What does the Spokeo Decision Mean for Consumer Lawyers?

Webinar Date: 
May 18, 2016
Focus Area: 

On May 16th, the Supreme Court issued a 6-2 decision vacating the 9th Circuit’s decision in the closely watched Robins, Inc. v. Spokeo case.  The High Court did not reverse but remanded the case to the Ninth Circuit for it to address the concreteness element of Article III injury.  The Court declined to rule on whether Robins in fact possessed standing but acknowledged that there are some circumstances when the mere violation of a statutory procedural right can be sufficient to confer injury-in-fact. What type of harm or injury is required? Must harm be tangible? Is risk of harm enough? Is there a difference or connection between harm for standing and actual damage? What does Spokeo mean for the future of FCRA class actions?      
NACA Board members Michelle Drake and Jim Francis will answer your questions and help you plot a post-Spokeo strategy for your FCRA cases.

What You Will Learn

•    How to approach pending stays and stay motions
•    How to plead future cases involving procedural violations
•    What, if any, issues Spokeo raises for class certification
•    How does Spokeo affect non-FCRA cases


E. Michelle Drake is a Shareholder in Berger & Montague's Minneapolis office. Michelle focuses her practice primarily on consumer protection, improper credit reporting and financial services class actions. Most recently, Michelle has been successful in litigating numerous cases protecting consumers' federal privacy rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, securing settlements valued at over $10 million on behalf of tens of thousands of consumers harmed by improper background checks and inaccurate credit reports in the last two years alone. Michelle was admitted to the bar in 2001 and has since served as lead class counsel in over fifty class and collective actions alleging violations of the FCRA, the FDCPA, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and other pro-consumer and pro-employee causes of action. Michelle serves on the Board of the NACA, is a member of the Partner's Council of the National Consumer Law Center, and is an At-Large Council Member for the Consumer Litigation Section for the Minnesota State Bar Association. She was named as a Super Lawyer in both 2013 and 2014, and was named as a Rising Star prior to that. 

James A. Francis is a partner at Francis and Mailman. Since 1998, he has focused his practice in consumer protection litigation, with a particular concentration in fair credit reporting, fair debt collection practices and consumer class actions. Notable cases include Ryals et al. v. Hireright Solutions, Inc., C.A. No. 3:09cv625 (E.D. Va. Dec. 22, 2011), where he received a $28.3 million national settlement achieved for class of consumers subjected to employment background checks in case brought under Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA); believed to be the 3rd largest FCRA settlement in history. In 2004, Mr. Francis was the youngest lawyer to be ranked in the Top 100 Superlawyers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia Magazine and Pennsylvania Super Lawyers magazine. He was subsequently ranked a Top 100 Pennsylvania Superlawyer in 2008, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016 and has been regularly ranked one of the Top 100 Superlawyers in Philadelphia since 2004. In May of 2014, Mr. Francis was presented with Community Legal Services of Philadelphia’s Equal Justice Award at its annual Breakfast of Champions. He was also selected as one of a small national group of plaintiffs’ lawyers to be featured in Law 360′s Titans of the Plaintiff’s Bar series in October of 2014. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the NACA.


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