So its Selection Sunday again. Amazing how fast time flies.
TONS has changed since the last time I did this power ranking–just one year ago. At that time I was still an equity partner in #biglaw–having not yet mustered the courage to start my own shop. And the traffic on TCPAWorld.com was much lower– the power rankings became my best read article ever at that time, but this year has already seen 5 stories with more reads.
The site–always popular– has really blown up since I’ve been out on my own and its amazing to see.
Some things never change though. The Big 10 is one again overrated and has way too many teams in the field–how does the media seem to have amnesia on this issue year after year?–and the Pac 12 is, once again, woefully underrepresented. But, as I said last year, it all ends up the way its supposed to. And so it will again.
But, for now, it is power ranking time. I have spent several weeks thinking this year’s rankings through.
How does one define power in this context? For instance, if you asked me what Plaintiff’s firm would I least want to face in a TCPA class action the answer would be Edelson PC. But those guys don’t really bring any TCPA cases these days. So can I really call them the most powerful shop in the TCPAWorld?
Then there’s a guy like Avi Kaufman. To say that he is more fearsome than Lief Cabraser or Kazerouni and Associates is absolutely laughable. But then when you look at the incredible (incredible) success he has had over the last 365 days who do I not rank him near the top?
Really tricky stuff.
So ultimately I arrived at the following formula
(2YE * (4N + 10A))/D + (1/10TR)/(1/AR)= Power Ranking
YE = years of TCPA experience,
N = the monthly number of TCPA cases filed,
A= the number of attorneys in the shop,
D= the number of days since the latest TCPA filing,
TR= total recovery for the year
AR= average recovery for the year.
As you can see, computing these metrics for each firm on the list yields a perfectly objective measure of their power.
But of course I didn’t do any of that, because that would be crazy.
What I really did is the same thing I did last year–tried to provide a useful and weighted ranking of what firms really know what they’re doing and have the wherewithal and desire to really push matters in the TCPAWorld.
In short, a list of the most dangerous Plaintiff’s lawyers out there.
And you REALLY need to be paying attention right now. TCPA FILINGS ARE EXPLODING. They are WAY WAY up this year and the STATE LAW filings ad an entire additional dimension.
This is unsurprising as the money here is simply insane. One guy on the list made over $20MM over the last 365 days so… yeah.
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.
One thing EVERYONE on this list has in common– they are legitimate threats to go “all the way.” That means they will push you to certification, or beyond–and have done so many times.
Without further adieu:
Honorable Mention: Dr. Evil and the guys at LawHQ
So there’s this guy who thinks he can scale the practice of law and bring in “millions” of clients to file TCPA suits.
I’m serious. I call him Dr. Evil.
He has built an App that allows consumers to “swipe right” on robocalls and immediately notify his office of a scam or spam report. This allows the firm’s investigate team to start the process of finding out who is making the calls and then sue them.
When he wins he splits the money “fifty fifty” with the consumer.
Its nuts. But just nuts enough to work. And it seems to be.
LawHQ is the hottest thing on the rise in TCPAWorld right now and a real rocket ship poised to break into the rankings next year and really upset a few folks.
If you missed our podcast interview with these guys you owe it to yourself to check it out:
10. Keith Keogh, Keogh Law, LTD
Dropping to the ten hole on the Czar’s “what have you done for me lately” power rankings, is a guy who would have been near the top just a few years ago.
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.
As I explained last year, however, Keith has largely taken a back set to others these days–you only need so many Rolls Royces I guess– so his shop just isn’t the TCPAWorld powerhouse it once was. Still, the folks working at Keogh’s shop are still very talented and driven lawyers–and they’re not afraid to ride some lines and push new arguments all the way. Do not take a filing by Keogh lightly.
So coming in at number 9 is actually 3 different law firms that tend to work together all the time.
All three of these guys are decent fellas, even if their cases are not always the most meritorious (sorry.) They are true volume players so they seem to be willing to pan for gold in a manner that those higher up on the list simply find intolerable.
Still these guys have gotten a lot better over the years–not intended as a slight, just a fact–and they are FAR tougher to contend with these days than just a few years ago. If you see one of these folks on a filing and your current lawyer calls them a “bottom feeder”–or the like–I think they (and you) need to update the playbook. These guys have certainly earned the Czar’s attention–and respect– and should NOT be taken lightly.
8. Alex Burke, Burke Law Offices, LLC
Burke is up one spot from last year, but continues to lurk on the periphery of the rankings, but he is definitely a threat to rocket to the top.
Burke–known affectionally as “Red” for his amber hair- has been the behind-the-scenes mastermind of numerous multi-million dollar TCPA settlements. He is handling a few lower volume of cases than others on the list, but he is simply explosive–both in terms of his capabilities and his personality–so he simply cannot be left off a TCPA power rankings list.
Burke knows the TCPA and the art of litigation extremely well. And he is not afraid to fight–and fight hard–when pushed. Indeed, pound for pound Burke might be the hardest puncher on this list. Luckily he mostly stays out of the ring these days.
Taking the biggest tumble on this year’s list is Bursor.
Last year they enjoyed a likely-inflated ranking due to a massive crush job against Rash Curtis & Associates that saw the firm deliver the largest TCPA settlement of all time.
Since then, however, these guys have been focused on paying bonuses that make #biglaw blush but haven’t really delivered anything big over the last 365 days.
That said, these guys are MONSTERS, so do be on the look out for them. Remember, they once even got a major defense firm to switch sides and help them.
While I am very comfortable slotting them in at number 7 this year, I suspect they’ll be higher next time this ranking comes out.
6. Daniel Hutchinson/John Selbin Lieff Cabraser
Down one spot to number 6 this year are a couple of OG litigators. These two have always been more stubborn than clever in my view, but a willingness to litigate hard for many years will almost always lead to great results, and this duo of LC litigators has demonstrated that time and again.
Its unlikely you would take a class action from LC lightly anyway, but take it from me–these folks are TOUGH litigators that STICK in cases for the long haul and have definitely earned their reputation.
Here he is. The boogey man.
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.
But the guy is too busy breaking Tom Girardi into a thousand tiny little pieces to pursue TCPA cases these days. Plus he is trying to put an end to robolawyer virtuoso DoNotPay for some reasons I don’t fully understand, but still totally applaud.
Back when I had a twitter account–can’t believe anyone is still on that platform with Elon running it–I used to love reading this guy’s tweets. He is always on the cutting edge.
Edelson is a rare sighting in TCPAWorld these days but if you ever see Edelson PC on the caption of a complaint naming your business, my goodness you better take it seriously.
4. Abbas Kazerounain, Kazerouni Law Group
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.
The “Wolf of TCPAWorld” has had a great year. He’s made millions and really done well in the courtroom. As a result he has moved his way steadily up this list.
Paronich 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 has been the absolute scourge of the lead generation industry, filing case after case against callers who had the misfortune of buying a lead listing his client. Does Paronich just get lucky in identifying fraudulent lead suppliers, or are his clients setting up these suits?
Tough to say. But Paronich was a VERY compelling first guest on the new Deserve to Win podcast–and if you haven’t listened to what he has to say. YOU SHOULD.
Any way you look at it, however, when the Wolf comes stalking, don’t open the door.
2. Avi Kaufman, Kaufman, PA
I really hate listing this guy so high on the list.
But his firm is responsible for OVER $20MM in fee recoveries over the last year– higher than anybody else on the list. So how can I overlook that?
He has absolutely destroyed the real estate brokerage industry–extracting a massive $40MM settlement from Keller Williams, and he is not yet through with Coldwell Banker who he has on the ropes in a CERTIFIED TCPA class action set to try this year. My goodness.
What really scares me though, is that he is still young, hungry, and improving. He reminds me of peak Burke–which I suspect both men will take as an insult. But there is no denying he is well funded, sharp and in charge of his own destiny now in TCPAWorld.
Still he has weaknesses. A lack of associate-level firepower and a tendency to make little mistakes driven by ego or temper.
Will Kaufman take it to the next level and dethrone number 1 next year? Or will his temperamental nature cripple him as his empire crumbles under the weight of success?
We’ll find out.
As I said last year “[d]on’t let his seeming lack of sophistication fool you. Kaufman PA is well funded, and Avi is a smart advocate.” Now, more than ever, take any filings from his office seriously.
As stale as the idea of holding the number 1 spot with the same firm, I just don’t see any compelling reason to move Greenwald down.
He is just as dangerous now as he was last year. Big wins continue to pile up behind the guy. And he has shown no signs of slowing down–a steady drumbeat of (mostly meritorious) TCPA filings continue to stream out of his office.
He is incredibly smart. Highly adaptable. Extremely well funded. And worst of all… supremely reasonable and thoughtful.
He may have even improved since last year now that he’s seemingly mastered the Czar-esque ability to disarm and lull others into a false sense of security. That’s my move Mike!
For those of you who missed my podcast episode with the guy you HAVE to give this thing a watch. This is the most dangerous man in TCPAWorld folks talking with our team:
The folks at Greenwald Davidson Radbil, PLLC remain the ultimate monsters lurking in the TCPAWorld woods. By the time they sue you, it may already be too late.
As I said last year: “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.”
True then. True now.
Well folks that’s it. I need to get to bed. Travel day for me–LeadsCon!–and then back to the grind.
Until next year.