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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.
Brad Seiling is a partner in the firm's Litigation Division and the cochair of the Class Action and Financial Services Litigation practice groups. His practice focuses on complex commercial litigation in both state and federal courts at the trial and appellate levels, as well as class actions and representative lawsuits brought under California's Unfair Competition Law, Business and Professions Code Sections 17200 et seq. ("UCL"). Mr. Seiling has significant bench, arbitration and jury trial experience that 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 has experience litigating certification issues, settling class actions, and defending settlements against objections filed by absent class members for clients in the banking, financial services, direct marketing, advertising, publishing and insurance industries.
Mr. Seiling handles a wide variety of 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 laws, 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.
Mr. Seiling's other areas of experience include insurance bad faith and coverage litigation (representing insurers and policyholders), commercial disputes in the insurance industry, and employment litigation (defending race and age discrimination, sexual harassment, breach of contract and whistle-blower cases).
Cabral v. Supple LLC (U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit). Manatt successfully persuaded the Ninth Circuit to set aside a class certification in a false advertising case. Class counsel alleged that Supple had misrepresented that its supplement enhanced beverage was clinically proven to treat joint pain. Although the ads made no such express claims, the district court found that the ads conveyed a single, uniform net impression of clinical support to all members of the class and that this common issue was sufficient to certify the class. In setting aside the class certification order, the Ninth Circuit rejected the lower court’s approach and accepted Manatt’s argument that the trial court wrongly interpreted the ads to justify class certification. It found that nothing in the record could support a conclusion that the ads conveyed a single, uniform message to all members of the class or that all members “saw or otherwise received the misrepresentation” on which the plaintiffs relied (to see the oral argument, click here).
Kondracke v. Hanover Direct, et al. Represented United Marketing Group in a class action alleging that the defendants enrolled telemarketing customers into a "Buyers Edge" membership rewards program without their consent. The case settled on a non-class basis following extensive discovery.
Van Tassell v. United Marketing Group, LLC. Represented a direct marketer in a putative class action lawsuit in the Northern District of Illinois alleging that the marketer and its business partners deceived consumers into enrolling in membership clubs after making online purchases of other products. We settled the nationwide class action on highly favorable terms, and the district court approved the settlement. We also defended UMG in a similar action filed in the Northern District of Georgia based on a similar theory. Mullinax v. United Marketing Group, LLC. We obtained a stay of that case based on the earlier filed Van Tassell case and eventually settled it on an individual basis.
McK Sales v. Discover Financial Services, Inc. Represented United Marketing Group in a putative class action in the Northern District of Illinois alleging that it and its business partners enrolled small businesses in various membership programs with auto-renewal features without their consent. The court approved a nationwide class action settlement on favorable terms to our client.
Van Slyke v. Blue Shield of California (Los Angeles County Superior Court). Successful defense of putative class action where plaintiffs alleged negligence by defendant insurance company in selling healthcare coverage without informing plaintiffs that maternity benefits were included, and health coverage without those benefits was available from other carriers at a lower cost. Secured dismissal, later upheld on appeal.
Levine v. Blue Shield of California (San Diego County Superior Court) Successful defense of class action lawsuit where plaintiffs alleged that Blue Shield should have advised them on the structuring of their insurance coverage to reduce premiums. Prevailed in both the trial court and Court of Appeal in a published opinion. Levine v. Blue Shield of California, 189 Cal. App. 4th 1117 (2010).
Walsh v. Kindred Healthcare (USDC Northern District of California). Secured dismissal of a class action lawsuit in which plaintiffs alleged that Kindred's nursing homes had violated the average per day nurse staffing requirements under the Health and Safety Code. Class action settlement approved by court.
Shuts v. Covenant Care (Alameda County Superior Court). Defense of class action alleging a failure to meet state law requirements for nurse hourly staffing at Covenant Care facilities. Class settlement approved after extensive litigation in trial court and Court of Appeal.
Torres v. Nutrisystem (USDC Central District of California). Secured denial of class certification for Nutrisystem in a case in which the company faced exposure ranging from $10 million to $199 million for alleged violations of the California Privacy Act. Torres v. Nutrisystem, Inc., 289 F.R.D. 587 (C.D. Cal. 2013).
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.
Kight 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 court of appeal reversed the trial court's summary judgment as to the class claim. The trial court subsequently de-certified the class.
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. (USDC 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. (USDC). 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 and 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 that 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 (USDC 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.
Participant, “Class Action Roundtable,” California Lawyer, 2012-2014.
Co-author, “The Ninth Circuit Rejects First Amendment Arguments in Favor of SOCE,” Los Angeles Lawyer, April 2014.
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.
" '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.
Co-author, "California Trial Court Throws Out Lawsuit Challenging Wholesale Lender Payments to Mortgage Brokers," 17200Law@manatt, Vol. 1, Issue 14, August 25, 2003.
Co-author, "California Trial Court Throws Out Lawsuit Challenging Wholesale Lender Payments to Mortgage Brokers," BankingLaw@manatt, Vol. III, Issue 13, August 28, 2003.
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.
Mid City West Neighborhood Council, Chair Land Use Committee, 2006-2010.
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Los Angeles Leadership Committee, 2003-present. National Leadership Council 2007-2008; Board of Directors 2008-present.
Cochair, Lambda Legal, 2012-present.
Christopher Commission, Staff Counsel, 1992.
Georgetown University Los Angeles Alumni Admissions Committee, 1989-2010.
L.A. County Bard Judicial Appointments Committee, 2010-present.
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