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Eric J. Troutman is one of the country’s prominent TCPA defense attorneys, having served as lead defense counsel on over 30 nationwide TCPA class actions and handling hundreds of individual TCPA cases across the country. As part of his practice, Mr. Troutman oversees a group of Severson attorneys serving as national counsel to banks and finance companies in defending TCPA cases, both individual and class. In addition, he has helped spearhead the banking industry’s push for TCPA clarity before the FCC and has assisted on numerous appeals addressing hot-button TCPA issues. The rulings he has earned for the firm’s clients have helped better define the contours of the TCPA’s “express consent” defense as well as the application of the “primary jurisdiction” doctrine. Mr. Troutman is also the co-author of “The Telephone & Consumer Protection Act,”Chapter 2B, “Debt Collection Practice in California,” one of the nation’s first comprehensive treatises on TCPA defense. Mr. Troutman lectures widely on issues regarding TCPA defense and compliance and has authored a number of articles on the subject.
Mr. Troutman focuses on complex litigation and practices in the firm’s Auto Finance, Financial Service Litigation and Labor and Employment groups. Mr. Troutman is an experienced trial attorney that has earned a multi-million dollar verdict in addition to several defense verdicts for the firms’ clients. He has extensive experience defending banks and finance companies in major class litigation, especially consumer class actions under the TCPA. Along with his colleague Mark Lonergan, Mr. Troutman served as lead counsel for Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. in the Malta v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al settlement that resolved the TCPA claims for 5.7 million of the Bank’s accountholders. Mr. Troutman also earned the first post-Genesis order in the nation dismissing a Rule 23 class following the mooting of the named class representative’s claim.
Mr. Troutman’s professional litigation experience includes practice in both state and federal courts, as well as bankruptcy and appellate matters. Mr. Troutman obtained his J.D. from U.C.L.A. School of Law in 2003.
Mr. Troutman’s primary legal practice areas include:
TCPA Defense and Compliance, Commercial and financial institution litigation, mortgage lending, and bankruptcy.
Mr. Troutman’s specific experience includes:
TCPA Compliance and Defense: Mr. Troutman has served as lead counsel on dozens of nationwide class actions for the firm’s clients and has earned some of the country’s most notable TCPA decisions.
For instance in Masters v. Wells Fargo Bank South Central, No. A-12-CA- 376-SS, 2013 WL 3713492, (W.D. Tex. July 11, 2013)) Mr. Troutman earned the nation’s first post-Genesis dismissal of a Rule 23 class based upon the mootness of a named representative’s claims.
In Aderhold v. Car2Go N.A., LLC, Case No. C13-489RAJ 2014 (U.S.D.C. W.D. Wash. 2014) the Court dismissed a suit in favor of Mr. Troutman’s client finding that the contours of “express consent” were broad enough to encompass instances where a customer received a text message after providing a cellular number as part of an online registration process.
In Conrad v. Gen. Motors Acceptance Corp., 2012 WL 2551146 (N.D. Tex. 2012) Mr. Troutman and a team of Severson attorneys defeated a TCPA certification motion demonstrating that individualized inquiries swarmed common issues because “putative class members could have given consent by providing the cell phone number at the time of application, via a phone conversation with a customer service agent, via an email, via interface with the website, or during an in person field call by a skip trace agent.”
In Heinrichs v. Wells Fargo Case No. C 13-05434 WHA (N.D. Cal. April 15, 2014) Mr. Troutman earned a stay of proceedings in favor of Wells Fargo in a class action based upon the FCC’s primary jurisdiction to determine the meaning of the phrase “called party” for purposes of the TCPA’s express consent exemption. Mr. Troutman subsequently travelled to Washington D.C. to personally meet with the FCC’s staff regarding the issue and to advocate for common sense clarifications that would help assure a uniform rule of law across the country.
Additionally, Mr. Troutman and Severson & Werson attorney Jan T. Chilton prepared the amicus briefing in support of a petition for rehearing in the case of Meyer v. Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC, 696 F. 3d 943 (9th Cir. 2012). In that case the Ninth Circuit had erroneously interpreted an FCC declaratory ruling as only presuming express consent when a debtor provides a number “at the time” of application. See Id. at 948 (“prior express consent is deemed granted only if the wireless telephone number was provided by the consumer to the creditor, and only if it was provided at the time of the transaction that resulted in the debt at issue.”) Recognizing that this ruling could have a disastrous effect on TCPA compliance efforts, Severson prepared an amicus brief on behalf of industry asking the Ninth Circuit to modify its ruling. As a result the Ninth Circuit, indeed, modified its opinion to clarify that debt collectors can rely on consent given any time before a call is placed. See Meyer v. Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC, 707 F. 3d 1036, 1040 (9th Cir. 2012) (“prior express consent is consent to call a particular telephone number in connection with a particular debt that is given before the call in question is placed.”)
Financial Institution Litigation: Representation of financial institutions, primarily mortgage lenders, loan servicers, and auto finance companies, in suits raising a variety of lender liability claims.
Representation of national deposit institutions pertaining to bank operations, Check 21 compliance and negotiable instrument liability under the UCC.
Advises clients and litigates matters regarding FCRA violations and compliance for both information furnishers and CRA clients.
Consumer Bankruptcy: Representation of automotive finance companies in consumer bankruptcy cases of Chapter 7, 11 and 13 debtors.
Lender Liability: Defended various financial institutions in individual actions involving allegations of wrongful foreclosure, improper handling of escrow accounts, inadequate disclosures, fraud, and discriminatory/predatory lending practices.
Employment History: Joined Severson & Werson in 2006. Previously associate with Borton Petrini & Conron.
Education: B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1999; J.D., University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, 2003.
Admitted to Practice: California, 2003
Professional Affiliations: Member, State Bar of California; Los Angeles County Bar Association; Orange County Bar Association; American Bar Association