Greg Cook Headshot
Education
  • Harvard Law School
    J.D., 1991, magna cum laude; Executive Editor, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy
  • Duke University
    A.B., 1984, magna cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa
Bar Admissions
  • Alabama, 1991
  • Texas, 2013
About Greg
Greg is one of the most experienced class action defense lawyers in the Southeast, having defended over 60 class actions for a wide variety of claims in many different forums and having published a book for the ABA on class action law.
Q&A
  • What type of matters do you work on most often?

    Class actions and financial services matters. I have handled over 60 class actions and over 250 real estate and mortgage matters. This work covers the waterfront of financial services and commercial litigation. For instance, my work for banks has involved many complex and lengthy matters including class actions (actions concerning posting order, Automated Clearing House transfers, Real Estate Settlement Procedures, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Truth in Lending Act, among others), and complex international disputes (participation agreements in Multi-District Litigation (MDL) and many related actions recovering monies for large scale merchant/international standardization organization (ISO) credit card fraud).

    However, my banking work has also involves a wide variety of routine banking litigation, including  lender liability claims, Uniform Commercial Code disputes over checks and checking accounts (including defending banks over fraudulently deposited or drawn checks, and prosecuting claims to recover amounts from wrongdoers), disputes over wire transfers, identity theft, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, disputes over state tax payments, disputes over alleged forged loan and mortgage documents, disputes over failure to place/maintain/disburse insurance, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and closing attorney malfeasance.

  • Which courts or agencies do you most often appear before on behalf of your clients?
  • How are you involved in your community?
  • What previous experiences, prior to your work at Balch, influence your practice?
MORE ABOUT Greg
  • Posting order class actions.  I have defended multiple banks in seven putative class actions relating to posting order. These actions alleged that debit cards, checks, and other items were posting in an order to maximize overdraft fees.  These actions occurred over a decade in Alabama, Texas, Florida, Arkansas, and Oklahoma and included a MDL. We defeated some of these actions, won on class certification in some, and settled some for a fraction of settlements of other banks.  (1998 - ongoing)   
  • Lender liability lawsuits and arbitrations: I handled a number of lender liability disputes including lawsuits and arbitrations. For instance, I just completed in January 2016 a two week lender liability arbitration before an AAA panel regarding a bank’s action post-FDIC purchase of a loan secured by a large commercial property with damages claimed over $5 Million. I am currently defending a federal court lender liability claim for a $15 million loan on a condominium property, again for post-FDIC conduct by the bank. (Ongoing)      
  • Defended series of fuel fee class actions: I recently completed defending a series of actions over the fuel fees (late fees, extended area fees, and similar fees) charged by an environmental services company. This included multiple actions in Alabama, California and Missouri. I served as lead counsel for all actions. After four years of intense litigation and several favorable rulings, we negotiated a favorable resolution and have a very satisfied client. (2010 – 2015)
  • Defeated nationwide RESPA class action.  I recently defeated class certification in a case brought against a national home warranty company under RESPA, relating to payments to real estate agents. (2009 – 2014)
  • Defended nationwide RICO class action over Automated Clearing House transactions by third party sender from pay day lenders in New Jersey federal court. (2015)       
  • Recovered amounts paid under fraudulent participation agreement: I represented a major bank that lost $15 Million as a part of a participation agreement, which loaned money to a fraudulent borrower. I prosecuted the recovery against the investment banks, which led the participation and the international manufacturer of the underlying over financed equipment (leading to the kickback to the borrower).  After four years of intense litigation and almost 100 depositions (including international depositions), we recovered all lost monies. (2009 – 2013)
  • Mortgage servicing litigation: I have handled the defense of approximately 250 real estate lawsuits for several mortgage servicers and banks. These matters have included a wide variety of claims including negligence, wrongful foreclosure, fraud, disputes over insurance proceeds, waste, TILA (Truth in Lending Act), RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures), FCRA, FDCPA, condemnation, interpleader, TCPA, and trespass. (2003 – ongoing). 
  • Defended class action for mortgage servicing and parallel mass actions: I defended a class action alleging negligent mortgage servicing and the parallel state court mass action litigation, which was over 30 filed actions, ultimately involving over 200 borrowers.  (2009-11)       
  • Western power crisis litigation: I worked with several lawyers in our firm to handle numerous matters related to the western power crisis including defending claims made by Enron on forward power contracts against our client, Nevada Power Company; prosecuting antitrust and RICO claims against various gas pipeline companies relating to manipulating the natural gas market during the Western Power crisis, among several.  (2003 – 2011)
  • Recovered amounts for credit card/ISO fraud: I represented a major bank whose vice president for merchant services acted criminally in opening accounts for high risk and fraudulent merchants, leading to approximately $10 million in losses.  The representation involved multiple lawsuits with multiple merchants and ISOs in Alabama, Nevada, Minnesota federal and state court, and Canada and the issuance of over 300 subpoenas and tracing and recovering funds in several other nations. It also involved a claim against the bank’s bond company. Ultimately, we recovered all of the banks losses and wrongdoers were charged criminally.  (2001- 08)
        Education
        • Harvard Law School, J.D., 1991, magna cum laude; Executive Editor, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy
        • Duke University, A.B., 1984, magna cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa
        Courts
        • Supreme Court of the United States, 2003
        • Alabama Supreme Court, 1991
        • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, 1992
        • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2005
        • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 2005
        • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama, 1991
        • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama, 1992
        • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama, 1992
        • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, 2017
        Bar Admissions
        • Alabama, 1991
        • Texas, 2013
        Professional Affiliations
        • Alabama Supreme Court Standing Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure (2016 - 2017)
        • ABA Annual Meeting Program Planning Committee (2016 - 2018)
        • Alabama State Bar, Disciplinary Rules and Enforcement Committee (2016 - 2018)
        • 2016 Birmingham Bar Civil Courts Procedure Committee, Chair (2016), Co-Chair (2015)
        • Business Torts and Antitrust Section of the Alabama State Bar, Immediate Past Chair
        • American Bar Association, former co-chair Class Action and Derivative Suits Committee (2009 - 2012)
        • 2013 ABA Annual Meeting, Litigation Section, co-chair
        • American Bar Association, Co-Chair Regional Meetings Committee (2015 - 2018)
        • Alabama State Board of Bar Examiners, Subject Matter Expert
        • Alabama Lawyer Board of Editors; Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee
        • Birmingham Bar Association: Bulletin Committee; Professional Ethics Committee; and Continuing Legal Education Committee
        • Alabama Defense Lawyers Association, Amicus Committee
        • Birmingham Inns of Court, Master of the Bench
        • Member of Alabama Law Institute’s Committee on Uniform Law
        Awards & Accolades
        •  BTI Client Service All-Star, 2017
        • The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, Consumer Law, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants, Litigation- Real Estate
        • American Bar Association, Life Fellow
        • Birmingham Bar Foundation, Fellow
        • Martindale-Hubbell, AV-Rated
        • Super Lawyers, Business Litigation
        • Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star,commercial litigation, antitrust litigation, and energy and natural resource litigation
         
        Community Involvement
        • Boy Scouts of America, Greater Alabama Council, Vice President Donor Relations and Communications
        • Boy Scouts of America, Greater Alabama Council, Executive Board
        • Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, Deacon
        • Boy Scouts of America: Troop 76 Greater Alabama Council, Assistant Scoutmaster; Birmingham Explorer Service Team, Former Chairman ; Balch’s Explorer Post, former leader
        • Alabama Republican Party, State Executive Committee
        • Jefferson County Republican Party, Steering Committee and Executive Committee; General Counsel
        • Harvard Law School, Class Agent