Class Action Defense

 


The momentous rise in class action litigation over the past decade has opened up a new legal landscape for the business world and litigators alike. Recent cases involving fundamental issues such as jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act and the evidentiary requirements for obtaining class treatment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 have challenged the Supreme Court. The increased focus on such issues and cases has now affected the lower courts as well, posing a new challenge of how to navigate the application of rigorous class certification principles.

In this shifting landscape where the stakes are high, both financially and legally, clients need strong representation from a legal team who not only has the professional experience, but also the track record, of swift resolutions and across-the-board victories achieved through early negotiation and dismissal, summary judgment without class discovery, defeating class certification, and negotiating favorable settlements.

WHAT WE DO

Blank Rome’s class action defense practice makes winning in and out of court the fundamental priority in dealing with all of our cases. Our class action litigators have successfully defended claims brought by putative class members involving product liability, mass tort, antitrust, consumer fraud, employment, RICO, securities, and data privacy and communications across various industries in every facet of national, regional, and state class actions, many of which were high-profile cases that implicated tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in potential liability. We are also well known for supervising the administration of class action settlements with classes comprising millions of members.

Our wide range of clients includes manufacturers, insurers, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, media companies, technology companies, and financial services companies. We are fiercely loyal to our clients and their idea of success, strongly believing that only the vigorous pursuit of rational principles, both at trial and on appeal, yields results consistent with both conscience and shareholder interests.

Specifically, we advise our clients on diverse issues related to the following:

Consumer Protection and Fraud

Our trial attorneys have extensive experience defending consumer class actions in both state and federal courts ranging from “bet-the-company” nationwide class actions to smaller statewide class actions. We have developed a diversified set of defense and settlement strategies to combat the increased reliance on broad consumer protection laws by the Plaintiffs’ Bar and have successfully implemented those strategies in a variety of consumer class actions, including cases involving labeling, marketing, advertising, pricing, and utilities.

Securities

Our securities litigation practice has represented issuers, directors, officers, and other corporate executives in a broad range of securities class actions, including:

  • alleged violations of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 and the Securities Act of 1933
  • disclosure violations arising from alleged accounting fraud to financial restatements
  • insider trading and misappropriation
  • projections and forecasts
  • internal controls failure
  • merger integration issues

In addition, our class action litigators have successfully handled Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (“PSLRA”) class actions throughout the country, securing victories at the class certification and motion to dismiss stages or arranging for favorable settlements when appropriate. We also have significant experience in class actions and derivative litigation in the context of mergers and acquisitions and other change-of-control transactions by shareholder and/or derivative plaintiffs seeking to block and/or recover damages for merger activity.

To learn more about our securities litigation capabilities, please click here.

Product Liability and Toxic Torts

Our product liability litigation practice has significant experience defending class actions involving product liability and toxic torts in federal and state courts throughout the country. We have a long track record of efficiently and effectively defending private-sector clients in the oil, petrochemical, aerospace, chemical, manufacturing, and agricultural industries, as well as public entities such as municipalities, in:

  • personal injury
  • environmental property damage claims
  • product safety and liability
  • medical monitoring relating to soil, water, and air contamination

To learn more about our product liability litigation capabilities, please click here.

Employment

Blank Rome’s employment litigation practice regularly represents employers in employment-related class and collective action matters in state and federal courts throughout the United States, including:

  • FLSA and wage and hour class and collective actions
  • Title VII race discrimination class actions
  • ADEA and parallel state collective and class actions
  • Title VII gender discrimination class actions
  • ECOA and other class actions involving charges of discrimination

We counsel our clients on effective methods to address such claims, and identify opportunities to narrow the claims or putative class representatives, including through early dismissals and referrals to arbitration. We also advise our clients on class and collective action rules and procedures, and assist them in identifying claims that should not proceed as a class or collective action. If necessary, we effectively utilize discovery, technology, and expert witnesses to help demonstrate that individual issues preclude certification, while always maintaining a focus on effective trial strategies should a trial of one or more claims become necessary.

To learn more about our employment litigation capabilities, please click here.

Consumer Finance

Our class action team consists of experienced complex commercial attorneys who have defended multiple class action cases in state and federal courts in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Our consumer finance litigation team is nationally recognized as one of the leaders in the industry and has significant experience defending against claims under Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”), Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), and Pennsylvania’s Mortgage Satisfaction Act. Our attorneys frequently represent lenders, loan servicers, financial institutions, and other clients in connection with residential mortgage obligation matters and loan modification practices.

To learn more about our consumer finance litigation capabilities, please click here.

TCPA, Privacy, and Data Collection

Our consumer privacy litigators make winning in and out of court the fundamental priority in all of our cases. With twelve U.S.-based offices, we defend clients in state and federal courts across the nation against claims alleging violations of federal and state consumer privacy, communications, data handling, and related laws.

We have defended against numerous multidistrict nationwide state and federal class action privacy claims brought under the following:

  • Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”)
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”)
  • Stored Communications Act (“SCA”)
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”)
  • Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”)
  • Related state statutes, most notably California’s Invasion of Privacy Act (“CIPA”) and California's Unfair Competition Law (“Section 17200”)

Complementing this litigation and trial experience is our extensive knowledge of every major privacy regulation, including the Gramm Leach Bliley Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”), and analogous state laws, such as California's Song-Beverly Credit Card Act. We also have extensive experience with e-discovery and social media issues in the law, and counsel clients with respect to social media use, social media policies, privacy terms and conditions, and data collection practices.

Our clients represent every regulated industry subject to data and consumer privacy regulation and include companies such as major retailers and manufacturers, credit bureaus, insurance companies, banks and other financial institutions, major sports teams, healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, auto manufacturers and dealers, debt-collection companies, telemarketing companies, social media and other Internet service providers, and other businesses that use consumer information.

To learn more about our privacy class action capabilities, please click here.

 
WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT

In addition to the professional experience of our nationally recognized trial attorneys, our class action defense practice is bolstered by our strong relationships with class action administrators, plaintiffs’ counsel, and the courts, as well as high-profile members of our team, which includes the following former federal and state court judges:

  • Former U.S. Court of Appeals for Sixth Circuit Judge Nathaniel R. Jones
  • Former Chief District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Edward N. Cahn
  • Former District Court Judge for the District of New Jersey Stephen M. Orlofsky
  • Former Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge G. Craig Lord

We also continually monitor developments in class action litigation and routinely publish articles and newsletters about trends and rulings shaping our clients’ businesses and jurisprudence to keep our clients abreast of key changes in the law.