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Jason Tompkins and Jonathan Hoffmann Discuss Landmark SCOTUS Decision and the Impact on Class Actions

Jason Tompkins, partner in the Birmingham office and chair of the Issues & Appeals Practice, and Jonathan Hoffmann, partner in the Birmingham office and member of the Consumer Finance Litigation Practice, joined the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACA International) as guest speakers for the latest episode in their podcast series, ACA Cast

During the latest episode of ACA Cast, released on July 2, 2021, Jason, Jonathan and ACA Director of Education Kelli Krueger dove into the recent and highly-anticipated SCOTUS decision in TransUnion v. Ramirez. Jason and Jonathan shared key ways the Ramirez ruling could potentially disrupt the Eleventh Circuit’s decision in Hunstein v. Preferred Collection and Management Services. A petition for rehearing in Hunstein garnered 16 amicus briefs asking the Eleventh Circuit to reverse the panel’s decision. Significantly, the plaintiff in Ramirez argued that TransUnion “published” the credit reports internally to its own employees.  The Supreme Court disposed of this argument with a footnote explaining that American courts have not traditionally recognized intra-company disclosures or disclosures to print vendors as actionable publications supporting a defamation claim. In contrast, Hunstein concluded that disclosures to print vendors is actionable.

In 2019, Jason Tompkins argued the case of Trichell v. Midland Credit Management to the Eleventh Circuit, resulting in a favorable decision. That decision not only is part of the basis for the rehearing petition Hunstein, but also was cited several times by the majority in the June 25th Transunion v. Ramirez decision.

Founded in 1939, ACA International provides comprehensive learning resources for companies operating in the credit and collection industry. The organization brings together third-party collection agencies, law firms, asset buying companies and creditors. 

Jason and Jonathan have become regular contributors to the ACA Cast podcast series, appearing as special guests for the first time in December 2020 and more recently in April 2021, May 2021 and July 2021, sharing insights into pending United States Supreme Court Cases that are likely to impact the credit and collection industry.

Jason serves as chair of Balch’s Issues & Appeals Practice and has extensive experience handling appeals in federal and state appellate courts, including serving as counsel in the United States Supreme Court. His appellate experience spans nearly every category, including consumer finance, energy, environmental, and administrative law. Much of Jason’s practice focuses on class action defense, particularly in the area of consumer finance litigation. Jason has been lead counsel on more than 60 class actions and hundreds of individual cases involving claims under the FDCPA, FCRA, and TCPA. He acts as regional and national counsel for several financial services clients who trust him to coordinate defense strategy across numerous jurisdictions—both at the trial and appellate levels. He currently chairs the ABA’s Consumer Litigation Committee, as well as the Alabama State Bar’s Appellate Practice Section. 

Jonathan focuses on consumer and financial services compliance and litigation, handling individual and class action lawsuits under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). He regularly represents clients in bankruptcy litigation, complex business disputes, and loan workouts, and advises clients on best practices regarding consumer credit issues.