The New York Times describes our suits against the internet giants as “a time capsule of the last decade, charting how computers have been steadfastly logging data about our searches, our friends, our bodies.” (The New York Times, April 2015). We have gained a “national reputation as a maverick in [our] commitment to pursuing big-ticket cybersecurity and privacy cases on behalf of consumers.” (Law360, January 2019).
We are known “for securing multi-million dollar settlements against tech giants” (Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, September 2013), and as “pioneers in the electronic privacy class action field, having litigated some of the largest consumer class actions in the country on this issue.” See In re Facebook Privacy Litig., No. 10-cv-02389 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 10, 2010); see also In re Netflix Privacy Litig., No. 11-cv-00379 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 12,2011). Through our privacy cases, we have “fostered a reputation for [our] uncanny ability to come up with creative standing and damages arguments” leading to “momentum-shifting rulings in challenges to the data security and information gathering practices of companies…” (Law360, October 2014).
We hold records for the largest jury verdict in a privacy case ($925 million), the largest single-state privacy settlement ($650 million), and the largest Telephone Consumer Protection Act settlement ($76 million). We have been repeatedly recognized as a Consumer Protection Group of the Year (2016, 2017, 2019, 2020), and a Cybersecurity and Privacy Group of the Year (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2022), and we are frequently the only plaintiffs’ firm to receive the accolade. The National Law Journal also recognized us as “Elite Trial Lawyers” in Consumer Protection (2020, 2021) and Privacy/Data Breach (2020).
Representative matters include:
- Lead counsel in a class action alleging marketing company ViSalus made millions of unsolicited robocalls to consumers in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Following a three-day trial, a jury reached a verdict that calculates to at least $925 million. Commentators have called this the largest privacy verdict in history (Brookings, June 2020). See Wakefield v. Visalus, No. 3:15-cv-01857 (D. OR.)
- Lead counsel in the landmark case affirming the ability of plaintiffs to bring statutory claims for relief in federal court. Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016). The United States Supreme Court rejected the argument that individuals must allege “real world” harm to have standing to sue in federal court; instead the court recognized that “intangible” harms and even the “risk of future harm” can establish “standing.” Commentators have called Spokeo the most significant consumer privacy case in recent years.
- Filed the first of its kind class action against Facebook under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, alleging Facebook collected facial recognition data from its users without authorization. Appointed Class Counsel in securing adversarial certification of class of Illinois Facebook users. Case settled on the eve of trial for a record breaking $650 million. In re Facebook Biometric Privacy Litig., No. 15-cv-03747 (N.D. Cal.). Since then, the firm has gone on to obtain more than $100 million in relief for consumers under BIPA.
- Won first ever federal decision finding that text messages constituted “calls” under the TCPA. Satterfield v. Simon & Schuster, Inc., 569 F.3d 946 (9th Cir. 2009). In settlement obtained just before trial, reached the largest-ever TCPA settlement to date totaling $76 million. Birchmeier v. Caribbean Cruise Line, Inc., et al., No. 12-cv-4069 (N.D. Ill.).
- Successfully represented ACLU and other public interest organizations as lead outside counsel in a lawsuit against Clearview, Inc., resulting in consent decree. The consent decree permanently enjoins Clearview from selling access to its massive database of facial vectors to any private person or company, as well as prohibits Clearview from sales to any entity within Illinois for five years, including government agencies or police departments. American Civil Liberties Union v. Clearview AI, Inc., No. 20 CH 4353 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty.). The settlement has been called a “milestone for civil rights.”
- Successfully represented the State of New Mexico in action against Google for alleged violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. State of New Mexico, ex rel. Hector Balderas, Attorney General for the State of New Mexico v. Google LLC, 20-cv-00143 (D.N.M.).
- Representing District of Columbia in action seeking $1.7 billion in civil penalties against Facebook arising from the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Appointed Special Assistant State’s Attorney in similar case brought on behalf of the People of the State of Illinois. In the latter action, argued successful motion to remand posing from MDL for State’s Attorney, on motion posing novel questions of Article III jurisdiction. In re Facebook, Inc., Consumer Privacy User Profile Litig., No. 18-cv-06486, 2019 WL 348893 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 29, 2019).