About the Authors
Stuart T. Rossman, author, is NCLC’s director of litigation. After thirteen years of private trial practice in Boston, he was Chief of the Trial Division and of the Business and Labor Protection Bureau at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. He joined NCLC in 1999 and established NCLC’s annual Consumer Class Action Symposium in 2000. Stuart is the former co-chair of the National Association of Consumer Advocates Board of Directors and previously served as a member of the Association’s Consumer Class Actions Guidelines and Rule 23 Amendment Committees. He is on the adjunct faculty at the University of Michigan Law School, where he teaches Consumer Class Actions, and Northeastern University School of Law, where he teaches Trial Advocacy and was the 2010 Givelber Distinguished Lecturer on Public Interest Law. Stuart and his co-counsel were finalists for Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice in 2004 and he received the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition’s Thurgood Marshall Award in 2005.
Charles Delbaum, author, is a senior consumer class action litigator at NCLC and frequent presenter at consumer law conferences. He also is a contributing author to the litigation chapters of NCLC’s Credit Discrimination, Fair Debt Collection, and Fair Credit Reporting manuals. Prior to joining NCLC in 2005, he was the Director of Litigation and Advocacy at New Orleans Legal Assistance for thirteen years. In 2000, he was the recipient of the Louisiana State Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Career Service Award. In the 1970s and 1980s, he was a United States District Court law clerk in Pennsylvania, a staff attorney in the law reform division of the Cleveland Legal Aid Society, and a founding partner of Stege, Delbaum and Hickman, a plaintiffs’ law firm of former legal aid attorneys in Cleveland, Ohio.
Robert M. Bramson, contributing author to chapters 4 and 18, is a partner in the Walnut Creek, CA firm, Bramson, Plutzik, Mahler & Birkhaeuser, LLP. He specializes in consumer class action cases. He has been a contributing author to this title’s six prior editions, and was one of the principal drafters of the National Association of Consumer Advocates’ Standards and Guidelines For Consumer Class Actions, 176 F.R.D. 375 (1997), and its two revised versions, 255 F.R.D. 215 (2009) and 299 F.R.D. 160 (2014).
Michael D. Donovan, contributing author to chapter 17, is a founding member of Donovan Litigation Group, LLC, in Malvern, PA. He has tried five class actions to verdict, including Samuel-Bassett v. Kia Motors America, Inc., 34 A.3d 1 (Pa. 2011); Braun v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 24 A.3d 875 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2011); Little v. Kia Motors America, Inc., No. UNN-l-0800-01006 (N.J. Super Ct. June 6, 2008); and In re Sovereign Bancorp, Inc. Shareholders Litig., No. 110802587 (Phila. C.P. 2008). He has also obtained several landmark appellate decisions, including Rossman v. Fleet Bank (R.I.), N.A., 280 F.3d 384 (3d Cir. 2002) and Lemelledo v. Beneficial Finance Co., 674 A.2d 582 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 1996), aff’d, 696 A.2d 546 (N.J. 1997).
E. Michelle Drake, contributing author to chapter 1, is a shareholder at Berger Montague, supervising its Minneapolis office. Her practice focuses on consumer protection, credit reporting, and financial services class actions. She has served as lead class counsel on over fifty consumer class and collective actions, recovering hundreds of millions of dollars for her clients. She serves on the boards of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, Public Justice, and the Minnesota Association for Justice, and is a member of NCLC’s Partners’ Council. She is a frequent speaker and author concerning consumer class action litigation.
Stephen Gardner, contributing author to chapters 6 and 13, is a consultant on class action and food marketing issues. Over the past forty years, he has served as a consumer law consultant to Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, of counsel to the Stanley Law Group, director of litigation for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, of counsel to NCLC, assistant dean of clinical education and visiting assistant professor at Southern Methodist University School of Law, an assistant attorney general in both Texas and New York Attorney General offices, Students Attorney at the University of Texas, and a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Central Texas.
Thomas Grande, contributing author to chapter 16, is the principal of Grande Law Offices, located in Waimanalo, HI. He represents Native Hawaiians and consumers in state and federal class actions and relators under the state and federal false claims acts. He is the former co-chair of the ABA’s Litigation Section, Subcommittee on State Class Action Law and is co-founder and editor-in-chief emeritus of the ABA Survey of State Class Action Law. He is a frequent speaker and author on class actions and false claims act litigation. He thanks his colleague, Greg Ferren, for his assistance in preparing revisions to chapter 16.
Andrew Guzzo, contributing author to chapter 5, focuses his practice exclusively on representing consumers, with an emphasis on litigation against internet lenders, credit reporting agencies, and debt collectors. He has litigated more than a dozen cases related to internet lending, resulting in some of the largest settlements in the nation. These cases involve each of the major industry players, including lenders, investors, architects of the rent-a-tribe scheme, specialized credit reporting agencies, and lead generators. In 2019, Andrew received NCLC’s Rising Star Award. He is the Hawai’i state chair for the National Association of Consumer Advocates.
Kristi C. Kelly, contributing author to chapter 5, is a consumer law attorney who focuses her practice on advocating for individuals in state and federal courts in Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland. Described by her peers as someone “who takes—and wins—the cases others won’t touch,” she was selected as a Virginia “Leader in the Law” for the Class of 2014. She focuses the majority of her practice on assisting consumers with credit reporting and employment background check mistakes, mortgage servicing errors, and on attacking predatory lending. She has successfully litigated hundreds of cases for individuals and as class actions.
Seth R. Lesser, contributing author to chapter 7, is a partner with Klafter Olsen & Lesser L.L.P., with offices in New York and Washington, D.C. He concentrates in contingency fee litigation, and is active in consumer advocacy, wage and hour litigation, and securities and corporate governance. He has represented plaintiffs in class and collective actions and mass tort cases, and has been lead counsel in cases recovering in excess of $750 million. He has been active in, among other things, Second Circuit Courts Committee of the Federal Bar Council and consultative groups of the American Law Institute.
Elizabeth Maresca, contributing author to the tax discussions in chapters 14 and 19, is a Clinical Professor at Fordham Law School in New York and the Supervising Attorney of the school’s Tax Clinic. Professor Maresca specializes in federal tax controversy and litigation against the IRS, and has advised clients, attorneys, and policy makers on the tax issues which arise in consumer matters. She is an expert on tax controversy matters, identity theft, innocent spouse relief, and tax issues that arise in debt collection, FDCPA, and foreclosure matters. Professor Maresca received her LL.M. in Taxation and her J.D. from NYU School of Law.
Casey Nash, contributing author to chapter 5, is an attorney at Kelly Guzzo, PLC. Her entire legal career has been dedicated to the representation of consumers in a variety of consumer protection matters. She has litigated over 300 federal cases, including dozens of complex, class action cases. She also dedicates a significant percentage of her practice to pro bono representation and sits on the advisory board of the Legal Aid Justice Center. She regularly teaches CLE courses to legal aid organizations, as well as at NACA and NCLC’s consumer law conferences.
Erika L. Nusser, contributing author to chapter 8, is a member of the Terrell Marshall Law Group PLLC, in Seattle, WA. She focuses on complex litigation, including consumer fraud and wage and hour class actions. She has been co-lead counsel on many class actions, and has achieved successful results in trial, settlement, and on appeal. She has been recognized as a Rising Star by Washington Law & Politics 2013–2019. She also represents individuals with employment and personal injury claims, including cases on behalf of survivors of sexual abuse.
David J. Philipps, contributing author to chapter 9, is a partner in the Palos Hills, IL law firm of Philipps & Philipps, Ltd., representing consumers in both individual and class actions under the FDCPA and other consumer protection statutes for over thirty years. He has been appointed class counsel in hundreds of cases in the federal courts, including dozens of contested class actions. He has spoken frequently on topics related to the FDCPA, class actions, and other consumer issues. David is a founding member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates and is co-Chair of its Board of Directors.
Mary E. Philipps, contributing author to chapter 9, is a partner in the Palos Hills, IL law firm of Philipps & Philipps, Ltd., representing consumers in both individual and class actions under the FDCPA and other consumer protection statutes for over thirty years. She has been appointed class counsel in scores of cases in the federal courts, including dozens of contested class actions. She has spoken frequently on topics related to the FDCPA, class actions, and other consumer issues.
Michael J. Quirk, contributing author to chapters 2 and 3, is an attorney with Motley Rice LLC in Philadelphia, PA. He represents consumers, workers, state and local governments, and other plaintiffs in class action and mass tort litigation. He has argued successful appeals involving class action, expert admissibility, arbitration, preemption, punitive damages, and civil rights issues. He co-authored the first six editions of NCLC’s Consumer Arbitration Agreements and co-drafted the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) Standards and Guidelines for Litigating and Settling Consumer Class Actions. He is a NACA Board of Directors Co-Chair.
Michael W. Sobol, contributing author to chapters 11, 12 and 14, is a partner at Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP in San Francisco, CA, and serves as chair of its Consumer Protection group, which has recovered billions of dollars for consumers nationwide. He has served as plaintiffs’ class counsel in numerous nationwide class actions involving consumer financial fraud, unfair lending, and consumer privacy. He is a former lecturer at Boston University School of Law. Mr. Sobol thanks colleagues Michael Levin-Gesundheit and Sean A. Petterson for their invaluable contributions in helping to prepare the content of the chapters he submitted to this treatise.
Ariana J. Tadler, contributing author to chapter 19, is the founding partner of Tadler Law LLP, advocating for consumers and investors against corporate fraud and abuse. She has over twenty-six years’ experience litigating and managing securities, consumer and data breach class actions. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts appointed her to the Federal Civil Rules Advisory Committee, and she currently serves on the subcommittee on multidistrict litigation rules. She is a past Chair of The Sedona Conference®’s Board of Directors, is on the Advisory Board of Georgetown University Law Center’s Advanced eDiscovery Institute, and sits on Bloomberg Law’s Litigation Innovation Board.
Vildan A. Teske, contributing author to chapter 15, is a partner at Teske, Katz, Kitzer & Rochel, PLLP in Minneapolis, MN. She has focused on consumer class actions and complex litigation for over twenty-six years on behalf of consumers and service members. She testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the effect of forced arbitration and class action bans on access to justice for consumers, employees, and our military.