CLASS ACTION LITIGATION DEFENSE K&L Gates has successfully defended clients of the firm against enterprisethreatening class actions brought under a broad range of legal theories and substantive areas of the law. Firm lawyers have represented Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, mortgage lenders, investment companies, broker-dealers, public companies, nonprofits, municipalities, limited partnerships, and law firms, as well as their owners, officers, directors, and partners, in class actions brought around the globe. Based on interviews with hundreds of corporate counsel, BTI Consulting Group’s 2014 Litigation Outlook survey ranked K&L Gates among those at the top of the list and a “Powerhouse” in Class Action Litigation and Securities and Finance Litigation. We’ve defended major class actions brought in state and federal courts in nearly all of the United States and in Australia, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, and other jurisdictions. We are uniquely positioned to defend local, national, and global companies in class actions wherever they may arise, and to manage the complexities posed by simultaneous litigations in multiple venues, including concurrent regulatory and civil proceedings. Our class action practice also takes us before many appellate courts, in the United States and elsewhere, to defend the denial of class certification or the dismissal of claims in our clients’ favor. Areas of Practice Consumer Financial Services/ Mortgage Banking Lawyers in the firm’s Financial Institutions and Services Litigation Practice Group regularly defend banking, mortgage lending, and consumer financial service institutions in consumer class action litigation. The firm has represented clients in putative national, state, and multi-state classes involving claims under federal statutes such as the Fair Housing Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, Truth in Lending Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Credit Repair Organizations Act, Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt BTI Consulting Group’s 2014 Litigation Outlook survey ranked K&L Gates among those at the top of the list and a “Powerhouse” in Class Action Litigation and Securities and Finance Litigation. Organizations Act, among others. The group also includes lawyers, based primarily in Washington, D.C., who specialize in regulatory and compliance issues. The firm also represents clients against state statutory law claims, including state unfair and deceptive acts and practices statutes, California Business and Professions Code § 17200, state motor vehicle sales finance acts, and state statutory analogs to the various federal consumer protection statutes, as well as common law claims. Representative engagements include: •Representing residential mortgage lending trade associations as amici curiae in fair lending class actions under review by the United States Supreme Court. These cases raise the question whether the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601, et seq., recognizes a disparate-impact theory of discrimination, and if so, the appropriate standard and burden of proof applicable to such claims. •Defending national mortgage loan servicers in class actions, pending in federal and state courts around the country, alleging that the servicers did not live up to alleged contractual obligations arising from federal loan modification programs. •Defending national mortgage loan servicers in class actions alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and state unfair and deceptive acts and practices statutes. The cases address, among other issues, the use of third-party vendors to assist in loss mitigation efforts. •Defending banks against RICO and qui tam claims alleging that fees charged at closing exceeded those allowed by Department of Veterans Affairs guidelines for the types of refinancing loans at issue. Securities and Derivative Suits K&L Gates has a long record of success defending large publicly held securities issuers, investment companies, investment advisory firms, underwriters, large and small brokerage firms, and venture capital firms, as well as the officers and directors of these organizations, in shareholder class actions and derivative suits. In addition to claims under the federal securities laws, these cases often involve common law claims alleging negligence, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty. Representative engagements include: •Defending investment companies and investment advisers against purported breach of fiduciary claims, including claims arising from the failure of the auction rate securities market and from the exposure of fund shareholders to trading by market timers. These cases led to groundbreaking rulings under the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act, including a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. •Defending a diverse range of publicly held corporations, officers and directors, that have been named as defendants in securities class actions, often arising from financial restatements and involving complex accounting issues. •Defending Wall Street and regional brokerage and investment firms in class actions based on a wide range of allegations, including failure to reinvest mutual fund dividends held in customers’ IRA accounts and facilitating unlawful market timing and late trading of mutual fund shares. •Defending shareholder actions arising from the sale or acquisition of businesses, including suits challenging the adequacy of deal terms and processes. •Defending investment advisers against “excessive fee” claims brought under Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940. Products Liability/ Antitrust/Trade Regulation Consumer Protection K&L Gates lawyers have defended clients in class actions involving asserted violations of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, the Robinson-Patman Act, and RICO, as well as state unfair trade practice statutes based on claims of price fixing and other forms of collusion, price discrimination, monopolization, and life insurance sales practices. Representative engagements include: K&L Gates lawyers have extensive experience defending clients in class actions asserting claims under consumer protection laws, including statutes imposing severe penalties for what was once accepted commercial behavior. The firm also defends clients against claims relating to allegedly defective products, breach of warranty claims, claims for false or misleading advertising, failure to disclose, misrepresentations of purpose or use, inadequate service or support, and other consumer fraud-based theories. In addition, we have experience defending consumer protection actions for damages while also defending parallel government enforcement proceedings. Representative engagements include: •Defending a manufacturer of decking material in an alleged nationwide class action, and multiple statewide class actions, claiming violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and state consumer protection statutes relating to alleged product defects. •Defending an internet service provider against a claim under the Truth in Lending Act and state consumer protection act claims challenging the bundling of internet services with computers sold via an infomercial. •Defending a major franchisor against enterprise-threatening claims brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. •Defending a major drug manufacturer in opposing certification of a nationwide consumer class action alleging a failure to warn of potential health risks posed by a nonprescription drug. •Defending a software company against a putative nationwide class action claiming consumer protection act violations for an alleged practice relating to automatic software updates. •Defending a U.S. manufacturer of carbon fiber in a grand jury investigation and follow-on class action litigation alleging price fixing. •Representing a manufacturer of foundry resins in multidistrict antitrust class action litigation alleging price fixing and abuse of monopsony power. •Defending a pharmacy benefits manager before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation and in its defense of class action antitrust claims including tying, monopolization and price fixing brought on behalf of over 25,000 retail pharmacists. •Defending class actions in U.S. federal and state courts relating to alleged illegal price fixing in the setting of fuel surcharges for international cargo flights. We’ve defended major class actions brought in state and federal courts in nearly all of the United States and in Australia, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, and other jurisdictions. Wage and Hour K&L Gates lawyers regularly defend corporate and municipal clients in wage and hour and wage payment class actions, including putative national, international, multi-state, and state classes, sometimes involving potential classes of hundreds of thousands of employees and alleged damages in the billions of dollars. These actions include off-the-clock work claims; overtime claims; challenges to exempt status; claims for employee status and benefits by temporary workers, third-party contract workers, independent contractors, and volunteers; and technical claims for violations of meal and rest period, termination pay, wage payment, and wage deduction requirements. Representative engagements include: •Defending a national retailer against FLSA and state-law claims for meal and rest period violations and other off-the-clock work issues brought on behalf of a putative class of some 2,000 pharmacists across the country. The federal court granted our motion for summary judgment and denied plaintiffs’ motions for Section 216(b) notice and Rule 23 class certification as moot. •Defending a national manufacturer of household and industrial equipment against representative claims under the FLSA covering a putative class of up to 15,000 employees seeking unpaid overtime for time passing through security measures, donning and doffing personal protective equipment, and reporting to their workstations. •Defending a state government agency in a U.S. Department of Labor enforcement action for failure to properly track time and pay overtime to approximately 2,000 state social workers. Although the state had a bargaining agreement with the social workers providing for overtime and had never claimed them as exempt, we established that they qualified for the professional exemption. Employment K&L Gates defends employment class actions for corporate and municipal clients, including high-stakes adverse treatment and adverse impact discrimination class actions involving race, gender, age, and/ or disability issues, and hiring, promotion, discipline, harassment, and/or discharge claims. Firm lawyers also are experienced defending class claims for retaliation, breach of contract, entitlement to benefits, violations of the WARN Act, violations of ERISA, payment of prevailing wages, and other employment-related claims. Representative engagements include: Telecom/Media/Technology K&L Gates lawyers are experienced in defending telecom, media, and technology clients in consumer class action litigation, and have represented clients in putative nationwide and state class actions in federal courts around the country involving issues arising under the federal Communications Act, the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, state unfair and deceptive acts and practices statutes, state business tax statutes, and breach of contract and other common law theories of recovery. Representative engagements include: •Defending a major on-line retailer in a putative nationwide class action alleging violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030, et seq., and consumer protection laws for purported misuse of website visitors’ personal information. •Defending a chemical company against a class action asserting national origin discrimination claims under Title VII, coupled with claims of FLSA violations against the protected class. •Defending a major wireless carrier in a putative nationwide class action alleging violation of California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Civil Code § 1750, and California’s Unfair Competition Law, Business & Professions Code § 17200, arising from the alleged transmission of text messages in connection with purportedly illegal lotteries. •Defending a retailer against EEOC class claims of age discrimination in the hiring and retention of its sales staff. After extensive investigation and negotiation, the matter was settled for a nuisance amount and an agreement to implement more standardized hiring procedures. •Defending a major wireless carrier in a putative nationwide class action alleging violation of the federal Communications Act for purportedly charging customers for unsolicited text messages, including unsolicited premium text messages. •Defending a major public transportation authority in an EEOC class action under the Equal Pay Act and the ADEA. •Defending a major wireless carrier in a putative class action alleging violation of a state tax code and state unfair and deceptive acts and practices statute in connection with the structuring of wireless services rates. •Defending a health system against a class action complaint alleging various ERISA and COBRA violations, retaliatory discharge and breach of contract claims. 11324 Learn more about our Class Action Litigation Defense practice at klgates.com. 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This publication is for informational purposes and does not contain or convey legal advice. The information herein should not be used or relied upon in regard to any particular facts or circumstances without first consulting a lawyer. ©2014 K&L Gates LLP. All Rights Reserved.