So I just got done watching Selection Sunday.
Pretty much what you see every year. Too many Big 10 teams in the field. Not enough Pac 12 teams. But it all ends up the way its supposed to.
I thought about doing a TCPAWorld bracket but I settled on a more traditional “power ranking.”
Who are the most dangerous Plaintiff’s lawyers out there bringing the big TCPA cases?
To be sure, the TCPA remains as dangerous as ever. WebRecon stats confirm what we all already knew–TCPA litigation exploded to start the year, over 30% higher than last year.
And that’s no surprise.
Facebook has operated like a half-dose of penicillin. It wiped out all the weakest ATDS suits, but the stronger cases have survived and multiplied. Plus the plaintiff’s bar has shifted to prerecorded calls and DNC claims to good effect.
That leaves callers hoping to dodge TCPA suits–some valid, some fraudulent–at the highest clip since 2016. Not good.
So for all of you folks fielding new TCPA suits and wondering if the guys on the other side are any good here is the Czar’s official opinion. Obviously I’ve tangled with everyone on this list multiple times–in many cases dozens of times.
So if you ever wonder whether the lawyer suing you should be taken serious or not, you can trust the TCPAWORLD official POWER RANKING of TCPA plaintiff’s lawyers.
- Manny and Ignacio Hiraldo, Hiraldo P.A. —Its amazing that these two came as close as they did to making a list of real hitters in the TCPAWorld. A couple years back I’d have considered these folks on the “lesser track.” But they have become quite a bit stickier and fiercer in litigation. If they maintain the current trajectory–especially given their increasing volume–they are likely to find themselves ranked next year.
- Billy Howard, The Consumer Protection Firm — Billy enjoys a well-deserved reputation for attempting to bully defense lawyers–which is always an interesting strategy for a guy working on a contingency. Still, he deserves credit for bucking the trend of Plaintiff’s lawyers being “lazy.” The guy works hard–even if its for the wrong side.
Tav is the former head of the Consumer Protection Department at Morgan and Morgan–one of the largest Plaintiff’s firms in the world. He and Frank have recently ventured out on their own creating the stunningly-successful “Consumer Lawyers” network of representation.
While these guys tend to focus on high-volume individual suits–as opposed to class actions–they always drive hard bargains. And they are absolutely serious about spending money to make money–they end up taking 10 depositions in every case they work.
Mercifully they’ve moved on to mostly handling FCRA matters–which is why they’re at the bottom of this list. But if they sue you in a TCPA case, take it seriously.
9. Alex Burke, Burke Law Offices, LLC
Known affectionally as “Red” for his amber hair, Burke has been the behind-the-scenes mastermind of numerous multi-million dollar TCPA settlements. He tends to join up with others in pursuing TCPA class actions these days, and is getting his hands dirty less and less–at least it seems that way to me.
Still, Burke knows the TCPA and the art of litigation extremely well. And like others on this list he is not afraid to fight–and fight hard–when pushed. Both due to his lengthy career in TCPAWorld and due to his current aptitudes, Burke ranks 9th on this list.
8. Keith Keogh, Keogh Law, LTD
The “Iceman” of TCPAWorld, Keith has always been cool as a cucumber–or cooler. And he never blinks when it comes to driving a huge price tag in a TCPA class action. He still owns the single most valuable TCPA settlement in history when judged on a per-class member metric. The Hageman class settlement saw a stunning resolution worth over $1,600 per class member.
Like Burke, Keith has largely taken a back set to others these days–you only need so many Rolls Royces I guess– but the folks working at Keogh’s shop are still very talented and driven lawyers. Do not take a filing by Keogh lightly.
7. Avi Kaufman, Kaufman, PA
Kaufman is the anti-Keogh in many ways. While Keith is always calm and sometimes comes across as strikingly debonair, Kaufman is an odd combination of hot headed and rigid. Plus he has the worst website of any Plaintiff’s lawyer I know of.
Despite these considerable deficiencies, Avi Kaufman has risen quickly from his defense firm roots to become one of the most accomplished TCPA Plaintiff’s lawyers out there. With more than one multi-million dollar settlement already under his belt, Kaufman continues to to deliver good results for the class, even in tough cases. Probably because–like someone else I know–he’s simply smart enough to overcome his significant personality quirks.
Don’t let his seeming lack of sophistication fool you. Kaufman PA is well funded, and Avi is a smart advocate. Take any filings from his office seriously.
The “Wolf of TCPAWorld” has a well-earned reputation as a ruthless litigator and a shrewd negotiator. He somehow manages a large volume of cases with a relatively limited infrastructure while remaining a threat to “go all the way.”
Paronich’s greatest failing–which he views as a strength–is his reliance on “repeat player” Plaintiffs. This *ahem* controversial tactic assures his class representatives have “experience” while endlessly raising the specter of foul play.
Did Paronich’s latest client really just get a cold call from left field, or might he have set up that call himself? That’s the question callers always seem to be asking themselves when faced with a lawsuit by the “Wolf.” But that’s often part of Paronich’s trap. While Defendants focus their fire on the named class representative, he’s off obtaining class data. Sometimes he loses. But when he wins–it can be absolutely devastating.
When the Wolf comes stalking, don’t open the door.
5. Daniel Hutchinson/John Selbin Lieff Cabraser
These two need no introduction. As machine gun litigators in Lief Cabraser’s heavy artillery shop, they pack a mighty wallop. While not as artful as some of those higher on the list, these folks have firepower to spare. And they’re true believers of the Ahab variety–always after that great white whale. Sure they’ve lost more than a few times, but they’ve also earned such notorious TCPA wins such as Cordoba and Brown.
Its unlikely you would take a class action from LC lightly anyway, but take it from me–these folks have earned their reputation.
Probably the most brilliant plaintiff’s-side litigator on this (or any) list, Edelson PC owns the largest privacy jury verdict in history with their trouncing of Visalus.
Luckily for TCPAWorld, Jay finds litigating TCPA cases boring–plus they distract from his volleyball games. So he doesn’t file a whole ton of them anymore.
But if you ever see Edelson PC on the caption of a complaint naming your business, my goodness you better take it seriously.
The “Godfather” of TCPA class actions and one of the original architects of the entire concept of mass TCPA suits, Abbas is an absolute TCPAWorld legend. And the fact that he’s a pretty good guy just makes it all that much harder to stomach his endless success.
While he is best known as the guy who brought the world the stunning Marks appellate victory Abbas is known in TCPAWorld circles as the guy who has cracked more companies for multi-million dollar settlements than any other living person.
Abbas has grown tired of buying fancy cars and airplanes and has moved on to operating ADR centers. So like others on this list he is less concerned with TCPA class actions than he used to be. Nonetheless, any time KLG shows up on a caption you better be ready to rumble.
Nobody is better funded than Abbas. And although he sometimes plays coy, he is an absolute monster of a litigator.
I don’t want to give these guys credit, because I just don’t like them very much. And they probably prefer it that way.
Still, with the largest TCPA settlement in history to their name and a string of big victories under their belt, they belong near the top of this list. Whether I like it or not.
Heck, they once even got a major defense firm to switch sides and help them.
Tread very carefully when you’re staring down Bursor and Fisher. Ruthless might be a euphemism.
- Mike Greenwald, Greenwald Davidson Radbil, PLLC
I remember the first time I squared off with Greenwald back in 2011 like it was yesterday. Here–I thought after four days of deposition testimony–is an attorney who absolutely gets it. Sharp as they come. Understated. Relentless.
I was able to defeat him them–earning the first ever mootness victory post-Genesis (a move that the Supreme Cout outlawed in Campbell Ewald)–but he’s been stalking big prey ever since.
He was the guy behind “bad reyes”–the case that single-handedly brought predictive dialers back within the TCPA after ACA Int’l.
And he–along with his partner Aaron Radbil–is the architect of the most devastating class certification theory ever devised by a TCPA lawyer. Indeed, I seem to be the only one who can defuse it as the firm has now crumpled company after company with their recycled number wrecking ball.
There’s a reason I ask him when he’s going to retire every time I speak to him.
The folks at Greenwald Davidson are the ultimate monsters lurking in the TCPAWorld woods. By the time they sue you, it may already be too late.
In seriousness, when I give TCPA compliance advice its often the GDR firm I have in the back of my mind when I’m trying to help folks to avoid devastating exposure. When you’re even in the Czar’s head you definitely have earned your top spot on the TCPAWorld POWER Rankings.
Well that’s it folks. Hope you enjoyed this. I’m sure I just ruffled a few feathers–but what else is new?
I just call it as I see it. And I am the Czar.
Until next year.