The National Consumer Law Center (“NCLC”) has awarded Lieff Cabraser partner Roger Heller the prestigious Partners Council 2015 Rising Star Award. Heller works on behalf of consumers harmed by the deceptive business practices of such major U.S. corporations as Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Apple, and AT&T.
This is the award’s inaugural year and Heller is only one of two attorneys nationwide who have been bestowed with the honor.
“Roger is central to Lieff Cabraser’s consumer practice, and is a leader in the area of consumer protection law,” said Michael Sobol, partner and chair of Lieff Cabraser’s consumer practice group. “We are extremely proud of Roger’s achievement in winning this inaugural honor.”
A highly accomplished consumer attorney, Heller has played a substantial role in the successful prosecution of multiple class actions affecting millions of consumers. One of Heller’s most significant litigation triumphs came in 2013, when he and his team convinced a California federal judge to reinstate an eye-popping $203 million judgment against Wells Fargo for its heavily criticized overdraft practices.
“Any time we’re bringing a false ad or misrepresentation case, we’re developing law that helps protect consumers going forward and that will hopefully convince companies to adjust their behavior in a way that will protect consumers generally,” he said.
Heller noted that he and his team are prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve the best possible results for consumers, whether that involves litigating the case through trials and appeals or negotiating a settlement that provides the class with appropriate relief. They have demonstrated a knack for obtaining high-figure settlements for consumers on multiple occasions during Heller’s tenure at the firm.
Heller helped to obtain a $40 million settlement that was announced in early 2015 and is pending court approval in three related nationwide class actions accusing TracFone Wireless of falsely advertising that its cellphone plans provide unlimited data. Heller also played an integral part in securing a settlement approved in 2014 that will allow consumers who say they were duped by AT&T Mobility LLC and Apple Inc. over an iPad data plan to collect up to $60 apiece from the companies. He was similarly instrumental in achieving a $410 million settlement approved in 2011 that ended Bank of America NA‘s involvement in multidistrict litigation accusing it and other banking giants of charging customers exorbitant overdraft fees, and a $100 million deal penned in 2012 that resolved claims that JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Chase Bank Unit was unfairly modifying the terms of fixed rate loans.
“One of the features I love about class action litigation is that it gives strength to individual consumers, some of whom might not go out to recoup their losses on an individual basis,” Heller said. “What I do allows consumers to potentially get together and take on big companies in a way that they wouldn’t be able to do without the class action device.”
About the National Consumer Law Center
The National Consumer Law Center is a nonprofit established in 1969, which uses its expertise in consumer law and energy policy to work for consumer justice and economic security for low-income and other disadvantaged people nationwide.
NCLC’s expertise includes policy analysis and advocacy; consumer law and energy publications; litigation; expert witness services, and training and advice for advocates, according to their website. NCLC works with nonprofit and legal services organizations, private attorneys, policymakers, and federal and state government and courts across the nation to stop exploitative practices, help financially stressed families build and retain wealth, and advance economic fairness.