District Court Admissions
Court of Appeal Admissions
Areas of Practice
• Alexander v. Bill Luke Chrysler, Jeep & Dodge, Inc., No. 1 CA-CV 13-03024 (Ariz. Ct. App. May 27, 2014) – The Arizona Court of Appeals for Division One affirmed the Maricopa County Superior Court’s order granting the consumer-plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on the defendant’s defamation counterclaim. The Court of Appeals found that the consumer’s statements to the Better Business Bureau about her vehicle purchase with the dealership were either substantially true or expressions of opinion and therefore were not actionable as defamation.
• Bultemeyer v. Systems & Services Technologies, Inc., No. CV12–0998, 2012 WL 4458138 (D. Ariz. Sept. 26, 2012) – The U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona refused a debt collector’s motion to compel arbitration of a student loan borrower’s putative class action suit that alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The debt collector argued that the FDCPA claims were within the scope of a valid mandatory arbitration agreement with a class-action waiver contained in the enrollment agreement between the school and the student. The court rejected the debt collector’s argument that, as a nonsignatory to the agreement, doctrines of equitable estoppel, agency, and third-party beneficiary status all supported its right to compel arbitration in this case. While the borrower’s FDCPA claims against the debt collector “would not exist but for her underlying enrollment agreement,” the court concluded that resolution of the borrower’s FDCPA claims did not depend on the terms of the enrollment agreement. The debt collector also failed to demonstrate that it entered into an implied agency relationship with the school to collect payments on the school’s behalf. “Holding a principal accountable for actions it ratified is not the same as bringing an implied agent within the scope of the principal’s arbitration agreement,” the court explained. The debt collector presented no evidence that it entered into an agency relationship with the school, that the school ratified its actions, or that the school exercised supervision or control over its debt collection practices. The court also found unpersuasive the debt collector’s argument that it was entitled to invoke the arbitration provision as a third-party beneficiary, finding “no evidence in the contract that it was intended for [the debt collector]’s benefit. As the borrower therefore was not bound by the arbitration agreement as to her FDCPA claims, the district court denied the debt collector’s motion to compel arbitration and its motion to strike the class allegations.
• Dove v. Moody, Jones, Ingino & Morehead, P.A., No. 3:15-cv-251-J-32JRK (M.D. Fla. April 18, 2016) – The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida granted final approval of a class action settlement under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1693 et seq., and certified TCLG attorneys Russell S. Thompson IV and David N. McDevitt, as well as Alex Weisberg of Weisberg Consumer Law Group, P.A., as class counsel. TCLG represented Ms. Dove and the unnamed class members alleging Defendant violated the EFTA at § 1693e(a) by initiating a preauthorized electronic fund transfer out of the bank accounts of the Class Members without having first obtained written authorization and/or providing a copy of such authorization to the Class Members at the time of its execution.