The Ellis Law Group is experienced at defending (and prosecuting) complex litigation. This includes the defense and prosecution of class actions under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 and under California's Unfair Competition Law, Business and Professions Code, Section 17200. Mark Ellis, the firm's managing partner, is ranked by Super Lawyers as one of California's top trial lawyers in the fields of class action and mass torts litigation.
We are recognized nationally for our winning record representing creditors, law firms and collection agencies in complex commercial law litigation (see Creditors’ Rights). These and our other complex litigation cases, tried in federal and state courts, typically contest damages of six to eight figures and present high stakes for the futures of our clients.
Representative Class Action Trials & Appeals
- Van Patten v. Vertical Fitness Group, LLC — The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld on January 31, 2017 a district court summary judgment in favor of the defendant in a class action arising from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). At issue was whether a fitness gym could solicit former members using telephone numbers given on membership application forms. The class action sought damages on behalf 30,000 former gym members who received automatically-dialed phone calls and texts from Vertical Fitness. The Ninth Circuit agreed with the defense that 1) solicitations were within the scope of consent expressed by a signed membership application and 2) revocation of that consent needed to be expressed verbally or in writing by Van Patten to Vertical Fitness.
Goodson v. Designed Receivable Solutions Inc. — Summary judgment October 2016 in class action arising from alleged violations of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and California’s Rosenthal FDCPA. Allegedly the defendant violated the FDCPA and Rosenthal FDCPA by telephoning the plaintiff’s cell phone several times to collect a debt already paid. Also, the calls allegedly violated the TCPA because they were made using an "automatic telephone dialing system." U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna ruled that 1) the TCPA claim failed because the defendant was given permission to call the plaintiff and 2) the FDCPA and Rosenthal claims failed because defendant's calls did not constitute abusive, harassing, or oppressive practice.
Anonymous Per Settlement Agreement — After seven years of hard-fought litigation, Ellis Law Group successfully settled a certified class action venued in the Superior Court of El Dorado County. The lawsuit arose out of a landlord/tenant dispute between tenants of the Shops of Heavenly Valley in South Lake Tahoe and their Nevada-based landlord. Represented by Ellis Law Group, the class alleged the landlord overcharged for rent and other associated charges. Originally the trial court denied the motion for class certification. This decision was reversed by the California Third District Court of Appeals. A settlement, entitling class members to monetary awards, was approved by the Superior Court on June 9, 2014.
Van Patten v. Vertical Fitness Group, LLC — A U.S. District Court of the Southern District of California ruled in May 2014 in favor of our client, a fitness gym, in a class action lawsuit seeking damages on behalf 30,000 former gym members who claimed the defendant violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by texting them two marketing solicitations. Click to read press release.
- Howard v. Great Expectations— Participated in the Phase 2 trial of a consolidated commercial law class action defending Great Expectations franchises throughout California. Favorable ruling obtained.
- Howard v. Great Expectations— Represented defendant dating service franchises in Phase 1 trial of a commercial law class action. Favorable ruling obtained.
- Bochman v. National Credit Acceptance, Inc.—Defended debt buyer, two attorneys and two individual collectors in FDCPA jury trial. Case was initially filed as multi-million dollar class action. Obtained favorable verdict for clients.
For complete lists of trials and appellate decisions, see the biographies of the practice group's attorneys.
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