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Ellis Law Group
Articles & Publications

DEBT COLLECTION: ISSUES WITH TIME-BARRED DEBT
By Mark E. Ellis
Historically, neither a creditor, nor its agents (including its attorneys) owed any obligation during the collection process (prelitigation, or even after suit was filed) to advise a debtor that the debt being collected upon was beyond the statute of limitation – that is, the statute of limitations for suing on the debt had accrued and expired. This has changed with the adoption of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

(Also available is a PowerPoint presentation on this subject.)

THE ABCs OF THE TCPA (2015 UPDATE)
By Mark E. Ellis & Ephraim Egan
Recent changes in Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) jurisprudence, including new interpretive orders from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and recent court decisions that have clarified when prior express consent applies, when and how consent may be revoked, whether vicarious liability exists for a TCPA violation, the role of the Hobbs Act, and the meaning of what constitutes an automated telephone dialing system (“ATDS”). (3/20/2015)

A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF CALL RECORDING IN CALIFORNIA
By Mark E. Ellis
This article addresses some salient features of the California Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA), some of the major defenses to putative liability, and common-sense ways creditors can manage the risks associated with call recording. (9/1/2013)

THE DEFENSE OF ATTORNEY JUDGMENT—TACTICAL IMMUNITY DOCTRINE
By Mark E. Ellis
In this eBook now available on Amazon.com, Mark Ellis, a nationally recognized legal malpractice defense lawyer, examines the broad array of rules that protect attorneys
when they are exercising their professional judgment. (6/5/13)

TRIAL

Bang of the gravel
We stand up straight
The bailiff’s loud refrain
Black robe approaches from the side.
We clearly state our names.

They plead their case
We assert the defense:
the statute has expired
The bench, the bar, the
well-known scales,
for this we have been hired.

The jurors sit,
the judge instructs,
we argue as we can.
The facts, the law, the big mistake, the trial is in their hands.

The trial is over —
win or lose.
We’ve said all we can.
We argue the case one
more time,
now with glass in hand.

Mark E. Ellis
January 26, 2012

EMPLOYEE MANUALS PROTECT EMPLOYERS, EDUCATE EMPLOYEES
By Mark E. Ellis
Published by the Central Valley Business Journal, this article discusses
how a manual places the employer and employee alike on notice of the company’s rules and practices. (11/1/2012)

THE CURRENT STATUS OF EXCESSIVE CALL “HARASSMENT”
By Mark E. Ellis
The definition of collection call "harassment" circa 2012 under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and California's Rosenthal FDCPA. (2/23/12)

THE HORSE PROTECTION ACT: THE DARK SIDE OF THE TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE SHOW WORLD
By Theresa LaVoie
This article examines the practice of "soring" Tennessee walking horses, which is illegal under the federal Horse Protection Act. (6/30/11)

THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT CASES OF 2010
By Mark E. Ellis
Brief updates on two important cases to the collections industry decided
in 2010: Jerman v. Carlisle, et al and Pintos v. Pacific Creditors Association, et al. (2/1/11)

EQUINE LEGAL ISSUES: LAND OCCUPIERS LIABILITIES WHEN PEOPLE ARE INJURED
By Theresa LaVoie
Equine law attorney Theresa LaVoie examines California court rulings and statutes governing the personal injury liability of owners of properties
with horses. (1/15/11) 

LIVESTOCK LIENS THAT PERTAIN TO THE HORSE INDUSTRY
By Theresa LaVoie
Discussion of the legal remedies available to equine service providers
under California Civil Code § 3080 to recover unpaid fees. (1/15/11)

EQUINE SALES TRANSACTIONS
By Theresa LaVoie
What every buyer and seller of a horse needs to know when entering into a sales transaction.  (1/15/11)

 TALES FROM THE FRONTLINE: FINDING THE SILVER LINING IN JERMAN
By Mark E. Ellis
Jerman v. Carlisle is only the second case decided by the United States Supreme Court to analyze the text and legislative history of the FDCPA. (6/1/10)

TALES FROM THE FRONTLINE. . . ALRIGHT, YOU’VE BEEN SUED, NOW WHAT DO YOU DO? (Reprise)
By Mark E. Ellis
A litigation guide for collection agencies whom, odds say, will someday be sued for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), or some other similar law, such as California’s Rosenthal FDCPA. (3/1/10)

THE CURRENT STATUS OF FURNISHER OBLIGATIONS AND LIABILITY UNDER THE FCRA (AND CCRAA)
By Mark E. Ellis
Three 2009 decisions have changed, clarified, or muddied (depending on your point of view) the legal landscape in California as to the legal obligations of those who furnish credit-related information on consumers to credit reporting agencies. (2/1/10)

2009 YEAR IN REVIEW: THE ROSENTHAL FDCPA
By June Coleman
The year 2009 saw more than 100 cases published in some fashion that referenced and interpreted the Rosenthal FDCPA. This article analyzes trends arising from these court decisions. (2/1/10)

THE ABC'S OF THE TCPA: PART 1
By Mark E. Ellis
This is the first of a two-part article that discusses the salient points of the TCPA and key legal issues commonly being litigated in 2009. In Part 1, Mr. Ellis reviews the legislative history of the TCPA. (2/1/09)

THE ABC'S OF THE TCPA: PART 2
By Mark E. Ellis
In this article, Mr. Ellis discusses what is necessary for an individual to obtain damages under the TCPA, as well as the defenses that exist to such claims, including the defense of consent. (2/1/09)

HEIGHTENED PLAUSIBILITY PLEADING STANDARD DOES NOT LEAD TO DISMISSAL OF RECENT DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS CASE
By June D. Coleman
The District of Massachusetts is the most recent federal court to examine the sufficiency of pleadings in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) case (Krasnor v. Spaulding Law Office). (1/15/09)

NO NEED TO SET FORTH ALL COMPONENTS THAT CONSTITUTE AMOUNT OF
DEBT IN INITIAL 1692g LETTER

By June D. Coleman
Hutton v. Offices of Collin & Lamore
clarifies the FDCPA obligation to set forth the debt amount in the initial letter sent by a debt collector. (1/15/09)

NINTH CIRCUIT ADDRESSES DISCOVERY RULE FOR FDCPA CLAIMS
By June D. Coleman
In Mangum v. Action Collection Service, Inc., the Ninth Circuit addressed whether the statute of limitations begins to run upon discovery of an alleged violation or when the alleged violation was purportedly committed. (1/1/09)

ROSENTHAL FDCPA: 2008 IN REVIEW
By June D. Coleman
One of the biggest trends regarding the Rosenthal FDCPA is an increase in lawsuits that have no merit, especially in the context of home loans and foreclosure efforts. (1/1/09)

LIZARDS CAN HELP YOU TAKE ON THE ECONOMY
By June D. Coleman
June Coleman, who was a commercial collector before entering the practice of law, discusses how building a positive relationship with debtors can yield returns for collectors. (6/1/08)

LIFE AFTER PINTOS
By Mark E. Ellis
Though the decision of Pintos v. Pacific Creditors Association seriously affects the collection and credit reporting industries, the decision does not warrant the near hysteria it has caused in certain quarters. Moreover, we believe the decision is wrong and deserves a complete Ninth Circuit review. (2/1/08)

ROSENTHAL FDCPA: 2007 IN REVIEW
By June D. Coleman
This article discusses 2007 trends in the judicial interpretation of California’s Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (Rosenthal FDCPA). (2/1/08)

IS YOUR ATTORNEY MEANINGFULLY INVOLVED IN YOUR COLLECTION PROCESS?
By Mark E. Ellis and June D. Coleman
Is an agency’s use of an attorney’s name on (or in) collection demands legal under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act? The answer depends on whether the attorney whose letterhead is being used is actually and “meaningfully” involved in the collection process. (6/1/07)

ROSENTHAL FDCPA: 2006 IN REVIEW
By Mark E. Ellis and June D. Coleman
An increase in Rosenthal FDCPA claims has led to more court decisions in 2006 interpreting the Rosenthal FDCPA.  This article reviews some of the issues that we see evolving in our defense of collectors. (1/15/07)

NARROWING CLASS DEFINITION: QUESTIONABLE CONDUCT LINKED TO FDCPA
By June D. Coleman
In Guevarra v. Progressive Financial Services, Inc., the court characterized the narrowing of class definition in class actions as ‘ethically questionable behavior,” albeit linked it to language prescribing statutory damages contained in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). (1/15/07)

FROM THE FRONTLINE
By Mark E. Ellis
The best way collection agencies can position themselves to defend against – and, more importantly, avoid -- litigation is to set up practices and procedures that are designed to prove compliance with the law.(1/15/06)

THE ROSENTHAL FDCPA
By Mark E. Ellis and June D. Coleman
With increasing frequency, claims have been asserted against collection agencies alleging violations of California’s Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“Rosenthal FDCPA”), Civil Code sections 1788, et seq. Given this increasing interest by the plaintiff’s bar, this article offers an overview of the Rosenthal FDCPA.(2/15/06)

2001-2005

FCRA & YOU
By Mark E. Ellis
A discussion of the firm's success in defending collection agencies against alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681, et seq., the Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act (CCRAA), Civil Code §§ 1785.1, et seq., the California equivalent to the FCRA, or both.

ALRIGHT, YOU'VE BEEN SUED . . . NOW WHAT DO YOU DO?
By Mark E. Ellis
Even the best, most scrupulously compliant collection agency or attorney will probably be sued for violation of the FDCPA. This article covers some of the important issues to keep in mind if, and after, you are sued.

COLLECTION OF TIME-BARRED ACCOUNTS
By Mark E. Ellis
Guidance to California agencies which are collecting on debts, obligations, or contracts created in California against debtors who reside in California.

MEDICAL COLLECTIONS: THE CONTINUING CONTROVERSY OF WHETHER CALIFORNIA WELFARE & INSTITUTIONS CODE §17401 PROHIBITS CHARGING INTEREST
By Mark E. Ellis
Does one sentence buried in California Welfare & Institutions Code §17401 prohibit any county hospital -- and, hence, their outside collectors -- from charging interest on outstanding or overdue accounts?

ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS OF THE EMPLOYEE MANUAL
By Mark E. Ellis & Barbara Cotter
A written manual places the employer and employee alike on notice of the company’s rules and practices.

ANSWERS TO COLLECTION QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE CALIFORNIA COLLECTORS ASSOCIATION
By Mark E. Ellis & Jacob Koper
Answers to questions submitted by readers of the CAC's Tales From The Frontline articles focusing on areas of collection agency defense under the FDCPA and state laws.

PROMOTE AN "OPEN DOOR POLICY" AT WORK TO DISCOURAGE EMPLOYMENT-RELATED CLAIMS
By Mark E. Ellis & Barbara Cotter
The adoption, implementation and promotion of an “open door policy” can help ensure a more civilized workplace while providing an affirmative defense to an employment discrimination claim.

AN UPDATE ON OVERSHADOWING
By Mark E. Ellis
Mr. Ellis discusses his successful class action defense of a collection agency whose collection letters were alleged improper because the 30-day validation notice was "overshadowed" by other demands and language in form letters.

THE ROSENTHAL FDCPA
By Mark E. Ellis & June Coleman
Several of the fim's Rosenthal FDCPA decisions changed the litigation landscape in California.

CAN YOU COLLECT INTEREST ON A COUNTY HOSPITAL DEBT?
By Mark E. Ellis & June Coleman
As in many areas of the FDCPA, the collection of interest on debts owed to a county hospital is not black and white.

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