Consumer & Commercial Litigation


Ulmer & Berne provides in-depth litigation expertise to financial service providers in all aspects of consumer and commercial litigation. We have represented clients in virtually every type of consumer and financial litigation, including truth-in-lending and consumer disclosure, financial privacy, credit reporting and identity theft, federal preemption, electronic delivery of consumer financial services, credit discrimination, residential and commercial real estate and secured lending, secured financing, unfair or deceptive practices, deposit products and payment systems, commercial lending law and lender liability.

Because our litigators deal with financial institutions on a regular basis, we are adept at addressing the unique structural, regulatory and document production and retention issues that face financial institutions in litigation. We strive to provide quick answers to legal questions and informed strategic advice with less research time.

Ulmer & Berne also represents financial institutions in their trustee capacities, both as personal and as indenture trustees. Our trust litigation experience includes claims for breach of fiduciary duty, violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, trustee negligence and breach of contract.

Examples of our recent matters include:

  • Obtained favorable jury verdict on behalf of national bank defendant on claims of aiding and abetting a Ponzi scheme after defeating motion for class certification and obtaining dismissal on preliminary motion of seven other defendant banks and financial institutions on $65 million UCC and conspiracy to defraud claims in federal court action arising from handling of customer accounts.
  • Obtained dismissal of FDCPA and state RICO claims in putative class action against a financial institution and its attorneys alleging irregularities in state court foreclosure actions.
  • Secured the dismissal on a preliminary motion of four national banks and their holding companies in multi-million dollar putative class action involving National Bank Act preemption issues arising from claims that defendant banks improperly charged fees in garnishment proceedings in violation of state law.
  • Obtained dismissal on motion of putative class action alleging violations of Ohio UCC and Retail Installment Sales Act in auto repo activities on basis of federal preemption.
  • Successfully defended national bank in multistate litigation by 300 individual plaintiffs alleging securities violations and fraud arising from bank’s loans to investors in defunct company.
  • Successfully represented a large national bank in putative class action alleging violations of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA); all claims dismissed at summary judgment stage by district court and affirmed by Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Successfully represented a large national bank and its executives accused of causing $40 million+ in damages to a major customer based on alleged violations of various federal securities laws and lending laws in Seattle state court suit.
  • Defended a national banking institution accused of breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA for failing to timely invest participants’ contributions to the pension and profit sharing plan of a major insurance company.

March 1, 2022 – Dolores (Lola) Garcia, Partner and Vice Group Leader of the firm’s Business Litigation Practice Group, has been named to the 2022 list of Notables in Law by Crain’s Cleveland Business. This special feature recognizes senior-level professionals who stand out in the field of law and who serve...

In a recent Law360 article, Ulmer Partner Frances Floriano Goins discusses the lawsuits that the Trump campaign and the Republican Party have filed in swing states to challenge majority vote counts and the myth that the U.S. Supreme Court is the final arbiter of disputed presidential election results. To read...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce the election of three partners to the firm, effective January 1, 2020. This class of new partners includes attorneys with backgrounds in diverse legal disciplines and who reflect Ulmer’s commitment to providing sophisticated advice and counsel. “We are happy to welcome Kristin,...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce that Partner Frances Floriano Goins has been elected to the Board of Directors of Beck Center for the Arts, a nonprofit performing arts and arts education organization dedicated to inspiring and enriching the quality of life for Northeast Ohioans. Beck Center for the Arts...

From Ulmer’s Broker-Dealer Law Corner Blog By Kenneth F. Berg I am fortunate to have Ken Berg, a commodities regulatory guru, just down the hall from me, so I’ve never had to learn that stuff too well.  But, here, as you will see, there can be considerable overlap between the securities and the...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce that five attorneys from its Chicago office have been selected to the 2019 list of Illinois Super Lawyers. The list features the top attorneys in the state, chosen for their demonstrated excellence in the practice of law. Of those named from Ulmer,...

Ulmer Partner Frances Floriano Goins was recently interviewed for a Global Data Review article entitled, “Facebook could face FTC scrutiny, say privacy lawyers.” Goins provided her insights following The New York Times’ discovery that Facebook has been giving other companies access to users’ personal data and whether this violated Facebook’s...

Representative Experience