BuckleySandler represents corporate and individual clients in a wide range of civil and criminal litigation matters, including appeals, as well as in arbitrations and other alternative dispute resolution proceedings domestically and internationally. We are routinely in courtrooms across the country defending the nation’s leading banks, insurers, mortgage lenders and servicers, credit card issuers, and auto lenders and retailers in government enforcement, class actions, mass actions, and complex civil litigation. We also have extensive experience handling parallel proceedings that arise in these matters and are often able to achieve favorable results – whether by litigation, negotiation, or a combination of the two – for our clients.
Our attorneys have been responsible for achieving groundbreaking successes for the financial services industry in a wide variety of disputes. We consistently prevail for clients in some of the most high-profile and important litigation affecting the financial services industry and other enforcement and complex civil litigation matters.
Chambers USA 2014 recognized our expertise and success by ranking BuckleySandler in Band 1 (the top rating) for consumer finance litigation, and placing three firm lawyers in Chambers’ list of the top fifteen consumer finance litigation attorneys in the country.
Our deep bench of litigators – including a number with extensive government trial experience, as well as thirteen former U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and numerous additional former U.S. District Court law clerks – combined with our focus on financial services matters makes us a “go-to” law firm for the financial services industry facing class action and civil and criminal litigation challenges. Our attorneys know and understand the challenges impacting the financial services industry and thus do not have extensive “learning curves” on the substance of litigation matters.
With more than 150 attorneys focused on financial services matters, we have the systems and resources in place to handle multi-district litigation, including class actions, large-scale document review, and ESI requests, and other resource intensive matters, yet remain responsive and hands-on when it comes to providing outstanding client service.
With a strong regulatory and enforcement background, BuckleySandler frequently handles complex parallel proceedings involving concurrent government enforcement and civil litigation, multiple class actions, congressional investigations, and derivative actions.
Risk Mitigation Services
BuckleySandler’s strength in litigation matters allows us to help our clients avoid litigation in the first instance – by drawing on our vast litigation experience to provide comprehensive risk management and compliance advice and helping our clients navigate regulatory examinations. In addition, we frequently utilize the knowledge and experience developed in litigation and enforcement matters to assist in due diligence for clients considering strategic partnerships or acquisitions and to advise clients regarding the acquisition approval process.
Select Representative Matters
- Navajo Nation v. United States (2014). BuckleySandler represented the Navajo Nation, the largest American Indian tribe in the United States, in Navajo Nation v. United States in the United States Court of Federal Claims. In August 2014, the firm achieved the largest settlement ($554 million) obtained in any action by a single Tribe against the U.S. and exceeded, by more than $170 million, the largest single resolution in the more than 100 natural resource breach of trust cases filed against the U.S. by American Indian Tribes. The suit involved claims of the mismanagement of tribal trust funds under the custody and control of the United States by, among other things, failing to supervise, control, manage, and invest tribal trust funds and resources in a manner that would maximize financial return and by failing to maintain a complete and accurate accounting of all of the trust assets under the custody and control of the United States.
- Representation of Japanese Gaming Company in FCPA Litigation (2014). The firm is representing Universal Entertainment Corp. (UEC), a large Japanese gaming company, and Aruze USA, Inc., in litigation brought by Wynn Resorts Ltd. in Nevada state court, as well as in related parallel matters. In the Nevada litigation, Wynn Resorts alleges that UEC and Aruze USA, and others, committed FCPA violations that resulted in breaches of fiduciary duties toward Wynn Resorts, and justified Wynn Resorts taking action to forcibly buy back billions of dollars in shares held by Aruze USA at a sizeable discount. The case is in active discovery.
- ResCap Liquidating Trust v. RBC Mortgage Company (2014). We represent RBC Mortgage in a repurchase and indemnification suit seeking damages arising out of the sale of residential mortgages to Minnesota-based plaintiff Residential Funding Corporation, now represented by a Liquidating Trust.
- Residential Funding Company, LLC v. PNC Bank, N.A. as successor in interest to National City Mortgage Company, NCMC Newco, Inc. and North Central Financial Corp. (2014). We represent PNC Bank as lead counsel in a repurchase and indemnification suit seeking billions of dollars in alleged losses arising out of the sale, by PNC’s former National City Bank affiliate, of residential mortgages to Minnesota-based plaintiff Residential Funding Corporation, now represented by a Liquidating Trust.
- Representation of QBE and its Subsidiaries in Nationwide Class Actions (2012–present). We represent and serve as national coordinating counsel for QBE and its lender-placed insurance program manager, QBE FIRST, as well as Balboa Insurance Company and its various subsidiaries and affiliates in a variety of litigation and regulatory matters related to lender-placed insurance. We are handling or have handled 32 class actions in which QBE/Balboa is or was a party, seven class actions in which QBE is a third party from whom documents and/or testimony have been requested, 15 single borrower actions, one matter in bankruptcy court, and four regulatory inquiries, including the regulatory inquiry conducted by the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS).
- Securities and Exchange Commission v. Mark A. Jackson and James J. Ruehlen (2012–2014). We represented Mark Jackson, former CEO/CFO of an oilfield services company, in an SEC enforcement action being litigated in Houston federal court. In late 2012, the judge granted our Motion to Dismiss and dismissed the Complaint without prejudice. Following the SEC’s filing of an Amended Complaint and extensive discovery including almost 30 depositions, the SEC voluntarily dropped several claims against our client. A settlement was reached in July 2014. The settlement did not include payment of any money by Jackson or any restriction on his future employment opportunities.
- Representing HSBC in Two Fair Housing Act Lawsuits (2014). We are currently representing HSBC in two lawsuits claiming violation of the Fair Housing Act in connection with subprime mortgage lending practices during the period leading up to the financial crisis. The plaintiffs allege that HSBC targeted minority applicants and communities for unaffordable and discriminatory mortgage loans (“reverse redlining”). They further allege that the borrowers who originated these loans subsequently defaulted, resulting in foreclosures and vacancies, leading in turn to increased municipal costs and decreased property tax revenues associated with crime and blight.
- Representation of JPMorgan Chase in Consumer Litigation Matters (2013). We represented JPMorgan Chase Bank in dozens of consumer litigation matters, including class actions, mass actions, qui tam actions, and individual customer lawsuits. The matters relate to all aspects of Chase’s consumer financial services business, including mortgages (both mortgage originations and mortgage servicing), credit cards, and deposit banking. The suits involve a wide range of claims, including those arising under federal consumer protection statutes (e.g., RESPA, TILA, HOEPA, FCRA, EFTA, FHA) and state law (e.g., unfair and deceptive practices, negligence, fraud, unjust enrichment, breach of contract), as well as the federal False Claims Act and state-law equivalents.
- Anderson v. Barclays Capital Real Estate, Inc., D.B.A. HomEq Servicing (2009– 2013). Our attorneys represented Barclays Capital Real Estate Inc. d.b.a. HomEq Servicing in a purported class action filed in the Northern District of Ohio making claims based on state common law, RESPA, and the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act (OCSPA) relating to HomEq’s mortgage servicing activities. The case was stayed pending a decision by the Supreme Court of Ohio on whether the OCSPA, which bars unfair or deceptive acts and practices, applies to mortgage servicing activities. In May 2013, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in favor of HomEq, holding that the Ohio statute did not apply to such activities because mortgage servicing is a “collateral service” associated with the original mortgage loan transaction and therefore not itself a “consumer transaction.”
- United States of America v. John M. Mushriqui, et al. (2010–2012). We represented John M. Mushriqui in the DOJ’s largest criminal prosecution of individuals in the history of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, following the only modern use by the FBI in an FCPA case of tactics such as a sting, an informant, undercover agents, and mass use of audiovisual surveillance. The case culminated in a four-month trial in fall/winter 2011-2012, in which the Judge dismissed numerous counts against Mr. Mushriqui, including conspiracy to violate the FCPA, and two of five substantive charges of violating the FCPA. After being declared a mistrial, the Judge granted the DOJ's motion to dismiss all charges.
- Fannie Mae Securities, Derivative, and ERISA Litigation (2004 – 2012). We represented the former Controller of Fannie Mae in winning the dismissal of, or settling, all investigations and litigation related to the accounting errors alleged in reports by the Company’s regulator, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO, now known as the Federal Housing Finance Agency), which resulted in a $6 billion restatement announced in 2004. Subsequent investigations by the SEC, the DOJ, and the Department of Labor were resolved without adverse action. An enforcement action brought by OFHEO was settled on favorable terms without any admission of wrongdoing. A derivative lawsuit was dismissed and an ERISA class action settled on favorable terms. Most importantly, a securities fraud class action was dismissed in November 2012 on summary judgment for lack of evidence of scienter (intent to defraud), completely exonerating our client in the face of highly-publicized allegations.
- State of Nevada, Office of the Attorney General, v. Pulte Homes, Pulte Mortgage Corporation (2011). We successfully negotiated settlement with Nevada Attorney General in a lawsuit alleging that Pulte violated the Nevada Deceptive Trade Practices Act by denying certain earnest money refund requests, by inquiring about a consumer's financial circumstances in a way that some consumers may have misunderstood as a qualification for mortgage credit, and not disclosing adequately the nature of the incentives offered to homebuyers to use the homebuilder's affiliated mortgage company. The settlement also resolved a lawsuit filed by Pulte against the Nevada Attorney General.
- Mayor and City Council of Baltimore v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al. (2008–2011). We represented Wells Fargo in lawsuit brought by Baltimore City alleging “reverse redlining” under the FHA on the theory that defendants offered African-American borrowers subprime loans at higher costs than their similarly situated Caucasian counterparts, which, in turn, triggered a disparate amount of foreclosures in the City’s predominately African-American neighborhoods, thereby reducing city revenues and increasing city costs. The complaint was dismissed twice, but was refiled and ultimately settled.
- City of Memphis and Shelby County, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al. (2009). We represented Wells Fargo in lawsuit brought by City of Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee, and watched closely by municipalities across the country, alleging that Wells Fargo engaged in “reverse redlining” in violation of the Fair Housing Act. The City and County asserted that Wells Fargo targeted African-American consumers for unaffordable and discriminatory mortgage loans, which resulted in default and a disproportionate number of foreclosures and vacancies in African-American neighborhoods, and that Wells Fargo is responsible in some part for increased municipal costs and decreased property tax revenue in connection with these properties. Memphis filed a motion to dismiss its Complaint in early July 2012, after the parties agreed to enter into a Collaboration Agreement.