In Tonnesen v. Legal Recovery Law Offices, Inc., 2012 WL 5932789 (E.D.Cal. 2012), Judge Mendez declined to dismiss a Rosenthal Act claim against a law firm, finding that the law firm – as opposed to individual lawyers — was not exempt.
Defendant alternately argues that the Rosenthal Act claims should be dismissed because it is a law firm and the Rosenthal Act does not apply to law firms. Defendant responds that discovery may reveal that Defendant is not a law firm. ¶ The Rosenthal Act exempts lawyers from liability. Defendant cites Carney v. Rotkin, Schmerin & McIntyre, 206 Cal.App.3d 1513, 1526, 254 Cal.Rptr. 478 (1988), for the proposition that the exemption extends to law firms. The weight of authority on this question, however, holds that individual lawyers are exempt from liability, but law firms are not. Bautista v. Hunt & Henriques, No. C-11-4010 JCS, 2012 WL 160252, at *8, Slip Copy (N.D.Cal. Jan. 17, 2012) (holding that law firms can be debt collectors under the Rosenthal Act and collecting supporting authority holding the same). Accordingly, the Court declines to dismiss the Rosenthal Act claims because Defendant’s status as a law firm is not dispositive.