Attorney Spotlight: Nicholas Lange

Spotlight: Nicholas Lange

Attorney Spotlight: Nicholas Lange

Q&A WITH NICHOLAS

Why did you become a lawyer?

As cliché as it seems, I became a lawyer to help make the world a fair place. Seeing large entities get their way simply because they had more money or influence always irked me. This is something I try not to lose sight of, and it’s no coincidence that this problem is one that class action attorneys are uniquely qualified to solve.

What are three things you couldn’t survive without?

Spices, fancy beer, and mountains.

Favorite musician or band?

I’m always playing piano, so of course it’s piano music: Joe Hisaishi or Ludovico Einaudi. If I had to pick “normal” music: Death Cab for Cutie.

Favorite thing to do on the weekend?

Cooking! Or better yet, cooking with a real fire. Real fire and smoke just seem to make everything taste better, and who doesn’t love building fires?

Most memorable court room experience?

The first time I went back and forth with a judge as a young attorney and realized that they’re people, too. In law school, most of us saw judges at these transcendent figures who issued unquestionable decrees from above. The first time I went back and forth with one over a routine discovery motion, I remember thinking – wow, this is pretty neat; I can argue and reason with them just like I can with anyone else. The judge ended up changing his ruling and that moment just stuck with me.

Nicholas' Profile


Eddie Kim

Spotlight: Eddie Kim

Attorney Spotlight: Eddie Kim

Q&A WITH EDDIE

Why did you become a lawyer?

The primary reason that I became a lawyer is that I come from a non-English-speaking, blue-collar, immigrant family, and it became very evident to me that we needed someone in the family who had a better understanding of American institutions to help navigate through all of the things that life throws at you. As a natural offshoot of this intention was the appeal of helping others who are underdogs or need a voice, which led me to pursue public interest work and now consumer protection law.

What are three things you couldn’t survive without?

Nearby hiking trails in mountains and forests; late night eateries; guitar.

Favorite musician or band?

Radiohead and Led Zeppelin.

Favorite thing to do on the weekend?

I have recently gotten into learning to do a bit of cooking (not particularly well) and hosting group dinners.

Most memorable court room experience?

Participating in a trial against Wells Fargo challenging its unlawful overdraft fee practices that resulted in a verdict for a large class of customers. It was rewarding to see justice being accomplished and help effect change on a large scale that primarily helped people at lower income levels.

Eddie's Profile


Wawa convenience store in New Jersey

Federal Judge Turns to Class Action Veterans to Lead Wawa Data Breach Litigation

The leaders are set to handle three tranches of litigation: one brought by consumers, another from financial institutions, and the last involving employees.

Lawyers who’ve been involved in a range of class actions, from the Equifax and Capital One data breach cases to drug marketing litigation, have been selected to lead a mass action against the regional convenience store chain Wawa.

U.S. District Judge Gene Pratter of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on June 12 selected nine attorneys from Pennsylvania and New York to act as co-lead, class and liaison counsel in the proposed class action lawsuit over the hack announced late last year that exposed payment card information from Wawa users at potentially all of the company’s locations. The leaders are set to handle three tranches of litigation: one brought by consumers, another from financial institutions, and the last involving employees.

Specifically, Pratter appointed Sherrie Savett of Berger Montague; Roberta Liebenberg of Fine, Kaplan and Black; Benjamin Johns of Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith; and Linda Nussbaum of Nussbaum Law Group as interim co-lead counsel for the consumer class action cases.

For the lawsuits brought by financial institutions, the judge appointed Gary Lynch of Lynch Carpenter; Christian Levis of Lowey Dannenberg; and Jeannine Kenney of Hausfeld as interim class counsel, with Mindee Reuben of Lite DePalma Greenberg also being appointed as interim liaison counsel for that group.

Pratter also appointed Donald Haviland of Haviland Hughes as interim class counsel for the employee plaintiffs.

According to Pratter, with the appointments, the attorneys are now tasked with developing and performing the discovery, coordinating meetings and calls, examining witnesses and acting as the primary point of contact between the parties and the court. Pratter also said the attorneys could apply for long-term leadership positions as well.

“The main criteria for such leadership will be willingness and availability to commit to a time-consuming project, ability to work cooperatively with others, professional experience in this type of litigation, and access to sufficient resources to prosecute the litigation in a timely manner,” Pratter said.

The appointment settles a dispute that had arisen between several firms over who should lead the class action.

In early January, Johns and Savett filed motions in the cases asking the court to consolidate the proposed class actions and have them appointed as lead counsel. The motions also asked the court to appoint attorneys from Ahdoot & Wolfson in Los Angeles; Federman & Sherwood in Oklahoma City; Philadelphia-based Kohn Swift & Graf; and New York-based firms Stull, Stull & Brody and Milberg Phillips Grossman.

Nussbaum, however, filed a response, saying the request by Johns and Savett was “premature” and that she also planned to move to be appointed lead counsel.

The first lawsuits over the data breach began to be filed Dec. 20—the day after Wawa’s CEO said in an open letter there had been a breach of the company card payment data. According to the letter, malware that had been active since March was discovered Dec. 10, and the company contained it by Dec. 12. The letter said the malware potentially exposed payment card information from customers at all Wawa locations, including credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates and names.

Attorneys said they appreciated being appointed to the position.

“We are pleased with the court’s order, and look forward to moving the case forward on behalf of the consumer plaintiffs,” Johns said.

In a statement published online, Kenney said, “I am honored to be serving with such talented co-counsel and look forward to obtaining relief  for credit unions and other financial institutions injured by this data breach.”

Lynch and Reuben both declined to comment and Savett, Liebenberg, Nussbam, Levis and Haviland did not return a call seeking comment.


Lynch Carpenter NAMED LITIGATION DEPARTMENT OF THE YEAR BY THE
LEGAL INTELLIGENCER

The Legal Intelligencer is pleased to announce the 2020 Professional Excellence Award winners. We are delighted to highlight the great work and achievements across the full breadth of the Pennsylvania legal community.

Litigation Department of the Year (General)
Lynch Carpenter, LLP

“We are honored to be selected as the Litigation Department of the Year by the Legal Intelligencer. Congratulations to our incredible team of attorneys and staff who continuously pursue justice for the men, women and children around the country.”  - Bruce Carlson and Gary Lynch

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Lynch Carpenter Lawyers Group Shot

2020 SUPER LAWYERS' & RISING STARS' ANNOUNCED

Super Lawyers Logo Each year Super Lawyers recognizes select attorneys from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. We would like to congratulate Lynch Carpenter Super Lawyers’ Gary Lynch, Katrina Carroll, Todd Carpenter and Ed Kilpela and Rising Stars’ Jamisen Etzel and Kyle Shamberg.

Lynch Carpenter Group Photo

At Lynch Carpenter, our team has been raising the level of discussion, debate and change towards justice in this country for more than thirty years.

“Our team fights for justice every day. We continue to be a voice for those who have been silenced. Congratulations to our team members selected as this year’s Super Lawyers* and Rising Stars** honorees.” -Bruce Carlson and Gary Lynch

Pictured from left to right: Gary Lynch*, Jamisen Etzel**, Katrina Carroll*, Todd Carpenter*, Ed Kilpela*, Kyle Shamberg**, Bruce Carlson


Personal Safety Tips in the Era of Cyber Crime

Someone is trying to steal your data. It has likely happened already, through a hacked email or a social media breach. Hackers work around the clock and all over the world to steal your identity.  While they don’t actually care who you are personally, they want the “you” that is inherent in your personal data.

From a legal standpoint, cyber-criminals are difficult to prosecute, because they are experts at covering their tracks. Institutions, on the other hand, are being challenged to protect their clients and employees. When a major breach occurs –millions of accounts are raided. This type of breach is often the result of organizational negligence or the company not adequately protecting a customer’s data.

So how can you protect yourself in the ever-changing landscape of the web?

We’ve compiled a list of quick checks to help you maximize your chance of withstanding a data breach.  As technology progresses, it is important to use best practices for cyber-security, at home and at work.

USE STRONG PASSWORDS

This is your primary defense against cyber-criminals. Creating unique passwords for each account may feel like a hazzle but remember this is your main line of defense against spyware, ID theft, and unwanted charges on your account.

USE TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION

You have likely used this before, especially if you bank online or use social media accounts. “2FA” usually requires you to enter a second code, transmitted by text or phone call. Unless a hacker can obtain both your password and phone, 2FA is a powerful shield.

USE A VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORK

A VPN is a private network that is usually encrypted, making it very difficult for hackers to break. VPNs are affordable and easy to install, and many workplaces require VPNs for all employees, especially if they work on company laptops at home. If you’ve never used one before, we suggest consulting an expert to ensure your VPN is legitimate and functions properly. (Check the validity of any application before downloading anything off of the internet).

VET YOUR EMAILS AND LINKS

You may still receive misspelled emails from foreign dignitaries, but scammers have become far more sophisticated in recent years. Cyber-criminals routinely hack into email accounts in order to send urgent (and authentic-sounding) requests. If you receive a link that looks at all unfamiliar, do not click it. You may not only contract malware on your device; you could spread it to an entire network.

If you have been a victim of cyber-identity theft and have additional questions about protecting your data, let us know.







    Uber Driver

    Federal Court Rules That Civil Rights Claims Against Uber Must Be Heard in Court

    Ruling comes after Uber tried to avoid its legal responsibility to provide transportation accessible for all

    Uber logo PITTSBURGH, PA (November 13, 2019) – Yesterday, a federal court in Pittsburgh ruled that plaintiffs suing Uber for failing to provide transportation accessible to people with disabilities cannot be forced into arbitration and must have their claims heard openly in federal court.

    Filed on June 11, 2019, the lawsuit seeks modifications to Uber’s policies and practices to ensure that the company makes wheelchair-accessible vehicles readily available to Pittsburgh riders who need them. Plaintiffs do not seek monetary damages.

    “We filed this lawsuit to ensure that Uber and other ridesharing companies provide transportation that is accessible to all, including people with disabilities,” said Disability Rights Advocates staff attorney Melissa Riess and Lynch Carpenter LLP Founding Partner R. Bruce Carlson. “Facing a number of accessibility lawsuits around the country, Uber has repeatedly tried to prevent these claims from being heard in court to avoid their legal obligation to provide accessible transportation. This ruling reinforces that the right to accessible transportation is a civil right, and it cannot be denied to our clients or anyone else.

    “Plaintiffs are not seeking monetary damages. This suit is not about money. It’s about ensuring an inclusive transportation system for all Pittsburghers.”

    The ruling means that the plaintiffs can proceed in federal court and have their claims heard under federal civil rights laws – allowing the case to proceed on the plaintiffs’ claims of systemic discrimination by Uber against people with disabilities.

    Drawing on previous rulings in similar cases, the court rejected as “meritless” Uber’s novel argument that people who have not downloaded Uber’s app or signed up to its terms of use could be forced into arbitration and upheld the basic legal principle that someone cannot be bound by a contract they did not agree to.

    In addition to the case filed against Uber in Pittsburgh, DRA has filed cases against Uber in New York and California for their failure to serve riders who use wheelchairs. DRA has also filed a case against Uber’s competitor Lyft in California. These cases are critical to protecting the rights of wheelchair-users throughout the country. More background on the case is available here.

    # # #

    About Disability Rights Advocates

    With offices in New York and California, Disability Rights Advocates is the leading nonprofit disability rights legal center in the nation. Its mission is to advance equal rights and opportunity for people with all types of disabilities nationwide. DRA represents people with all types of disabilities in complex, system-changing, class action cases. DRA is proud to have upheld the promise of the ADA since our inception. Thanks to DRA’s precedent-setting work, people with disabilities across the country have dramatically improved access to education, health care, employment, transportation, disaster preparedness planning, voting, and housing. For more information, visit dralegal.org.

    About Lynch Carpenter LLP

    Lynch Carpenter, LLP is a national class action firm which currently has more than 20 lawyers spread across offices in Pittsburgh, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Since 2010, the firm has dedicated significant resources to litigation on behalf of individuals with disabilities. The firm is committed to pursuing impactful cases that advance the interests of the disabled community on the largest possible scale. Lynch Carpenter also regularly litigates class actions involving data breach, privacy, consumer protection, and wage and hour violations

    Ruling comes after Uber tried to avoid its legal responsibility to provide transportation accessible for all

    Uber logo PITTSBURGH, PA (November 13, 2019) – Yesterday, a federal court in Pittsburgh ruled that plaintiffs suing Uber for failing to provide transportation accessible to people with disabilities cannot be forced into arbitration and must have their claims heard openly in federal court.

    Filed on June 11, 2019, the lawsuit seeks modifications to Uber’s policies and practices to ensure that the company makes wheelchair-accessible vehicles readily available to Pittsburgh riders who need them. Plaintiffs do not seek monetary damages.

    “We filed this lawsuit to ensure that Uber and other ridesharing companies provide transportation that is accessible to all, including people with disabilities,” said Disability Rights Advocates staff attorney Melissa Riess and Lynch Carpenter LLP Founding Partner R. Bruce Carlson. “Facing a number of accessibility lawsuits around the country, Uber has repeatedly tried to prevent these claims from being heard in court to avoid their legal obligation to provide accessible transportation. This ruling reinforces that the right to accessible transportation is a civil right, and it cannot be denied to our clients or anyone else.

    “Plaintiffs are not seeking monetary damages. This suit is not about money. It’s about ensuring an inclusive transportation system for all Pittsburghers.”

    The ruling means that the plaintiffs can proceed in federal court and have their claims heard under federal civil rights laws – allowing the case to proceed on the plaintiffs’ claims of systemic discrimination by Uber against people with disabilities.

    Drawing on previous rulings in similar cases, the court rejected as “meritless” Uber’s novel argument that people who have not downloaded Uber’s app or signed up to its terms of use could be forced into arbitration and upheld the basic legal principle that someone cannot be bound by a contract they did not agree to.

    In addition to the case filed against Uber in Pittsburgh, DRA has filed cases against Uber in New York and California for their failure to serve riders who use wheelchairs. DRA has also filed a case against Uber’s competitor Lyft in California. These cases are critical to protecting the rights of wheelchair-users throughout the country. More background on the case is available here.

    # # #

    About Disability Rights Advocates

    With offices in New York and California, Disability Rights Advocates is the leading nonprofit disability rights legal center in the nation. Its mission is to advance equal rights and opportunity for people with all types of disabilities nationwide. DRA represents people with all types of disabilities in complex, system-changing, class action cases. DRA is proud to have upheld the promise of the ADA since our inception. Thanks to DRA’s precedent-setting work, people with disabilities across the country have dramatically improved access to education, health care, employment, transportation, disaster preparedness planning, voting, and housing. For more information, visit dralegal.org.

    About Lynch Carpenter LLP

    Lynch Carpenter, LLP is a national class action firm which currently has more than 20 lawyers spread across offices in Pittsburgh, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Since 2010, the firm has dedicated significant resources to litigation on behalf of individuals with disabilities. The firm is committed to pursuing impactful cases that advance the interests of the disabled community on the largest possible scale. Lynch Carpenter also regularly litigates class actions involving data breach, privacy, consumer protection, and wage and hour violations


    Group Photo from E-Discovery Conference

    Partner Katrina Carroll Speaks at E-Discovery Conference

    Group Photo from E-Discovery Conference

    Back row: Simeon Morbey, Katrina Carroll, Drew Lewis, Lea Malani Bays, Jeannine Kenney, Brian Clark, Annika Martin, Jonathan Wiley, Rebekah Bailey
    Front row: James Bilsborrow, Jonathan Jagher, Shana Scarlett, Daniel Stromberg

    Lynch Carpenter Partner, Katrina Carroll presented at the fifth annual E-Discovery Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota this month. The conference, also known as the Complex Litigation E-Discovery Forum, is based on best practices for plaintiffs’ side complex litigation attorneys. The two-day seminar focused on depositions and e-Discovery.

    Carroll’s topic, “The Interplay of Depositions & E-Discovery: Plaintiff Offensive Review Workflows and Tips” included several strategies when preparing class action plaintiffs for the litigation discovery process. She highlighted how crucial it is to 1). Establish open dialogue with each client, outlining the importance of transparency in communication and 2.) The discovery process could involve the investigation of a client’s online presence. Social media interactions can result in a waiver of attorney-client privilege. Those clients pursuing litigation must be careful when sharing information on social media and not discuss specific details of their case, otherwise, they forfeit their privilege. In this day in age when oversharing is the norm, attorneys must compel their clients to focus their energy on communicating with their attorneys and forgo the urge to disclose every detail of their case online.

    “Crafty defense attorneys focus on social media communications in recent years. This area will surely become the subject of court inquiries and I would expect that any discussion in a public forum will be fair game for examination.” - Katrina Carroll

    Katrina Carroll has participated in numerous conventions and conferences such as the American Bar Association Annual National Institute on Class Actions in 2014, the Perrin’s Class Action Litigation Conference in 2015, Loyola University School of Law’s Consumer Law Review Academic Symposium in 2017 and the Class Action Mastery Program in 2018 to name just a few.
    For more information on Katrina Carroll’s work or on the E-Discovery Forum please visit:
    E-Discovery Conference Website (Opens in new window)


    Jamisen Etzel Headshot

    Jamisen Etzel of Lynch Carpenter Wins Affirmance of Class Action Trial Victory

    The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled in favor of Lynch Carpenter’s clients and upheld a jury award of more than $4.5 million to a class of dancers who worked for the Penthouse Club in Philadelphia.

    The case went to jury trial in March of 2018, and the jury’s award was then appealed by the Penthouse Club. Jamisen Etzel of Lynch Carpenter briefed the appeal and presented oral argument in front of the Third Circuit in Philadelphia on April 17, 2019.

    The Third Circuit issued its opinion on August 30, 2019, affirming “across the board” the jury’s $4.5 million verdict for unpaid minimum wages and unjust enrichment under Pennsylvania law. The court also confirmed the district judge’s decision in June 2014 that the dancers were in fact employees of the Penthouse Club and subject to the protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act.

    Jamisen Etzel, a graduate of Duquesne University (magna cum laude 2008) and New York University School of Law (J.D. in 2011), represented the class of dancers throughout the pretrial and trial phases of the case, along with Lynch Carpenter Founding Partner, Gary Lynch, Esq., and Co-Counsel Gerald D. Wells, III of Connolly Wells & Gray.

    Since joining Lynch Carpenter LLP in 2012, Mr. Etzel has argued in the Third, Fourth, and Eleventh Circuits, and assisted on briefs in the Second and Ninth Circuits and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. His appellate work has yielded reported decisions favorable to his clients, including on several matters of first impression. This is his fourth federal appellate victory on behalf of nightclub dancers. The previous cases are: Mickles v. Country Club, Inc., 887 F.3d 1270 (11th Cir. 2018), DeGidio v. Crazy Horse Saloon and Restaurant, Inc., 880 F.3d 135 (4th Cir. 2018), and Herzfeld v. 1416 Chancellor, Inc., 666 F. App’x 124 (3d Cir. 2016).

    In 2019, Mr. Etzel was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers.


    Gary Lynch sitting at his desk

    The Legal Intelligencer spotlights Attorney of the Year Nominee


    The Legal Intelligencer spotlights Attorney of the Year Nominee and founding Lynch Carpenter LLP partner Gary Lynch, Esq. Gary "is involved in just about every major cyber breach litigation in the U.S., but such cases weren’t always his focus.”

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