Law360 has named Lieff Cabraser partner Michael W. Sobol a 2017 MVP for Cybersecurity and Privacy. Mr. Sobol is one of over 100 attorneys across 38 practice areas who have “distinguished themselves from their peers by securing hard-earned successes in high-stakes litigation, complex global matters and record-breaking deals.”
Law360’s profile highlights Michael’s work on the Anthem Inc. case, where a 2015 data breach left the personal and medical records of 80 million Anthem customers exposed. An August 2017 settlement in the case valued at $115 million provides “very granular relief to protect consumers’ records and privacy going forward, with a compensation package that is very thorough, and an ability for people to take the steps necessary to mitigate the exposure that they faced as a result of the breach,” as Michael notes. The deal provides victims of the breach with two years of credit monitoring, coverage of out-of-pocket expenses stemming from the breach, and cash compensation to those who’ve already gotten their own credit monitoring.
The profile also discusses new cases against companies like Disney and Viacom alleging privacy violations under the federal COPPA statute over the companies’ collection of children’s data via mobile apps and games. As Michael explains, “We allege they’re not taking people’s names and Social Security numbers, but they are taking the personal identifiers that function as well as, if not better than, those other kinds of markers and allow for the tracking of children’s activities across different platforms. I think it will be an important development to see how it is that technology can be very, very invasive even if at the surface it looks like it’s very benign.”
The full profile is online at Law360 (subscription).
With more than 1,000 submissions, Law360 narrowed their list to just 157 attorneys from 78 firms across 32 practice areas to distinguish the 2017 class of MVPs. Earlier this year, Michael was also named a 2017 Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Trailblazer by the National Law Journal.
About Michael Sobol
As the chair of Lieff Cabraser’s consumer protection practice group for the past thirteen years, Michael W. Sobol leads novel and challenging consumer protection class action lawsuits of first impression. Within the last few years, Michael’s cases have recovered over one billion dollars and have reformed the business practices for the benefit of tens of millions consumers nationwide.
The Consumer Attorneys of California have repeatedly honored Michael as a finalist for the organization’s Consumer Attorney of the Year Award. In 2011, the CAOC recognized Michael for Gutierrez v. Wells Fargo, a class action trial that proved Wells Fargo deceptively represented its accounting of debit card transactions. Those findings were affirmed on appeal, and a $203 million judgment for restitution has been entered on behalf of a class of over one million California consumers.
Michael currently represents consumers asserting that Facebook violated their privacy rights by scanning private email messages, and residents of Detroit, Michigan in a class action lawsuit against Morgan Stanley for actively ensuring the proliferation of high-cost, high-risk mortgage loans to bundle and sell mortgage-backed securities to investors.