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University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, J.D., 1989.
Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, B.S.F.S., cum laude, 1986.
Mr. Seiling joined Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, in 1989 following graduation from UCLA Law School, and has been a partner in the firm since 1996. He was elected equity partner in 2000.
His practice focuses on complex commercial litigation in state and federal courts at the trial and appellate level. Mr. Seiling has significant bench and jury trial experience in lengthy and complicated commercial litigation matters. His trial and arbitration experience encompasses cases alleging misappropriation of trade secrets, insurance bad faith, legal malpractice, theft from safe deposit boxes, violation of federal law governing wholesale mortgage lenders, breach of a credit card co-branding agreement, forged postal money orders, and wrongful termination.
He specializes in defending class actions and representative lawsuits brought under California’s Unfair Competition Law, Business & Professions Code Section 17200, et seq. (“UCL”). His class action and unfair competition litigation experience ranges from challenges to the pleadings through trial and appeal. Mr. Seiling has extensive experience litigating certification issues, settling class actions, and defending settlements against objections filed by absent class members. He has represented clients in the banking, financial services, direct marketing, advertising, publishing and insurance industries in class action and unfair competition cases, and has defended actions filed by private individuals and state and federal agencies.
Mr. Seiling has extensive experience handling litigation in the financial services industry representing banks, savings and loan associations, credit card companies, mortgage lenders and auto finance companies. These matters have involved claims alleging breaches of contractual and fiduciary duties, disputes over investment banking fees, lease disputes, breaches of loan guarantees, business disputes between financial institutions, actions to recover losses resulting from forged checks and postal money orders, and allegations of theft from safe deposit boxes. Many of these matters allege violations of state and federal law, such as the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, Truth in Lending Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Unruh Act and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act.
Employment litigation, primarily on behalf of employers, has been another practice focus. He has defended race and age discrimination, sexual harassment, breach of contract and whistle-blower cases, as well as cases involving alleged theft of trade secrets by former employees.
Other areas of experience include insurance bad faith and coverage litigation (representing insurers and policyholders), and commercial disputes in the insurance industry.
Mr. Seiling currently serves as Co-Chair of the firm’s Class Action and Financial Services Litigation Practice Groups.
Mendoza v. CashCall, Inc. (San Diego County Superior Court). Defense of putative class action seeking to rescind loans based on alleged violations of the California Finance Lenders Law. The trial court dismissed claims under the UCL and CLRA for lack of standing and denied certification as to rescission and declaratory relief claims.
Allen v. New Motion, Inc.
(Los Angeles County Superior Court). Defended an Internet marketing company in a case alleging that it violated the California Unfair Competition Law by subscribing consumers to its premium text message service without their consent. The trial court approved a nationwide class settlement.
Kite v. CashCall, Inc. (San Diego County Superior Court). Defense of class action alleging violation of California’s eavesdropping statute based on call monitoring of customer calls. We assumed defense of case after the court certified a class. The trial court granted our motion for summary judgment as to the class claim.
Boone v. Snf Management (Orange County Superior Court, Complex Department). Defense of putative class action against nursing home management company and individual facilities alleging claims under the Unfair Competition Law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act based on alleged violations of the California Health and Safety Code. Case dismissed following order sustaining demurrer without leave to amend.
Meeks v. CashCall, Inc. (Los Angeles County Superior Court, Complex Department). Defense of putative class action against California finance lender alleging claims under UCL and CLRA based on allegations that, among other things, the defendant offered loans at unconscionable interest rates. Case voluntarily dismissed following order sustaining defendant’s demurrer to all claims.
Harrell v. U.S. Bank, N.A. (Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding). Defense of national bank in putative class action filed under the UCL seeking refund of alleged excess use taxes charged on auto leases. Case dismissed following order sustaining demurrer without leave to amend.
Davis v. Pacific Capital Bank, N.A. (U.S. District Court, Central District of California). Defense of putative class action under the UCL alleging that defendant failed to refund allegedly unearned interest charged in connection with income tax refund anticipation loans. Motion to dismiss granted with prejudice. Affirmed on appeal. Davis v. Pacific Capital Bank, N.A., 550 F.3d 915 (9th Cir. 2008).
Lindner v. The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. (United States District Court). Defense of putative class action alleging violation of federal and California law regarding mailing of and billing for allegedly unordered merchandise. Motions to dismiss granted as to 10 of 11 plaintiffs; summary judgment granted as to sole remaining plaintiff prior to certification proceedings. Judgment affirmed by Ninth Circuit.
Armanini v. Wachovia Corporation (Orange County Superior Court, Complex Department). Defense of putative class action alleging violation of Business & Professions Code Section 17200 (the “UCL”) and state statute concerning disclosures on credit card convenience checks. Case settled with dismissal of class allegations.
Bloussant Cases (California Judicial Council Coordinated Proceeding). Defense of marketer of herbal breast enhancement product in three actions coordinated by the California Judicial Council in San Bernardino County Superior Court. Cases include a putative class action suit, a private attorney general action and a civil enforcement action by the San Bernardino County District Attorney. Nationwide class settlement approved.
Busch v. PAP Systems, LLC (Los Angeles County Superior Court, Complex Department). Defense of putative nationwide class action lawsuit against marketer of weight loss system. Putative class action lawsuit followed settlement of similar allegations in an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. Case settled on an individual basis with dismissal of class allegations.
Fardella v. Downey Savings and Loan Association, F.A.
(Alameda County Superior Court, Complex Department). Defense of class action against savings association and mortgage broker alleging claims for fraud, conversion and violation of the UCL based on the payment of mortgage broker fees. This case is the lead case of four cases currently pending in the Complex Litigation Department of Alameda County Superior Court. Class certification was denied. Summary judgment granted as to all claims.
Danford v. UC Media Services, Inc. (San Diego County Superior Court). Defense of telephone dating service in purported class action alleging violation of the California Unruh Act and the UCL. Complaint alleges that the company engages in gender-based price discrimination. Court approved California class action settlement.
Lopez v. Downey Savings and Loan Association, F.A
(Los Angeles County Superior Court). Defense of representative action under the UCL alleging violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act in connection with fees charged for real estate settlement services. Case settled after appeal was filed following bench trial in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Allec v. Cross Country Bank (Orange County Superior Court, Complex Department). Defense of nationwide class action against credit card company alleging that company violated the UCL in connection with solicitation of potential cardholders. Court approved nationwide class settlement over multiple objections.
Barnett v. Downey Savings and Loan Association, F.A. (Los Angeles County Superior Court, Complex Department). Defense of putative class action alleging practice of purchasing conditional sales contracts from auto dealers violated state antitrust and unfair competition statutes. Case dismissed based on federal preemption defense.
Arriaga v. Cross Country Bank (U.S. District Court, Southern District of California). Defense of credit card company in purported class action filed by the Milberg Weiss firm in federal court. Plaintiff alleged violations of state and federal law in credit card company’s solicitations and billing practices. Plaintiff abandoned case after court ordered matter to arbitration. Arriaga v. Cross Country Bank, 163 F. Supp. 2d 1189 (S.D. Cal. 2001).
In Re Computer Monitor Litigation (San Francisco County Superior Court). Coordinated defense of consumer class action alleging false advertising, unfair competition and related claims based on alleged misrepresentations of the size of computer monitor screens. Represented computer manufacturer and two retailers. Court approved global settlement of all class claims after sustaining demurrer on res judicata grounds based on settlement of action filed by the California Attorney General.
McCauley v. BFC Direct Marketing, 16 Cal. App. 4th 1262, 20 Cal. Rptr. 2d 498 (1993)
Crusader Ins. Co. v. Scottsdale Ins. Co., 54 Cal. App. 4th 120, 62 Cal. Rptr. 2d 620 (1997)
Arriaga v. Cross Country Bank, 163 F. Supp. 2d 1189 (S.D. Cal. 2001)
Fardella v. Downey Savings and Loan Association, F.A., 2001 WL 492442 (N.D. Cal., May 9, 2001)
Sargent Fletcher, Inc. v. Able Corporation, 110 Cal. App. 4th 1658, 3 Cal. Rptr. 3d 279 (2003)
Jonathan Neil & Associates, Inc. v. Jones, 33 Cal. 4th 917, 16 Cal. Rptr. 3d 849 (2004) (trial counsel)
Davis v. Pacific Capital Bank, N.A., 550 F.3d 915 (9th Cir. 2008)
Co-Author, "The Best Defense May Be a Good Offense," Inside Counsel (October 21, 2010), with Dean Zipser.
“Class Wars,” Los Angeles Lawyer, Vol. 28, No.2 (April 2005)
Co-Author, “End of an Era for Battle Over Lender Compensation to Mortgage Brokers,” The Real Estate Finance Journal, Vol. 19, No. 3 (Winter 2004), with Christopher L. Wanger.
“Niggling Statutory Violations’ Do Not Support an Award of Attorneys’ Fees in Successful UCL Suit,” 17200Law@manatt, Vol. II, Issue 7 (October 13, 2004)
Co-Author, “Plaintiff Bears Burden of Proving Unlawful Use of Trade Secrets by Defendant,” IP&InternetLaw@manatt, Vol. 1, Issue 12 (September 2, 2003), with Adam Pines.
Co-Author, “California Trial Court Throws Out Lawsuit Challenging Wholesale Lender Payments to Mortgage Brokers,” 17200Law@manatt, Vol. 1, Issue 14 (August 25, 2003), with Christopher Wanger. Co-Author, “California Trial Court Throws Out Lawsuit Challenging Wholesale Lender Payments to Mortgage Brokers,” BankingLaw@manatt, Vol. III, Issue 13 (August 28, 2003), with Christopher Wanger.
C. de Recat, M. Levy, L. Venger, Litigation Process and Case Management Manual (Lexis Nexis 2003) (worked with editor to finalize and polish the text for publication).
Admitted to practice in California (1989), United States District Courts in California, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Association of Business Trial Attorneys, 2001-present.
California State Bar, Business Law Section, Insurance Law Committee, 1998-2002; Financial Institutions Committee, 2004-present.
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Leadership Committee, 2003-present. National Leadership Council 2007-2008; Board of Directors 2008-present.
Christopher Commission, Staff Counsel, 1992.
Georgetown University Los Angeles Alumni Admissions Committee, 1989-present.
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