Nick has experience representing clients before the Supreme Court of Virginia, all levels of Virginia trial courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia, and courts in other jurisdictions throughout the country. He focuses his practice on financial services litigation and complex commercial disputes.
Nick has represented financial institutions and large retailers in all manner of litigation, from consumer class actions, to patent disputes centered on website security and account servicing, to high profile contract and lender liability disputes. Nick also has completed two secondments with Fortune 500 businesses, both of which have given him a greater understanding of his clients’ needs. In 2013, Nick completed a 3.5 month secondment at one of the nation's largest financial institutions, where he assisted with the management of its auto finance and intellectual property litigation matters. In 2014, Nick completed a 4 month secondment to the nation’s largest used auto retailer, where he worked on both litigation and compliance matters.
Nick also is committed to obtaining additional courtroom experience through pro bono efforts, including his representation of a criminal defendant in a complex federal fraud case as part of the Federal Public Defender’s pro bono counsel program.
Terry Phillips Sales, Inc. v. SunTrust Bank, No. 3:13-cv-468, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22085 (E.D. Va. Feb. 20, 2014) (holding that three former and current bank employees were fraudulently joined because Plaintiffs could not possibly assert a viable claim against them arising out of the ESOP financing transaction at issue in the case, and striking the Plaintiffs’ jury demands).
Union First Mkt. Bank v. Bly, No. 3:13-cv-598-JRS, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15071 (E.D. Va. Feb. 6, 2014) (granting summary judgment on plaintiff bank’s claim and in favor of the bank on large majority of lender liability counterclaim brought by former NFL pro-bowl defensive back; case subsequently settled).
Media Rights Techs., Inc. v. Capital One Fin. Corp, No. 1:13-cv-476, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176475 (E.D. Va. Dec. 9, 2013) (granting motion for judgment on the pleadings on plaintiff’s patent infringement claim targeting bank website security and account servicing features, and finding plaintiff’s patent indefinite under 35 U.S.C. § 112; case is currently on appeal to the Federal Circuit).
Mondragon v. Capital One Auto Fin., 736 F.3d 880 (9th Cir. 2013) (reversing remand under the local controversy exception to the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) in putative California class action premised on alleged violations the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”), the Rees-Levering Motor Vehicle Sales and Finance Act (“ASFA”) and the Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”)).
United States v. Harris, 919 F. Supp. 2d 702 (E.D. Va. Jan. 29, 2013) (granting motion to dismiss two counts of criminal securities fraud under 15 U.S.C. §§ 77q(a) and 77x).
United States v. Harris, No. 3:12cr170-HEH, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60257 (E.D. Va. April 26, 2013) (granting motion for judgment of acquittal on remaining securities fraud counts after week long trial. Case was featured on the front page of the Richmond Times Dispatch).
Burkhead v. Wachovia Home Mortg., No. 3:12cv832-JAG, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70486 (E.D. Va. May 17, 2013) (granting motion to dismiss Truth in Lending Act ("TILA") and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA") claims asserted in an effort to enjoin foreclosure).
Cubbage v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 11-2407, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 22813 (4th Cir. Nov. 5, 2012) (affirming dismissal of Complaint asserting claims under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), negligence, and defamation; relying in part on Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") preemption of defamation and negligence actions arising from credit reporting).
Lepelletier v. Fair Oaks Motors, Inc., 475 F. App’x 16 (4th Cir. 2012) (affirming dismissal of FCRA claim).
Sprint Commc’ns Co., L.P. v. Ntelos Tel. Inc., No. 5:11cv00082, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104711 (W.D. Va. July 26, 2012) (granting motion to stay proceedings and refer matter to the Federal Communications Commission).
Bell v. Casper, 282 Va. 203, 717 S.E.2d 783 (2011), cert. denied, Casper v. Sanders, 132 S. Ct. 1971 (2012) (affirming Circuit Court decision that operation of Virginia’s slayer statute gave client the sole right to recover murder victim’s estate).
Financial Services Litigation
Completed 3.5 month secondment to national financial institution. Assisted in managing auto finance and intellectual property litigation matters.
Counsel to large financial institution facing lender liability claim from ex-NFL Pro Bowler.
Counsel to national auto finance institutions in two California putative class actions. Both clients face claims under the CLRA, ASFA and UCL. Successfully moved to strike statewide class at the pleadings stage in one case, resulting in a significant reduction in putative class size.
Counsel to national financial institution in multiple patent matters centered on financial services website security, account management tools, and related technology.
Counsel to national financial institution facing claims that mortgage terms and loan modification decisions were discriminatory under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”) and the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”); claims are based on a disparate impact theory of liability.
Counsel for national financial institutions and mortgage loan servicing companies facing claims under the Home Affordable Modification Program ("HAMP"), the FDCPA, RESPA, TILA, and state law fraud claims related to foreclosure.
Counsel for national debt collection companies facing putative class and individual claims under the FDCPA, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"), the FCRA, and state law abuse of process claims.
Counsel for national financial institution facing claims of fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and conversion relating to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (“ESOP”).
Counsel for national financial institution facing lender liability claims under the FCRA, the FDCPA, and state law claims of civil conspiracy, fraud, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Counsel for large auto finance institution in Federal Reserve investigation regarding allegations of discriminatory indirect lending practices under disparate impact theory.
Advised debt collection institution on FDCPA compliance and on creating procedures that would support a bona fide error defense under 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(c).
Advised national financial institution on compliance with RESPA relating to qualified written requests (“QWRs”).
Advised national financial institution on compliance with ECOA in light of recent pronouncements from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB").
Obtained a $1 million+ judgment in a breach of contract action by successfully moving for summary judgment prior to discovery. Oversaw collection efforts across three states that resulted in client receiving full payment.
Counsel for national auto retailer in putative class action under state consumer protection laws.
Counsel for national big box retailer in several professional liability and premises liability matters in Virginia state and federal courts.
Counsel for multiple clients in commercial arbitration with the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and other tribunals.
Counsel for energy company in litigation with raw material suppliers.
Counsel for pharmaceutical manufacturer facing state law negligent failure to warn claim.
Author, Chapter on Virginia Consumer Protection Act in 2014 edition of Virginia Business Torts (Virginia CLE).
Co-Author, 2012-2014 editions of Spahn et al., Virginia Law of Products Liability (West).
Co-author, Virginia Federal Court Decision Highlights Prohibition on Improper “Harm to Nonparties” and “Golden Rule” Arguments, 24 J. Civ. Litig. 389 (Fall 2012).
Co-author, After Levine: Defending (And Defending With) Pharmacovigilance, For the Defense (DRI, August 2011).
Author, Confronting Reality: Surrogate Forensic Science Witnesses under the Confrontation Clause, 97 Va. L. Rev. 199 (March 2011).
Co-author, E.D. Va. Endorses American College of Trial Lawyers' Code of Conduct, Virginia State Bar Litigation News (Winter/Spring 2011).
Nick regularly writes client advisories and blog posts on financial services litigation and compliance topics, with an emphasis on auto finance and sales issues. Please visit http://www.consumerfinancialserviceslawmonitor.com/.