Class Actions


Class actions can pose enormous risk to a business. Since each one is unique, cookie-cutter approaches to their defense rarely succeed. Ulmer & Berne aggressively and creatively defends nationwide and statewide class actions. Our class action defense practice provides effective, comprehensive and multifaceted legal representation to major corporations, smaller businesses, institutions and individuals faced with defending class action litigation.

Our interdisciplinary approach draws upon the collective and wide-ranging expertise and experience of the firm’s attorneys across its diverse practice groups to assemble and integrate the substantive and class action experience into a client and case-centered team, which comprehensively and efficiently defends the case.

The attorneys within the class action defense practice have extensive experience litigating class action cases in state and federal courts throughout the country. We have litigated class action cases on behalf of clients in a wide range of industries, including financial services, pharmaceutical and medical devices, manufacturing, and consumer goods and services.

Our representation encompasses a broad array of substantive legal issues, including securities, investment fraud, mass and toxic torts, employment practices, consumer sales practices and advertising claims, environmental contamination, debtor/creditor rights, insurance coverage and insurance claims practices, real estate issues, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and director and officer (D&O) liability.

Ulmer & Berne’s class action defense practice also provides advice and counsel to our clients on matters relating to class action avoidance and due diligence, landmark cases, proposed or enacted legislation, and emerging trends in class action and complex litigation.

M&A Litigation Lifts Securities Suits To 20-Year High By Chelsea Naso for Law360, published February 1, 2017 The number of federal securities class actions in 2016 rose to its highest level in two decades. A recently published Law360 article examines some of the factors contributing to the new high-water mark, including a steep...

Press Release Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce the promotions of five of its attorneys to partner. They include Daniel Gottesman, Richard Hamilton, Jr., Jesse Lipcius, Brad Sobolewski, and Ulmer’s General Counsel, Kenneth Zirm. In addition, Ulmer also elevated associate Evelyn Holmer to counsel. Lipcius is based in...

Ulmer is ranked in 39 categories in the 2017 U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings. Among these, the firm earns U.S. News – Best Lawyers highest rankings in 21 categories. The firm also ranks nationally in 15 categories. Firms included in the 2017 “Best Law Firms” are...

Ulmer & Berne is ranked in 39 categories in the 2016 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings. Among these, the firm earns U.S. News – Best Lawyers highest rankings in 21 categories. The firm also ranks nationally in 16 categories. Firms included in the 2016 “Best Law...

In a decision of nationwide importance, Ulmer & Berne lawyers recently obtained a decision of the Supreme Court of Ohio in the area of so-called “no injury” class actions. In Felix v. Ganley Chevrolet, Inc., Case Slip Op. No. 2015-Ohio-3430 (Aug. 27, 2015), the Supreme Court held that individuals purportedly...

“Ohio Justices Decertify Class in Auto Dealer Contract Row” Law360 August 27, 2015

Four Ulmer & Berne partners – Jeffrey F. Peck, Eric M. Robbins, Michael J. Suffern, and Michael N. Ungar – have been recognized by their peers as a 2016 “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America®. Best Lawyers designates only one lawyer per practice area as Lawyer of...

“Michael Nathan Ungar | Ulmer & Berne LLP” Cleveland Jewish News January 15, 2015 Perennial Super Lawyer Michael Nathan Ungar considers settlement of a dispute embroiling Case Western University among his most memorable cases of 2014. Read the full article »

Ulmer & Berne LLP is ranked in 40 categories in the 2015 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings. Among these, the firm earns U.S. News – Best Lawyers’ highest ranking in 23 categories. The firm also ranks nationally in 17 categories. Ulmer & Berne achieved a “Metropolitan Tier...

Ulmer & Berne LLP has been ranked within the top 10 percent of all law firms by The BTI Consulting Group, one of the nation’s leading legal industry research firms, in their recently published 2015 BTI Litigation Outlook report. The firm was selected as a “Litigation Powerhouse” and is named...

Ulmer & Berne LLP was named 2014 Ohio Firm of the Year by Benchmark Litigation at the second annual Benchmark Litigation US Awards held at the Essex Hotel in New York City on January 29, 2014. The US Benchmark Awards were based on a six-month research period involving extensive interviews...

March 2013 – In a 5-4 opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court tightened the screws on certification of a Rule 23(b)(3) damages class. See Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, No. 11-864, 569 U.S. __ (2013) (Slip Op. March 27, 2013) [Available at http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/11-864_k537.pdf]. The Comcast decision represents the third class action decision...

Representative Experience

  • Represented an insurance company in a nationwide class action involving the use of software to evaluate first-party claims.
  • Represented a title insurance company in a federal class action involving mortgage foreclosures.
  • Represented an insurance company in a state class action involving the payment of local taxes.
  • Represented an insurance company in a federal class action involving the reimbursement of medical benefits.
  • Represented a publicly traded company in an environmental class action involving emissions from a power plant.
  • Represented several insurance companies in state class actions involving the payment of incidental benefits.
  • Represented a publicly traded manufacturing company in class action claims under the federal securities laws.
  • Represented several public companies in class actions in the pharmaceutical, medical device, and nutritional supplements industries.
  • Represented a financial services company in class action claims under the federal securities laws.
  • Represented numerous employers in class action employment and labor cases, including alleged race and gender discrimination claims (equal pay, promotion and hiring), as well as wage and hour and claims relating to the Worker Adjustment and Restraining Notification (WARN) Act.
  • Represented a financial services professional in a class action which was tried for several weeks involving contract and fiduciary duty claims.
  • Represented a major financial institution in class action consumer protection claims involving credit card charges.
  • Represented pharmaceutical companies, a major airline, and a welding distributor in multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceedings.
  • Represented a board of directors in shareholder litigation involving a merger between two financial services companies.
  • Represented a building products wholesaler in class action claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
  • Represented multiple major corporations in class actions under the Consumer Sales Practices Act.