• Becca J. Wahlquist

    Partner
    Litigation
    bwahlquist@manatt.com
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    Los Angeles
    Direct: 310.312.4384
    General: 310.312.4000
    Fax: 310.312.4224

    Education

    New York University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2001.
    Senior Articles Editor, Review of Law and Social Change, 2000-01.

     

    University of California, Los Angeles, M.A., Literature, 1996.

     

    Brigham Young University, M.A., Literature, 1993.

     

    Brigham Young University, B.A., English, cum laude, with University Honors, 1990.

    Bar Admissions
    California
    • Profile
    • Representative Matters
    • Honors & Awards
    • Publications
    • Memberships & Activities
    • Speaking Engagements

    Profile

    Becca Wahlquist has a wide-ranging, complex commercial litigation practice, including contract and business tort disputes, Section 17200 and traditional class action cases, TCPA litigations, and putative class-wide arbitrations. She has authored appellate briefs in a number of federal circuits and states, including before the United States Supreme Court, and has successfully argued before the California Court of Appeal. Ms. Wahlquist received a 2008 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award for her work as the primary drafter of the appellate briefs before the California Supreme Court in Cable Connection, et al. v. DIRECTV, Inc. Ms. Wahlquist also devotes significant time to pro bono civil rights matters.

    Representative Matters

    Represent several major American corporations in defending against putative classwide Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) claims involving autodialed telemarketing calls, pre-recorded calls, texts, faxes, collections calls, and autodialed non-telemarketing calls, and provide compliance advice and instructions.

    Represented DIRECTV, Inc., in a series of putative class action litigations that ended after denial of class certification or in decertification, or that ended through summary judgment. For example, in May 2011, achieved summary judgment in Northern District of Illinois against putative classwide plaintiff alleging claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") and the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") for calls made to cellular telephones. In another instance, represented DIRECTV in appellate briefing before the Oklahoma Supreme Court that resulted in decertification of a nationwide class of Ultimate Fighting Championship viewers.

    Represented pharmaceutical company in two putative nationwide class action lawsuits alleging false advertising and fraud. Was retained after a nationwide class of consumers had been certified, and succeeded in having the state trial court decertify that class. Successfully removed the second action to federal district court, and briefed the class certification opposition papers that led that court to deny class certification.

    Represented an Alabama death row inmate and succeeded, on March 30, 2010, in having trial court invalidate the underlying trial on Constitutional grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel. Continuing now to represent that client during the State's appeal, and will argue the matter before the Alabama Court of Appeal.

    Represented DIRECTV, Inc., in two putative class-wide arbitrations filed by independent contractors in the satellite equipment sales business. Succeeded in having a California trial court reverse an arbitration panel’s determination that the contracts at issue permitted class procedures in arbitration. Acted as primary drafter of all appellate briefs, which resulted in favorable California Supreme Court decision in August 2008, involving a significant ruling on arbitration review procedures available in California.

    Represented DIRECTV, Inc., in a putative class action involving false advertising claims and prevented class certification of a nationwide class. Successfully handled oral argument before the California Court of Appeal in 2008 that the trial court’s demurrer to the related action was proper, and drafted all appellate briefs that led to Court of Appeal’s 2009 decision to uphold denial of class certification.

    Represented on a pro bono basis a California inmate alleging civil rights and constitutional claims against prison guards who had kept him shackled in a 2-foot by 2-foot by 6-foot holding cage for 19 hours, denying him access to food, water, adequate clothing, restroom facilities, or mental health assessments. Second-chaired seven-day-long trial in Central District of California that resulted in January 2007 verdict against eight correctional officers for deliberate indifference to her client’s basic human needs.

    Represented pharmaceutical company in litigation against ex-employee and the competitor with whom he had shared trade secrets. Successfully obtained TRO and permanent injunctive relief.

    Represented DIRECTV, Inc., in a contract dispute in federal district court in Los Angeles. Was lead associate during three-week jury trial (taking witnesses at trial, drafting and arguing dispositive motions) that resulted in over $62 million judgment. The case was selected as one of the Top Ten Plaintiff’s Verdicts of 2004 by the Daily Journal Extra and one of the Top 100 Verdicts of 2004 by the National Law Journal.

    Honors & Awards

    “California Lawyer of the Year Award,” California Lawyer, March 2009.

    “The Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services,” State Bar of California, 2006.

    Publications

    Quoted, “9th Circ. Eases TCPA Risks For Deep-Pocketed Companies,” Law360, July 10, 2014.

    Quoted, “Curbs on Cellphone Calls Pay Off for Lawyers,” The Wall Street Journal, November 17, 2013.

    Quoted, “Twitter, Path Lend Muscle To Fight Against TCPA Vultures,” Law360, November 25, 2013.

    "The Juggernaut of TCPA Litigation: The Problems with Uncapped Statutory Damages," U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, November, 2013.

    "Think Before You Dial, Telemarketers," The Daily Journal, November 5, 2013.

    “Federal Court Rulings on TCPA Claims Suggest Companies Should Re-Examine Technologies Used to Contact Customer Mobile Phones,” Bloomberg BNA's Daily Report for Executives, October 9, 2013.

    Memberships & Activities

    Member of the California Bar, admitted November 2001

    Board Member, Disability Rights Legal Center, 2007-09

    Founder and leader of Public Counsel’s Homeless Veteran’s Clinic, Inglewood, 2006-09

    Volunteer SAT instructor, A Place Called Home, South Central Los Angeles, 2010-2011

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaker, Compliance Officers Forum, Professional Association for Consumer Engagement (PACE), November 13, 2013.