Federal Judge Gives Green Light to Teske Katz’s Antitrust Lawsuit against Residential Real Estate Industry

On October 02, 2020, U.S. District Judge Andrea R. Wood denied a motion to dismiss brought by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in a case accusing it of breaking antitrust laws by imposing sales commission rules that result in unfair charges to home sellers. The Court rejected NAR’s argument that a proposed class of former homeowners who say they are duped into paying too high of a commission when they sell their houses cannot prove injury. Judge Wood made clear the injury laid out by the home seller plaintiffs in their complaint was “assuredly of a type that the Sherman [Antitrust] Act was designed to prevent.”
The case is Moehrl v. National Association of Realtors, et al., and is being litigated in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Teske Katz, PLLP is one of seven law firms representing Plaintiff and the proposed class of home sellers.
The complete article detailing the Judge’s order is featured in Law360 and can be found here:

Vildan Teske Authors National Consumer Law Center’s Consumer Class Actions Manual, 10th Edition

Vildan Teske is a contributing author of the National Consumer Law Center’s (NCLC) Consumer Class Actions (10th Ed.) 

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.”

Marisa Katz interviewed in KARE11 story on Residential Real Estate Antitrust Lawsuit

On May 19, 2020, Teske Katz partner Marisa Katz appeared in a KARE11 story discussing a major antitrust class action lawsuit against the residential real estate industry, Moehrl v. National Association of Realtors, et al. The lawsuit, filed in March 2019, in which Teske Katz, PLLP and co-counsel represent Plaintiffs, alleges the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the four largest real estate broker franchises (Realogy Holdings Corp., HomeServices of America, Inc., RE/MAX Holdings, Inc., and Keller Williams Realty, Inc.) conspired to required home sellers to pay the broker representing the buyer of their homes, and to pay at an inflated amount, in violation of federal antitrust law.
To watch the news report, click here:

Vildan Teske Elected as Fellow of the American Bar Foundation

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

Marisa Katz Recognized for Her Work on behalf of those Displaced by Hurricane Katrina

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. 

Marisa Katz Presents on Forced Arbitration with Congressman Keith Ellison

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.

Doug Micko Presents on Updates to Whistleblower Law at Employment Law Institute

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.

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel’s attorneys regularly practice whistleblower law. If you believe you have been the victim of retaliation for whistleblowing, contact us today.

Class Certification Granted in Class Action against Payday America

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.

If you have questions about the Holte v. Payday America, Inc. litigation, or believe that your consumer rights have been violated, contact us today for a confidential consultation.

Vildan Teske Named to Minnesota Federal Judicial Selection Committee

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.”

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Vildan Teske Quoted in Star Tribune Article regarding Forced Arbitration

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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.

For more information on consumer financial issues, consumer class actions, or forced arbitration, contact our firm or Vildan Teske directly.