Commercial & Class Action
Balch attorneys handle a wide variety of business disputes, focusing on complex commercial and class action litigation. Our experience ranges from insurance disputes, securities litigation, banking and financial services litigation, energy disputes, antitrust and unfair competition, intellectual property, business torts, real property and title insurance, to all types of commercial disputes. We regularly litigate in state and federal court, as well as many less traditional litigation settings including state and federal regulatory forums across the Southeast.
In addition, we have experience in all aspects of class action litigation, including litigating the class certification itself, conducting class and merits discovery, litigating the merits in large class action cases, negotiating settlements and obtaining approval -- including those in which there are objectors, and successfully handling appeals involving class certification and related issues. Our experience also includes using the latest case management technologies in class actions and other complex, multiparty disputes.
Electronic Discovery & Data Management
We work with clients to navigate corporate document retention issues and to develop and implement strategies for managing all stages of electronic discovery and retention and spoliation (evidence destruction) detection.
The Electronic Discovery Team regularly works with litigation teams, including attorneys from other law firms, to move ESI through the discovery process. From the earliest stages of litigation, our lawyers initiate and implement litigation holds, analyze e-Discovery issues (including cost), respond to pre-litigation preservation matters, develop key search terms and techniques and assist in responding to discovery requests. We offer guidance and support in preserving, identifying, collecting, filtering and producing ESI. Our lawyers also advise and counsel clients on matters related to compliance and risk assessments, as well as spoliation and sanction issues.
Banking and Consumer Finance:
- Successfully defeated multiple class actions charging a bank with using an improper method of posting items in order to increase fees. Currently defending additional class actions with similar allegations.
- Defending class action against lender/servicer alleging improper assessment of post-petition fees including BPO’s, attorney fees, property inspection fees, foreclosure related costs, etc.
- Defended class action against national loan servicer alleging wrongful imposition of property insurance charges, misapplication of payments, misstatements of amounts owed, placing payments in suspense account, and fraud.
- Successfully defended class action under Credit Repair Organization Act (“CROA”).
- Successfully defended several different class actions under Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”).
- Defended multiple RESPA class actions (including against home warranty company, lenders, among others).
- Successfully defended settlement service providers and title insurance agents in class actions over mortgage practices (including (among other things) fees charged such as recording fees).
- Successfully defended class action alleging wrongful action in the making of tax refund anticipated loans.
- Successfully defended class action under ECOA related to auto loans.
- Successfully defended various financing companies in connection with class action claims over financing of legal actions.
- Successfully defended class action against a bank by holders of defaulted industrial revenue bonds.
- Defending class action against national solid waste company over fuel fees and environmental fee brought by commercial customer.
- Defending class action against national oil recycling and solvent servicing company over extended area servicing fee and fuel fees brought by commercial customers.
- Successfully defeated class action against leading health insurer regarding terms of benefits in Summary Plan Description, requiring two appeals to the 11th Circuit.
- Successfully defeated class action regarding reimbursement rates paid to ambulance companies by leading health insurer in state.
- Successfully defended class action alleging, among other things, fraud, suppression, breach in the sale of medicaid and medigap insurance.
- Successfully defended class certification in a state court class action against a nationwide insurer over property insurance rates.
- Successfully defended class action alleging the nonpayment of certain insurance taxes against a workers compensation insurer.
- Successfully defended class action alleging "golden handcuffs" against a workers compensation insurer by former members.
- Defended class action over payments to physician assistants by leading health insurer.
- Defended class action regarding insurance coverage relating to mammograms.
Property Rights and Environmental Litigation:
- Successfully defended class action alleging property damage from Hurricane Katrina due to increased carbon dioxide emissions.
- Successfully defended major class action against Investor Owned Utility related to third-party use of fiber optic telecommunication lines across easements.
- Defending federally licensed operator of hydroelectric dam against putative class claims by lake-front property owners for damages and injunctive relief concerning fluctuation of water levels in the reservoir to support downstream water quality and other purposes.
- Defending three putative class actions alleging contamination of property by various perfluourinated chemicals including via municipal sludge.
- Successfully defended class action alleging violations of certain property rights and covenants regarding a communications tower
Food and Drugs:
- Successfully defended national pharmacy over class action allegations alleging the filling of name brand prescriptions with generic medications.
- Defended multiple class actions by pharmacies alleging that multiple national Pharmacy Benefit Managers (“PBM”) had not accurately and timely calculated AWP.
- Defended two separate class actions alleging fraud, suppression, violations of various federal food and drug regulations dealing with certain energy bars and consumer foods.
- Successfully defended multiple class actions alleging racial discrimination in employment practices.
- Defended several class actions for school desegregation and other civil rights actions.
- Successfully defended largest convenience store association in Georgia against class action civil rights claims by other convenience store owners arising from contracts with major soft drink bottler.
- Defended multiple FLSA collective actions based on claim of failure to pay employees for time spent donning and doffing work clothing and personal protective equipment.
- Represented large national restaurant chain in nationwide collective action involving off-the-clock time and misclassification of managers and assistant managers.
- These are only a few examples of Balch & Bingham's class action experience. We would be happy to provide a list of cases upon request, as well as a list of references.
- Defending class action alleging antitrust violations against national Pharmacy Benefit Manager (“PBM”) by class of pharmacies.
- Successfully defended and settled several antitrust actions alleging the international fixing of pricing in certain vitamin and animal supplement products.
- Successfully defended antitrust claims relating to the manner in which domain names are deleted from the registry and registrar database in certain Top Level Domains.