2017 Steering Committee
This elite group has developed the Agenda which formulates the basis of our discussion, and personally selected all invitees.
Daniel L. Warshaw
Pearson, Simon & Warshaw, LLP
Sherman Oaks, CA
Daniel L. Warshaw is a civil litigator and trial lawyer who focuses on complex litigation involving antitrust, class actions, and consumer protection. Mr. Warshaw has held a lead role in numerous state and federal class actions, and obtained significant recoveries for class members in many cases. These cases have included, among other things, antitrust violations, high-technology products, automotive parts and false and misleading advertising. Mr. Warshaw has also represented employees and employers in a variety of class actions, including wage and hour, misclassification and other Labor Code violations.
Mr. Warshaw played an integral role in In re TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litigation, where he negotiated the ESI protocol and managed a document review process that featured nearly 8 million documents in multiple languages and 136 reviewers. He currently serves as interim co-lead counsel in a series of groundbreaking class actions involving the alleged underpayment of royalties to artists, producers and directors in the music and film industries. These cases have received significant attention in the press, and Mr. Warshaw has been profiled by the Daily Journal for his work in the digital download music cases. In recognition of his outstanding work, Mr. Warshaw has been selected by his peers as a Super Lawyer (representing the top 5% of practicing lawyers in Southern California) every year since 2005. He has also attained Martindale-Hubbell's highest rating (AV) for legal ability and ethical standards.
Mr. Warshaw has assisted in the preparation of two Rutter Group practice guides: Federal Civil Trials & Evidence and Civil Claims and Defenses. Since 2012, Mr. Warshaw has served as the Chair of the Plaintiffs' Class Action Forum sponsored by Cambridge International Forums, Inc. The purpose of the Forum is to facilitate a high-level exchange of ideas and in-depth dialogue on class action litigation. Mr. Warshaw is a member of executive committee for the Litigation Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
E. Michelle Drake
Berger & Montague, P.C.
E. Michelle Drake is a Shareholder at Berger & Montague, P.C. where she leads the firm’s newly-opened Minneapolis office. Michelle’s practice focuses on consumer and employment class actions. She has achieved over $150 million in settlements for her clients and has served as lead class counsel in over fifty class cases. Michelle’s practice has encompassed a wide variety of cases, including cases challenging improper employment background checks, unfair mortgage servicing practices, illegal student loan cost calculations, and data breaches. Michelle is currently lead counsel on over thirty putative class cases involving violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Michelle serves on the board of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, is a member of the Partner’s Council of the National Consumer Law Center, and is a Co-Chair of the Consumer Litigation Section for the Minnesota State Bar Association. She has been named as a Super Lawyer since 2013. Michelle graduated from Harvard Law School in 2001. She began the practice of law by trying high stakes criminal cases as a public defender in Atlanta, Georgia and is always happiest on the side of the underdog.
Graham B. LippSmith
Kasdan LippSmith Weber Turner LLP
Los Angeles, CA
With career settlements and verdicts valued at more than $1 billion, Graham B. LippSmith has had great success at a young age and in a wide variety of cases.
Graham focuses primarily on class action, mass tort, construction defect, serious personal injury and business cases. Graham has gone toe-to-toe with the world’s most powerful companies to win up to nine-figure cases.
Graham spearheaded one of the largest class action settlements in California history, a $550 million settlement for a nationwide class of 12.5 million Farmers Insurance Exchange subscribers. Most recently, Graham negotiated a $35.7 million settlement for homeowners in Hawaii that is now funding repairs to thousands of homes with dangerous wind-resistance defects, in addition to paying millions in cash. Graham also managed an inventory of more than 600 NFL retirees and their spouses and served on the exclusive Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in the NFL Concussion Litigation, resulting in a landmark uncapped settlement that will protect NFL retirees for decades. These are but a handful of the numerous success stories that Graham has achieved to date.
KLWT is an eighteen-attorney law firm specializing in plaintiff-side litigation and has successfully recovered hundreds of millions in complex cases against the largest companies in the world. With offices in three major California metropolitan areas (San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Orange County), Arizona and New Mexico, KLWT focuses on representing large classes, groups of individual victims and property owners who band together on claims they would not be individually capable of pursuing. KLWT is one of the foremost law firms for handling such complex cases, recovering billions for its clients throughout the United States.
James J. Pizzirusso
Mr. Pizzirusso is a partner in Hausfeld LLP’s Washington, DC office. He has a diverse practice focusing on consumer protection and unfair business practices, antitrust, sports and entertainment, and environmental torts. In addition to practicing law, Mr. Pizzirusso has served as a Visiting Professor at George Washington University Law School.
Mr. Pizzirusso heads Hausfeld LLP’s Consumer Protection practice group and has been appointed to leadership positions in numerous successful class actions including In re Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litig., MDL No. 14-25522 (D. Minn.) (nationwide class certification granted, $60 million nationwide settlement); In re Warner Music Group Corp. Digital Downloads Litig., No. CV-12-0559-RS (N.D. Cal.) (nationwide settlement of royalty dispute involving $11.5 million in past damages and future royalty increases in perpetuity); James v. UMG Recordings, Inc., No. 11-CV-1613-SI (N.D. Cal.) (Co-lead) (same); Wolph v. Acer America Corp., No. CV-09-01314-VRW (N.D. Cal.) (disputed class involving defective computers certified on a nationwide basis, $22.7 million settlement later achieved); Radosti v. Envision EMI, LLC, No. 1:09-CV-00887-CCK (D.D.C.) ($17.5 million nationwide settlement); In re Tyson Foods, Inc., Chicken Raised Without Antibiotics Consumer Litig., No. C.A. 08-1982 (D. Md.) ($8 million nationwide settlement). He also a co-lead in several cases were settlements are currently pending including Greater Chautauqua Federal Credit Union v. Kmart Corp., No. 1:15-cv-0227 (N.D. Ill); In re Honey Transshipping Litig., No. 1:13-cv-02905 (N.D. Ill.); In re Sony PS3 "Other OS" Litig., No. CV-10-1811-RS (N.D. Cal.); and Brown v. Transurban (USA), Inc., No. 1:150CV000494-JCC-MSN (E.D. Va). Other cases in which Mr. Pizzirusso is currently serving in leadership positions include: Vikram Bhatia, D.D.S. v. 3m Co., No. 16-1304 (DWF/JSM) (D. Minn.); First Choice Federal Credit Union v. The Wendy's Co., No. 2:16-cv-00506 (W.D. Pa.); In re The Home Depot, Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litig., No. 14-md-02583 (N.D. Georgia); and In re Premera Blue Cross Customer Data Breach Litig., No. 3:15-md-2633-SI (D. Or.).
In the antitrust arena, Mr. Pizzirusso represents clients alleging price fixing and collusion in various agricultural sectors. Mr. Pizzirusso is one of the firm’s principal attorneys in In re Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation (E.D. Pa.) ($61 million in settlements reached, class certification granted against remaining defendants) and In re Fresh and Process Potatoes Antitrust Litigation (D. Idaho) ($19.5 million settlement reached). He currently serves as Vice Chair of the American Bar Association’s Food and Agriculture Antitrust Committee
In 2012, Mr. Pizzirusso was named as one of four “Rising Stars under 40” by Law360 in Consumer Protection and Privacy law. Additionally, The Benchmark Plaintiff Guide to America’s Leading Plaintiff’s Firms and Attorneys has named Mr. Pizzirusso as one of DC’s “Local Litigation Stars.”
Michael R. Reese
New York, NY
Mr. Reese litigates consumer and antitrust cases as class actions and on behalf of individual clients. Prior to entering private practice in 2000, Mr. Reese served as an assistant district attorney at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office where he served as a trial attorney prosecuting both violent and white-collar crime.
Mr. Reese and his firm frequently work with non-profit groups, including Public Justice and the Center for Science in the Public Interest (“CSPI”), to address deceptive marketing and advertising. For example, Mr. Reese and his firm are currently co-lead counsel with CSPI in In re Glaceau Vitaminwater Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation.
Mr. Reese and his firm have changed practices on behalf of consumers across diverse sectors including food, dietary supplements, telecommunications and waste hauling. See e.g. Yoo v. Wendy’s Int’l Inc., No. 07-CV-04515-FMC (JCx) (C.D. Cal. 2007) (commending Mr. Reese for case that resulted in trans-fat being removed from a popular food source stating that counsel “has conducted the litigation and achieved the Settlement with skill, perseverance and diligent advocacy”); Chin v. RCN Corp., No. 08-CV-7349(RJS)(KNF), 2010 WL 3958794, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96302 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 8, 2010)(case resulting in injunction against Internet Service Provider's throttling of its customers' service); All Star Carts & Vehicles, Inc. v. Waste Management of NY, LLC, 08-cv-1816 (E.D.N.Y.)(antitrust class action resulting in the reformation of long-term hauling contracts in the Long Island front-loader waste removal market).
Recent victories by Mr. Reese and his firm in which they served as court appointed lead counsel include a $6.4 million settlement in Wong v. Alacer Corp., case no. CGC-12-519221 (San Francisco Superior Court) for consumers who bought the Emergen-C dietary supplement and a $6.1 million settlement inHowerton v. Cargill, Inc. case no. 13-CV-00336 (D. Hawaii) for consumers who bought Truvia branded sweetener.
Mr. Reese is a frequent lecturer on issues of food litigation and class actions. Recently, Mr. Reese has been a guest speaker at the Food and Drug Law Institute in Washington, D.C.; the Perrin Conference Annual Food Litigation in Chicago; and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Resnick Food Litigation Conference.
Mr. Reese also is an adjunct professor at Brooklyn Law School where he most recently taught a course entitled "The Law of Class Actions and Other Aggregate Litigation."
Mr. Reese is a member of the state bars of New York and California; the Second, Seventh and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal; as well as numerous federal district courts. Mr. Reese received his juris doctorate from the University of Virginia in 1996 and his bachelor’s degree from New College in 1993.
James C. Shah
Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP
James C. Shah is a partner with the firm of Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP (“SFMS”). Born in Portland, Oregon, James earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Oregon and his law degree from Temple University School of Law. Mr. Shah was a member of Temple’s nationally acclaimed Trial Team and also participated on Moot Court. He is admitted to practice law in the States of California, New Jersey, New York and Wisconsin, as well as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and numerous federal courts.
Mr. Shah is a civil litigator who concentrates his practice on complex and commercial litigation, including class action litigation. Mr. Shah is actively involved in an array of matters, including consumer protection, antitrust, employment, ERISA and insurance litigation. He also has significant experience representing clients in a wide variety of corporate governance, securities, construction defect, wage/hour cases and FINRA arbitrations. Lastly, Mr. Shah represents a number of international clients, handling their civil litigation in the United States.
Patrick J. Sheehan
Mr. Sheehan heads the Firm’s Boston, Massachusetts office. Mr. Sheehan’s practice focuses on complex litigation involving health care law and consumer protection issues. As part of his practice, Mr. Sheehan represents a wide array of health care providers and consumers in class actions and other complex litigation pending throughout the country. Mr. Sheehan’s health care practice focuses on issues concerning health care financing, including provider reimbursement, health insurance and antitrust matters. Mr. Sheehan’s consumer protection practice concentrates on issues concerning health insurance, the deceptive advertising of health benefits purportedly provided by consumer products and other issues implicating consumer protection law.
Mr. Sheehan presently represents health care providers in antitrust litigation challenging illegal price fixing, market allocation, boycotts and other anticompetitive schemes in cases including In re Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation, No. 2:13-cv-20000 (MDL 2406)(N.D. Ala.); Omni Healthcare Inc. et al v. Health First, Inc. et al., No. 6:13-cv-01509-RBD-DAB (M.D. Fla.); and Kissing Camels Surgery Center, LLC, et al. v. Centura Health Corp., et al., No. 1:12-cv-03012-WJM-NYW (D. Col.), among others.
Mr. Sheehan also represents consumers in Levine v. Continental Casualty Co., No. 1:14-cv-11099-MLW (D. Mass.)(challenging alleged improper denials of long term care coverage); Davis-Hudson, et al. v. 23andMe, Inc., AAA No. 74-20-1400-0032 (concerning alleged deceptive advertising of genetic testing products); In re Riddell Concussion Reduction Litigation, No. 13-7585 (JBS)(JS)(D.N.J.) (involving alleged deceptive advertising of the concussion reduction benefits of football helmets); and Hughes v. The Ester C Company, et al., No. 2:12-cv-00041-PKC-GRB (E.D.N.Y.) (relating to alleged deceptive advertising of vitamin C supplements).
Mr. Sheehan regularly contributes to legal publications and speaks on issues concerning complex litigation, class actions and health law. He also frequently volunteers his time on a pro bono basis. Mr. Sheehan has been an active participant in the Health Law Advocates Pro Bono Legal Network, which provides legal assistance to individuals seeking access to health care. Mr. Sheehan also served as a volunteer attorney for Trial Lawyers Care, the largest pro bono legal program in history, through which he provided legal services to individuals and families who sought compensation under the September 11th Compensation Fund.
Mr. Sheehan is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross (B.A., 1993) and Northeastern University School of Law (J.D., 1997), where he was an editor of the NU Forum. Mr. Sheehan is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys and the Boston Bar Association. Mr. Sheehan serves as the President of the Holy Cross Lawyers Association and sits on the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Health Law Section Council and the Boston Bar Association’s Class Actions and Multi District Litigations Section Steering Committee.
Mr. Sheehan is a member of the Massachusetts and New York bars and is admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the District of Massachusetts, the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the Northern District Of Illinois, the District of Colorado, the Eastern District of Michigan, the United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Third and Eleventh Circuits and the United States Supreme Court.
Beth E. Terrell
Terrell Marshall Law Group PLLC
Beth E. Terrell, a founding member of Terrell Marshall Law Group PLLC (“TMLG”), concentrates her practice in complex litigation, including the prosecution of consumer, defective product, anti-trust, and wage and hour class actions. Ms. Terrell has served as co-lead counsel on numerous multi-state and nationwide class actions. Ms. Terrell received a B.A., magna cum laude, from Gonzaga University in 1990. In 1995, she received her J.D. from the University of California, Davis School of Law, Order of the Coif. She has been awarded an "AV" rating in Martindale Hubbell by her peers, a rating denoting the highest legal ability and ethical standards and has been listed in Washington Super Lawyers® (2005, 2010 – 2013) and the Top 50 Women Washington Super Lawyers® (2012, 2013). Ms. Terrell is a member of the State Bar of California and the Washington State Bar Association. Prior to forming TMLG in May 2008, Ms. Terrell was a member of Tousley Brain Stephens PLLC. Ms. Terrell frequently speaks at CLEs on a wide variety of topics, including employment litigation, class actions, securities litigation, and electronic discovery.
Ms. Terrell is currently an Eagle Member, Board Member and Vice President West of the Washington State Association of Justice, in addition to serving on the Executive Committee and sitting as chair of the Consumer Protection Section. Other professional association affiliations include: Washington Employment Lawyers Association (Member and current Vice Chair); Northwest Consumer Law Center (Member and current Vice Chair and Treasurer); and the Public Justice Foundation (Board of Directors, member of Class Action Preservation Committee).
Cases in which TMLG has served or is serving as Class Counsel and in which Ms. Terrell has played an active role include:
- Arthur v. Sallie Mae, Inc.—Filed on behalf of consumers who received automated, pre-recorded collection phone calls on their cellular telephones without their prior express consent within the meaning of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227 et seq. TMDW worked to negotiate a $24.15 million nationwide settlement, and final approval was granted in 2012.
- In re Capital One Telephone Consumer Protection Act Litigation—Filed on behalf of consumers who received automated, pre-recorded collection phone calls on their cellular telephone without their prior express consent within the meaning of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227 et seq. I serve as co-lead counsel in the MDL. A nationwide settlement was recently reached.
- In re Monitronics International, Inc. Telephone Consumer Protection Act Litigation—Filed on behalf consumers who received automated, pre-recorded solicitation telephone calls on their residential and business telephones without their prior express consent within the meaning of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227 et seq., the Washington Automatic Dialing and Announcing Device statute, RCW 80.36.400, and the Washington Consumer Protection Act, RCW 19.86 et seq. I serve as co-lead counsel in the MDL.
- Barnett, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.—Filed in 2001 on behalf of Washington employees alleging wage and hour violations by the country’s largest private employer. After more than seven years of litigation, TMDW obtained a settlement of $35 million on behalf of a certified class of approximately 88,000 employees. That settlement was approved in July 2009.
Melissa W. Wolchansky
A Partner at Halunen Law, Melissa Wolchansky chairs the complex litigation and class action group. Her work is squarely focused on combatting consumer deception, particularly in the consumer products arena. Melissa has taken a leadership role in numerous large class actions and multi-district litigation cases across the country. These include cases challenging tobacco marketing, predatory pricing for low-income consumers, defective construction products, and misleading food and product labels. Melissa’s astute legal skills and steadfast determination have brought success in the courtroom and at the negotiation table, where she is known to work tirelessly to achieve resolutions that are creative and fair.
Melissa is a frequent lecturer on deceptively labeled consumer products, class action procedures, and food law at local and national conferences. She serves on the Steering Committee for the Plaintiffs’ Class Action Forum, an invitation-only professional group focused on emerging trends in class actions.
A contributor to her professional community, Melissa serves as a Campaign Chair for the Twin Cities Cardozo Society, an affinity group for the Twin Cities Jewish Federations. She is active in the Federal Bar Association, including work on its Annual Seminar, and serves on the Minnesota State Bar Association Food & Drug Law Council. In recognition of her outstanding efforts in the legal community, Melissa has been named a Super Lawyers Rising Star by Minnesota Law & Politics each year since 2012.
Melissa’s community service also reflects a particular commitment to organizations and initiatives benefiting children. She established the Young Professionals Committee for Make-A-Wish™ of Minnesota, which grants inspiring wishes to numerous recipients each year.
Melissa is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan and William Mitchell College of Law.
Notable cases and leadership roles include: