation.  

Zynga Legal is proud to have been named one of the most innovative in-house teams in the United States by the Financial Times and a 2012 Best Legal Department finalist by Corporate Counsel.  Renée also has been named to the "Defense Hot List" by the National Law Journal, was identified as one of the "Best Lawyers in the Bay Area" by Bay Area Lawyer, and received the Inaugural Jack Londen Award from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights for her pro bono work.


  • University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, 1996, J.D.
  • University of California, Santa Barbara, 1992, M.A., examination magna cum laude (German)
  • Santa Clara University, 1990, B.A., cum laude (German)

Robert J. Herrington is Co-Chair of the firm's Products Liability & Mass Torts Practice. He focuses his practice on defending consumer products companies in complex, multi-party litigation, including class actions, government enforcement litigation, product defect litigation and mass torts. Rob represents companies in a variety of industries, including apparel and footwear, retail, emerging technologies, consumer electronics, video game, telecommunications, advertising and publicity, online retailing, food and beverage, nutritional supplements, personal care products, sports and fitness, outdoor equipment, home appliances, automotive, and insurance.

Rob is the author of the best-selling book, Verdict for the Defense (Sutton Hart Press 2011), and a co-author of The Class Action Fairness Act: Law and Strategy (ABA Publishing 2013). Rob was recognized as the "Class Action Litigation Lawyer of the Year" (2017) by the Century City Bar Association. In 2013, 2014 and 2015, Rob was named in Law360's list of "Top Attorneys Under 40" for Class Actions.


  • Consumer class actions
  • Consumer protection litigation
  • Product defect litigation
  • False advertising
  • Unfair and deceptive trade practices
  • California Business & Professions Code § 17200
  • Consumer Legal Remedies Act
  • Products liability and mass torts
  • Complex commercial litigation
  • Trials

Rosemarie T. Ring is a litigation partner in the San Francisco office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Ms. Ring’s practice focuses on complex commercial litigation with an emphasis on privacy and consumer class actions and intellectual property disputes.  She has represented companies in litigation and government investigations involving a wide variety of technologies, including social media, online advertising platforms, artificial intelligence, streaming digital media, mobile devices, and cloud platforms.  Ms. Ring also has a fashion law practice, representing companies such as Ermenegildo Zegna, Yves Saint Laurent and Versace in litigation, regulatory, and counseling matters on a range of issues, including privacy and IP enforcement programs for trademark and patent portfolios.

Highly regarded as a leading technology litigator, Ms. Ring was named to The Recorder’s “Women Leaders in Tech Law” list for five consecutive years (2013-2017), and as one of California’s “Top Women Lawyers” by the Daily Journal in 2016.

Ms. Ring focuses on clients in the technology, consumer/retail, and media and entertainment industries, including Facebook, LinkedIn, The Walt Disney Company, Verizon, Microsoft, Apple, and HTC.  She also has an active pro bono practice and is committed to local legal and community organizations.  Currently, she is co-counsel with the ACLU in a lawsuit against the Department of Defense challenging its policy excluding women from combat service.  She also serves on the board of directors for the Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center of San Francisco and The Center for WorkLife Law at UC Hastings College of the Law and was a founding board member of the Bay Area Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society.

Ms. Ring earned her Juris Doctor from U.C. Berkeley School of Law and served as a law clerk to Judge Richard A. Paez on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  She also served as a White House intern for then-Chief of Staff, Leon Panetta, and was a consultant with Accenture before attending law school.

Hilary Ware is Associate General Counsel & Vice President of Litigation & Regulatory Affairs at Netflix, based in Los Gatos. She joined Netflix in 2011, and has global responsibility for Netflix's litigation, regulatory compliance, consumer claims and law enforcement requests, privacy & data security, and labor and employment legal teams. 

She is a founder of the Legal Diversity Committee and is also a frequent speaker on issues of diversity & inclusion and work-life balance in the legal profession.

Hilary attended Wellesley College, where she double majored in Political Science and English. She received her Master’s in Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education and her JD from Harvard Law School. After a federal clerkship in Miami, she moved to San Francisco, where after litigating at a big firm and then managing litigation and investigations in-house at Google, she joined Netflix. 

Hilary lives with her partner Sharon and their blended family of six kids: Kennedy and Chase, who are 18; Nicholas and Eva and Chandler, who are 16, and Theo, who is 14. (Yes, that is 6 teenagers; she keeps her cross-examination skills sharp at home.) In her essentially non-existent spare time she downhill skis and rock climbs in Yosemite.

Ian C. Ballon is Co-Chair of Greenberg Traurig LLP’s Global Intellectual Property & Technology Practice Group and represents internet, mobile, entertainment and technology companies in defending data privacy, security breach and TCPA class action suits and in other intellectual property and technology litigation. A list of recent cases may be found at

He is also the author of the leading treatise on internet and mobile law, E-Commerce and Internet Law: Treatise with Forms 2d edition, the 5-volume set published by West (, which includes extensive coverage of security breach and data privacy issues. In addition, he is the author of The Complete CAN-SPAM Act Handbook (West 2008) and The Complete State Security Breach Notification Compliance Handbook (West 2009). He also serves as Executive Director of Stanford University Law School’s Center for E-Commerce, which hosts the annual Best Practices Conference where lawyers, scholars and judges are regularly featured and interact.

Ian was named the Lawyer of the Year for Information Technology Law in the 2019, 2018, 2016 and 2013 editions of Best Lawyers in America and was recognized as the 2012 New Media Lawyer of the Year by the Century City Bar Association. In both 2018 and 2019 he was recognized as one of the Top 1,000 trademark attorneys in the world for his litigation practice by World Trademark Review. In addition, in 2019 he was named one of the top 20 Cybersecurity lawyers in California and in 2018 one of the Top Cybersecurity/Artificial Intelligence lawyers in California by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal. He received the “Trailblazer” Award, Intellectual Property, 2017 from The National Law Journal and he has been recognized as a “Groundbreaker” in The Recorder’s 2017 Litigation Departments of the Year Awards. In 2010, he was the recipient of the California State Bar Intellectual Property Law section's Vanguard Award for significant contributions to the development of intellectual property law (

Mr. Ballon was listed in Variety's "Legal Impact Report: 50 Game-Changing Attorneys" and has been named by the LA Daily Journal as one of the Top 75 intellectual property litigators in California in every year that the list has been published (2009 through 2018) and as one of the top 100 lawyers in California. He is also listed in Legal 500 U.S., The Best Lawyers in America (in the areas of information technology and intellectual property) and Chambers and Partners USA Guide in the areas of privacy and data security and information technology. Mr. Ballon also holds the CIPP/US certification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).

Ian can be reached at:, 310-586-6575 or via leading social media platforms (IanBallon).

Litigator Christine Reilly defends companies in consumer class actions and other major civil litigation in various areas, including consumer protection, unfair competition, and false and deceptive advertising. She also represents clients facing investigations and proceedings initiated by the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other federal and state regulatory agencies.

The chair of Manatt's Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) compliance and class action defense group, Christine regularly defends companies from claims brought under the TCPA, and she frequently writes and speaks on TCPA compliance. She has significant experience litigating under other federal statutes, including the Federal Trade Commission Act; Electronic Communications Privacy Act; Electronic Fund Transfer Act; Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

Within California, Christine defends companies facing allegations brought under state laws such as the False Advertising Law, Unfair Competition Law, the Rosenthal FDCPA, Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Song-Beverly Credit Card Act, California Penal Code Section 327 (endless chain/pyramid scheme), and the Invasion of Privacy Act.

In addition to litigation, Christine regularly counsels clients on marketing and advertising practices and compliance with various consumer laws. She represents companies in myriad industries and service sectors including sales and marketing, wireless/mobile technology, the Internet, lead generation, manufacturing, electrical components, software, telecommunications, television, music and entertainment, automotive parts and services, food, health, and beauty.

Patricia Wyrod represents technology companies through all aspects of their early growth.  In 2014-2015 she was the General Counsel of e-commerce and social media marketing company, founded by YouTube beauty celebrity Michelle Phan.  As General Counsel she advised ipsy through 2.5x growth in revenue, curation of a 10M member online beauty community and a $100M Series B funding round led by TPG Growth.

From 2008 to 2013 she was the Assistant General Counsel at Silver Spring Networks, an IoT device networking company. The company’s revenue grew 20x in five years, culminating in an IPO in 2013. 

She served as Vice President of Legal for global software company SPL WorldGroup for five years, which was acquired by Oracle.

Patricia received her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and a B.A. from the University of Michigan Honors College.  She earned an advanced degree in European Union law from the College of Europe, Belgium.

Rafey is the Managing Partner of Edelson PC and the Firm’s national head of litigation.  Edelson is a leading national plaintiff’s class action firm recognized for its work representing consumers in technology and privacy cases against some of the country’s largest tech companies.  In the past five years, Edelson PC has secured settlements on behalf of aggrieved consumers valued at over $1 billion.

Rafey’s practice focuses upon a wide range of complex consumer class action litigation, as well as general business litigation. In the class action context, Rafey has led numerous groundbreaking privacy cases, including ones against tech giants like Netflix, LinkedIn, Google, and Facebook.  He has been appointed lead counsel in numerous class actions, and has achieved landmark nationwide settlements involving the tech and telecom industries worth hundreds of millions of dollars.  One of his most notable accomplishments include securing nationwide adversarial certification in what is believed to be the largest privacy class action in the history of US jurisprudence in the case of Dunstan, et al. v. comScore, Inc., No. 11-cv-5807 (N.D. Ill.).

On the business side, Rafey has counseled clients ranging from “emerging technology” companies, medical startups, real estate developers, lenders, shareholders, and attorneys. He has successfully litigated numerous multi-million dollar cases, including several “bet the company” cases.

Rafey has spent the better part of the last 14 years in Chicago, but recently relocated to San Francisco to manage Edelson PC’s new office.

Dave Townsend is a recognized authority on computer forensics and Cyber-crime investigation, with more than 30 years of police, detective and cyber forensic experience including many high profile assignments with the Silicon Valley High Tech Crimes Task Force and the FBI.

Dave most recently managed the data loss prevention team for Kaiser Permanente.  He was part of the cyber threats and investigative services.  Dave is currently managing partner & CEO of Townsend, Carden & Rose, Inc., a digital expert firm located in the Silicon Valley.

Dave is a former member of the FBI REACT (Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team) Task Force where he investigated numerous high technology crimes as well as developed, designed and implemented training to investigators and staff on tools, resources and investigative techniques in computer crime.

Dave was the computer forensics consultant for Mark Geragos during the Scott Peterson double homicide, during this case; Dave conducted analysis on 5 computers belonging to Scott and Laci Peterson. People V. Michael Jackson, Dave was the expert computer forensic analyst for attorney Susan Yu and examined 14 computers from Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. In addition, Dave was the expert for the defense when John Mark Karr, suspect in JonBenét Ramsey murder case, was extradited from Bangkok Thailand and brought to trial on charges in California. Aside from these well known cases, Dave has been an expert consultant and subject matter expert for law firms and corporations on the best practices, procedures, and investigations relating to data collection, cyber forensics, cyber security.

Dave has conducted computer forensics on many large cases within the biomedical fields, global internet service providers, network hardware markets involving intellectual property theft, employment law, wills', trusts and probate.

Dave is a Certified Computer Crimes Expert by the State of California, Peace Officers Standards and Testing (POST). He has served as an expert witness in criminal and civil cases for the United States Federal Court San Jose, California; the Stanislaus County Superior Court; and the San Francisco County Superior Court.