The tenth edition of Consumer Class Actions published by the National Consumer Law Center is now in publication. Vildan Teske is one of the national class action lawyers who served as a contributing author for this book. Herb Newberg, author of Newberg on Class Actions has praised Consumer Class Actions stating it “[c]omprehensively guides lawyers through the entire spectrum of class action litigation. … Invaluable, succinct resource for new and experienced class action practitioners.”
Teske, Katz, Kitzer & Rochel, PLLP is excited to announce that Vildan Teske has been elected a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation (ABF). This prestigious distinction is limited to only one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction. Fellows are nominated by their peers and elected by the Board of the American Bar Foundation.
Established in 1955, the American Bar Foundation Fellows “is a global honorary society of attorneys, judges, law faculty, and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the highest principles of the legal profession and to the welfare of their communities.” For more information about the ABF, click here.
Last week, Marisa Katz was featured in a museum exhibit at the Louisiana Supreme Court marking the 50th anniversary of legal aid service programs in Louisiana. Marisa was a staff attorney at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) from 2004 to 2008. Part of the exhibit documented the legal services provided by SLLS attorneys in both the immediate and long-term aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Marisa’s work during and after Hurricane Katrina was a formative chapter in her professional career, where she continues today to advocate on behalf of low-income consumers to ensure an equal and just marketplace, free from predatory business practices. For more information on TKKR’s work on behalf of consumers and employees click here.
Exhibit at Louisiana Supreme Court, November 9, 2017.
Marisa Katz, with Mark Moreau and Brian Lenard (former co-executive directors of SLLS) standing outside SLLS’ office in Chalmette, LA. The building sustained more than 14 feet of flood water following the levy breaches in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. The office was destroyed.
On Monday, October 30, Marisa Katz co-presented a CLE at St. Thomas School of Law with Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) on forced arbitration clauses. Congressman Ellison addressed last week’s vote in the Senate that rescinded the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) rule that would have banned class action waivers in forced arbitration bans in consumer contracts.
Marisa discussed recent key U.S. Supreme Court cases on this topic and the Court’s continued role in shutting the courthouse doors to consumers, employees and small businesses. Both speakers discussed how to keep up the fight against forced arbitration and class action bans in the current political environment.
The presentation, “On Our Terms: Mandatory Arbitration Clauses Stopping Courts from Granting Justice,” was sponsored by University of St. Thomas School of Law’s Law Democrats.
On May 23, 2017, Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel partner Doug Micko presented a continuing legal education seminar to his peers at the Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute. The Employment Law Institute, billed as “the Nation’s best employment law conference,” is a program that attracted approximately 1,400 lawyers and employment law professionals. Micko, together with his co-panelist Joe Schmitt, presented a session entitled “Blowing the Amended Whistle – Minnesota Whistleblower Litigation.” The discussion focused on Minnesota’s Whistleblower Act, some recent amendments to the Act, and how broad the Act protects employees from retaliation.
On Wednesday, April 26, Hennepin County District Court Judge Daniel H. Mabley issued an order granting Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification. Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel represents a class of Minnesota consumers who took out payday loans from Payday America, Inc. between October 2, 2013 and December 31, 2016. The named plaintiff and class representative, Randy Holte, filed this lawsuit in 2015 challenging several of Payday America’s practices: (1) charging fees on payday loans in excess of the maximum rates allowed for closed-end loans, (2) failing to properly disclose the annual percentage rate, and (3) engaging in prohibited debt collection practices.
The Court’s order granting class certification is available here.
Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel attorneys, Vildan Teske and Marisa Katz, have been appointed Class Counsel in this litigation. Marisa Katz, who briefed and argued the motion, noted, “Today’s certification order is a critical next step in our ongoing effort to stop the predatory business practice in which this defendant lends money to Minnesota’s most cash-strapped and vulnerable consumers.”
Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel looks forward to its continued role in advocating for consumer lender compliance under the law and marketplace fairness.
Congratulations to Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel partner, Vildan Teske, who was named by Senator Amy Klobuchar and Senator Al Franken to serve on their judicial selection committee. The Hon. Ann Montgomery and Hon. Donovan Frank, both judges on the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, recently took senior status, leaving two vacancies that will need to be filled.
In announcing the committee, Senator Klobuchar said “[t]his group of distinguished Minnesota leaders will help us identify jurists who will continue Minnesota’s long tradition of federal judges with broad experience and an unwavering commitment to the fair and just application of the law.”
Senator Franken said “I’m looking forward to reviewing the Committee’s work and recommending nominees to the President who will serve the people of our state with honor and distinction.”
Teske remarked, “I’m honored to serve on this prestigious committee. My years advocating on behalf of consumers, working with the Federal Bar Association, and serving on the Board of the Infinity Project have confirmed how important it is to have a good and strong judiciary.”
On Sunday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune featured an article about the current state of forced arbitration of consumer disputes: “Debate over forced arbitration finds its second wind, with help from events like Wells Fargo scandal.” Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel partner Vildan Teske is quoted in the article, noting that there have been recent developments in the fight against forced arbitration in consumer disputes, but that the latest changes only provide a “patchwork of protection.”
Teske has been a strong and vocal advocate for consumers, particularly in the fight to curtail forced arbitration and to reinforce consumers’ rights to use the judicial system when they have been harmed. Teske has presented on the issue many times, including along with U.S. Senator Al Franken and other notable consumer rights experts. Teske has also testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary committee.