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Austin B. Kenney has spent his career at Severson & Werson, joining the Firm in 2005. He is currently a member in the Firm’s Financial Services practice group, with a focus on consumer transactions, banking operations and institutional risk management and compliance.
Mr. Kenney primarily counsels and defends financial institutions large and small in consumer and commercial litigation involving banking operations and consumer lending, including automotive, mortgage and unsecured credit lending. He has particular experience defending allegations of unfair and deceptive business practices, unfair debt collection practices, TCPA violations, predatory lending and wrongful foreclosure, as well as claims involving title and servicing issues. Additionally, Mr. Kenney advises financial institutions regarding compliance with state and federal disclosure and consumer protection laws, with emphasis on consumer privacy rights, and he counsels clients regarding lending “best practices” and procedures.
Devoting his practice especially to close client counseling and service, Mr. Kenney has functioned as an outside “General Counsel” for smaller firms and draws upon that experience to enjoy extraordinarily close coordination with General Counsel at larger institutional clients, as well as claims handlers for insurance clients and their insureds.
Mr. Kenney received his J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law in Boulder, Colorado, in 2005 after receiving a B.A. from the University of California at San Diego. During law school, he also attended the prestigious Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, California.
Mr. Kenney is admitted to the State Bar Association in the State of California and is admitted to all state and federal courts in California. He is an active member of the Consumer Financial Services Committee of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section. He has also co-authored several publications on matters of interest to financial institutions, and he has contributed to Severson & Werson’s Consumer Finance Report, an award-winning newsletter focusing on the current state of consumer finance law in California that is published three times each year.
Mr. Kenney’s primary areas of legal practice include:
General Litigation: Civil litigation in state and federal courts, representing parties in all manner of commercial, property, and casualty disputes.
Financial Services Litigation: Representing financial institutions—primarily consumer and other commercial lenders, including automotive, mortgage and unsecured lenders—in suits involving a variety of lender liability claims. Prosecuting and defending actions arising from complex business transactions, banking operations, fiduciary relationships, partnerships, suretyships and business torts.
Client Counseling: Providing general counsel and transactional services and advice to institutional and professional clients, including contract interpretation and negotiation, pre-litigation review and resolution of claims, coordination of litigation settlements, administrative procedure and general risk management.
Employment History: Severson & Werson, San Francisco, CA, 2005—present; Member since April 2016.
Education: J.D., University of Colorado School of Law, Boulder, CO, 2005; Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu, CA—Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution, 2003; B.A., University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, 2001.
Admitted to Practice: All California state and federal courts, 2006.
Professional Affiliations: State Bar of California; American Bar Association, Business Law Section, Consumer Financial Services Committee.
Published Papers and Seminars: “The Single Document Rule and (Non-CFPB) Developments in Consumer Arbitration”, presented to the Association of Consumer Vehicle Lessors in Charleston, SC (Fall 2016); Hyman & Kenney, “Judicial Isolation of the Third Circuit’s ‘Glassine Window’ FDCPA Decision in Douglass v. Convergent Outsourcing”, 69 Conf. Cons. Fin. L. Q. 142 (Fall 2016); Hyman & Kenney, “The Effect of the FDCPA’s Class-Action Penalty Cap on Class Certification”, 69 Conf. Cons. Fin. L. Q. 137 (Fall 2016). “Lender Liability Lawsuits and Servicing Risk”, presented to the California Financial Services Association in Anaheim, CA (Spring 2016); Kenney & Donlon, “Blackstone to Buzgheia: Law & Procedure in Assessing Special Damages”, ADC Comment (vol. 22, no. 1, Spring 2007).