• Donna L. Wilson

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    Los Angeles
    Direct: 310.312.4144
    General: 310.312.4000
    Fax: 310.312.4224


    University of Virginia, J.D.

    Order of the Coif.

    Member, Managing Board, Virginia Law Review.


    The George Washington University, B.A.

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


    Donna L. Wilson is a partner in the Litigation Division in the Los Angeles office. Ms. Wilson's practice focuses on consumer class and individual actions and counseling, financial services and data security/privacy, government enforcement actions and other complex business litigation and related counseling.

    Ms. Wilson has defended class and individual actions alleging violations of consumer protection laws, including TCPA, RESPA/YSP, ECOA/FHA, FCRA, FDCPA, HOEPA, TILA, as well as alleged statutory and common law consumer privacy violations.  She also has conducted reviews with respect to fair lending, UDAP, and other regulatory compliance issues.  Recent representative matters include defending:

    • A mortgage originator in a putative federal class action regarding an issue of first impression under FCRA and California state law
    • A national bank in a threatened putative class action alleging violations of consumer privacy under the TCPA
    • A national retailer with respect to California putative class action alleging violations of consumer privacy under California state law

    Ms. Wilson also represents clients in industries that are highly regulated and is often involved in government enforcement matters on behalf of her clients.  For example, Ms. Wilson successfully led the trial team defending an international manufacturer and its subsidiary against a California state regulatory agency.  The multiweek trial involved claims brought by her clients alleging various violations of administrative law and the California state constitution and counterclaims by the regulator for over $200 million in statutory penalties.  The litigation settled midtrial during the presentation of her clients' case.  The result was a highly favorable settlement providing the client with the equitable relief it sought from the regulator and with the regulator obtaining less than 1% of the statutory penalties it sought.

    Ms. Wilson's experience with complex business litigation and counseling includes the defense of clients in litigation across a wide range of substantive practice areas, including antitrust, bankruptcy, securities, environmental, business contracts, and torts.  She recently served as lead co-counsel representing a national telecommunications provider in a complex, multiparty California state court action brought by homeowners, insurance companies, and the California state government asserting tort, nuisance, and other claims arising from the Malibu Canyon fire.  Ms. Wilson also advised the client with respect to related government enforcement proceedings. 

    Ms. Wilson clerked for the Honorable Stanley S. Brotman of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, and the Honorable David R. Thompson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

    Representative Matters

    • Abdelfattah v. Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC.  Pending putative class action litigation brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the California state analogue.
    • David Shabaz v. Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation.  Putative class action alleging violations of consumer privacy under state statutory and common law, which resulted in favorable rulings on issues of first impression, culminating in federal court approval of one of the first settlements under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) involving a noncash benefit to class members.
    • In re Malibu Canyon Fire Litigation.  Consolidated litigation by homeowners and property insurers against Sprint Wireless and others alleging negligence and other claims arising from the Malibu Canyon fires of 2007, resulting in highly favorable settlements.
    • Korn v. Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation.  Putative class action alleging violations of consumer privacy under state statutory and common law, culminating in a successful settlement.
    • Kuehl v. EMC Mortgage Corp., et al.  Achieved dismissal on demurrer of complaint alleging, among other things, common-law and statutory fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and elder abuse in the secondary purchase and sale of plaintiff's loan.
    • Leslie Johnson v. New York & Company Inc.  Putative class action alleging violations of consumer privacy under state statutory and common law, which resulted in one of the most favorable settlements of its kind in California.
    • Leslie Marks v. Trevnor Askew, et al.  Ongoing litigation seeking injunctive relief, declaratory relief and damages in connection with the foreclosure of plaintiff's property.
    • Maureena Garcia v. New York & Company Inc.   Litigation of putative class action alleging violations of consumer privacy under state statutory and common law.
    • People of the State of California v. Yamaha USA et al.  Enforcement action alleging that defendants failed to obtain certification of 2007 Model Year vehicles, in violation of certain state environmental statutes.
    • Peters Real Estate Holdings, et al. v. Falcon Financial LLC, et al.  Litigation seeking declaratory relief and damages in connection with the foreclosure of plaintiff's car dealership.
    • Pinero v. Jackson Hewitt Tax Services, Inc.  As lead counsel, argued and won over a dozen substantive motions in a row in a putative class action arising from an alleged consumer privacy breach.  Successfully dismissed 7 of the 9 counts of the Complaint on precedent-setting grounds.
    • Reade v. Paul Financial, et al.  Negotiated pretrial settlement of action alleging statutory fraud in the origination and securitization of plaintiff's loan.
    • Rizzo, et al. v. Citizens Financial Group, et al.  Pending putative class action litigation alleging violations of state unfair and deceptive practices act and other claims arising from overdraft fees charged after alleged closure of accounts by customers.
    • Yamaha USA v. California Air Resources Board.  Litigation raising multiple issues of first impression and seeking declaratory and other relief arising from state environmental agency's alleged violation of federal and state constitutional protections, as well as state law, in connection with a certification application filed with that agency.

    Ms. Wilson is frequently a go-to source for reporting on consumer finance and privacy and data security issues in industry and legal publications.

    Honors & Awards

    Top 75 Women Litigators in California, Daily Journal, 2013.

    Leading Attorney in Privacy and Data Security, Legal 500, 2012 & 2013.

    Member, Skadden, Arps Legal Aid Society Program.

    Named "Knight of the Enterprise" by Lyondell Basell Chemical Company, an honor given to trial counsel who achieve outstanding results on behalf of the company, 2009.


    Quoted, “Calif., Mass. ZIP Code Suits Show No Signs Of Expiring,” Law360, July 28, 2014.

    Quoted, “Data Breach at Target is Under Close Investigative Scrutiny,” USA Today, January 10, 2014.

    "California's Homeowner Bill of Rights," Mortgage Banking Magazine, January 15, 2013.

    "'You Can't Handle the Truth!' Fact, Fiction and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act," Westlaw Journal Bank & Lender Liability, October 22, 2012.

    "Just the FACT(A)s: The Latest in FCRA Jurisprudence," Journal of Taxation and Regulation of Financial Institutions, April 23, 2012.

    "The Precarious Relationship Between Class Actions and Small Claims Courts," InsideCounsel, February 16, 2012.

    "Courts Take a Broad View of Protected Personal Identification Information," InsideCounsel, January 19, 2012.

    "Litigation: Recent Developments in Privacy Class Actions," InsideCounsel, December 22, 2011.

    "The Liability Potential of Layaway Revealed," RetailingToday.com, November 18, 2011.

    "Case Study: Anderson v. Hannaford Brothers," Law360, November 7, 2011.

    "Donna Wilson on Standing to Challenge Fee Award to Class Counsel," Thomson Reuters News & Insight, May 24, 2011.

    "No You May Not Have My ZIP Code," RetailingToday.com, March 28, 2011.

    "The State Supreme Court Shakes It Up for Retail Businesses," Los Angeles Daily Journal, February 16, 2011.

    "Using E&O Insurance in Foreclosure Litigation," Law360, December 22, 2010.

    "Settling Class Actions: Alternatives to Coupon Settlements after CAFA," Class Action Litigation Reporter, February 19, 2009.

    Memberships & Activities

    Admitted to practice in the state of California and the District of Columbia.

    Admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of California, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, U.S. District Court, Southern, Eastern, Central and Northern Districts of California.

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaker, “Is There An Ethical Duty to Protect Client Data?,” ALM’s Cybersecurity and Data Protection Legal Summit, New York, New York, December 2, 2014.

    Panelist, Data Security/Privacy Class Actions: Identifying and Mitigating the Expanding and Evolving Risks,” Strafford Webinar, November 13, 2014. 

    Moderator, “The Rapidly Growing Minefield of Data Security and Data Breach/The Role of Smart Devices and The Internet of Things,” 36th Annual BAA Marketing Law Conference, Chicago, Illinois, November 5–7, 2014.

    Speaker, Hackers and Other Cyber Risks That Can Kill Your Company,” California Capital Summit Breakfast, Los Angeles, California, October 17, 2014.

    Panelist, “ Digital Media for In-House Counsel: Everything You Should Know About New Media But Were Afraid To Ask,” The Association of Media & Entertainment Counsel (AMEC), Los Angeles, California, September 25, 2014. 

    Panelist, “Dodd-Frank Developments and Trendspotting,” 2014 Lavender Law Conference, New York, New York, August 21–23, 2014.

    Panelist, “Using Diversity to Build a Book of Business,” 2014 Lavender Law Conference, New York, New York, August 21–23, 2014.  

    Speaker, “All About the Telephone Consumer Protection Act,” Bridgeport Continuing Education’s Advertising, Marketing & Media Law Litigation and Best Practices Conference, July 25, 2014.

    Panelist, “Recent Developments in Data Privacy Class Actions and Insurance Coverage,” ABA Section of Litigation Class Actions and Derivative Suits Committee, the Consumer Litigation Committee and Mass Torts Committee, San Francisco, California, June 19, 2014.

    Speaker, “Implications of ‘Big Data’ for the Consumer Finance Litigation Sector: What Financial Services Companies and Their Outside Counsel Now Need to Know Given the Progress that the CFPB and OFR Have Made,” American Conference Institute’s 18th National Forum on Consumer Finance Class Action & Litigation, Los Angeles, California, April 8–9, 2014.

    Speaker, “Consumer Personally Identifiable Info Violations,” Strafford Webinar, March 18, 2014.

    Cochair and Speaker, American Conference Institution’s 13th Annual National Forum on Residential Mortgage Litigation & Enforcement, January 16, 2014.

    Speaker, “Litigation Trends and Developments: What Every Bank CEO Should Know,” Banker Roundtable Discussion, California Bankers Association 2014 Bank Presidents Seminar, Santa Barbara, California, January 9–11, 2014.

    Panelist, Strafford Webinar on Privacy Class Action, November 12, 2013.

    Speaker, National Association of Women Lawyers’ 9th Annual General Counsel Institute, November 7-8, 2013.

    Speaker, "Responding to Stepped Up Litigation and Enforcement Being Brought at the State Level, With an Emphasis on California, Florida, New York, Illinois, Texas, and Nevada." ACI's 12th National Forum on Residential Mortgage Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement, September 26, 2013.

    Speaker, "Driving Positive Change in Payments Acceptance Through Partnership: American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant," Merchant Advisory Group Webinar, August 14, 2013.

    Panelist, Second Annual Roundtable on Current "Hot Topics" and Legal Developments Facing the Retail and Fashion Industries, March 7, 2013.

    Speaker, The California Homeowners Bill of Rights: What Does It Mean for Your Business? January 31, 2013.

    Speaker, Privacy Class Actions: Latest Developments in International Privacy and Negligent Data Breach Litigation, January 24, 2013.

    Speaker, 2012 CFPB and Top Regulatory and Enforcement Issues Conference, April 24, 2012.

    Moderator, "Banks Under Scrutiny: The Civil, Criminal, Regulatory, and Insurance Fallout from Mortgage Foreclosures and Bank Failures," ABA Litigation Section Annual Meeting, April 18, 2012.

    Speaker, FCRA and FACTA: Leveraging New Developments in Certification, Damages, and Preemption, March 21, 2012.

    Panelist, "The Credit Crisis and D&O Insurance Coverage: Challenges Facing Insureds, Insurers, and Regulators," ABA Section of Litigation Insurance Coverage CLE Seminar, March 1, 2012.

    Panelist, Round Table on 2011-2012 Legal Developments and Trends for the Retail and Fashion Industries, January 19, 2012.

    Speaker, "Legal Actions by the FDIC to Recover Losses of Failed Banks: The Potential Liability of Officers and Directors," American Association of Bank Directors Webinar, December 7, 2011.

    Speaker, Class Actions on Data Breach and Privacy on the Rise, December 7, 2011.

    Speaker, Emerging Class Action Threat: Consumer Personal ID Data Strategies to Minimize Litigation Risks, May 24, 2011.

    Speaker, FCRA and FACTA Class Actions, April 26, 2011.

    Speaker, West Coast Mortgage Lending and Servicing Today Conference, April 11, 2011.

    Panelist, "Responding to the Latest Cyber Threats: Mobile Workforces, Technology, Data Thefts, and Cloud Computing." ACI's Privacy & Security of Consumer and Employee Information Conference, January 26, 2011.

    Speaker, Data Privacy and Information Security Conference, June 3, 2010.

    "Privacy, Data Security, and Data Breach Litigation Nationally and Internationally," 2010 Fair Lending Today Conference, April 19, 2010.