David Berkley (OC) and Eric J. Troutman (OC) represented a major automobile finance institution in an AAA arbitration brought by a claimant alleging that Severson’s client had violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and for common law violation of privacy. After hearing the evidence, the arbitrator found in favor of Severson’s client on all causes of action. In addition, the arbitrator awarded Severson’s client the balance owed on the vehicle and also awarded the client its attorneys’ fees incurred in pursuing the counterclaim.

In March 2015, Severson’s Andrew W. Noble (SF) represented a lender in a three-day bench trial in federal court in the Western District of Washington of claims brought by a mortgage borrower for violation of Washington’s Deed of Trust Act and Consumer Protection Act, alleging that the lender had failed to perfect its ownership of the loan and failed to provide pre-foreclosure notices required under Washington law. The trial court rejected the plaintiff’s claims and entered judgment in favor of Severson’s client.

In July 2015, Severson attorneys Joseph W. Guzzetta (SF) and Jarlath M. Curran, II (OC) represented a major national lender in a jury trial in Los Angeles County Superior Court of claims for unfair competition, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, wrongful foreclosure, breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing relating to the creation of an impound account for the payment of taxes and insurance. The plaintiff sought damages of over $45 million at the trial. After a seven-day trial, the jury deliberated for less than 20 minutes before returning an unanimous verdict in favor of Severson’s client on all of the legal causes of action asserted in the case, and the court returned a verdict in favor of Severson’s client on all of the equitable causes of action.

Severson & Werson’s Mark D. Lonergan (SF) and Mark I. Wraight (SF) represented a major national bank in a private arbitration of claims for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty, alleging that the bank had failed to provide necessary investment advice. After successfully moving to compel arbitration, Severson’s lawyers convinced the arbitrator to dismiss the breach of fiduciary duty claims. After a hearing on the remaining negligence claim, the arbitrator issued an award in favor of the bank and against the claimant.

Severson’s Mark D. Lonergan (SF) and Jonah Van Zandt (SF) represented a major national bank in a jury trial of claims in Los Angeles County Superior Court for respondeat superior, ostensible agency, negligence, negligent supervision and fraud arising out of allegations that a bank employee had manufactured and sold $4 million worth of fictitious certificates of deposit to customers. After the trial, the jury found in favor of Severson’s client on each and every cause of action asserted by the plaintiff, resulting in a complete victory for the client.

Severson & Werson’s insurance practice group was named Insurance Team of the Year by Corporate America.

Severson attorney Scott J. Hyman was appointed to the Governing Committee for the Conference on Consumer Finance Law.

Severson & Werson’s Eric J. Troutman (OC) was pictured on the front page of the Daily Journal, and quoted extensively in an article entitled “Clarity sought on contacting customers,” which discussed the rules under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act for placing telephone calls to customers.

Severson & Werson attorney Andrew W. Noble (SF) was appointed vice-chair for programming of the California Bar Association’s Consumer Financial Services Committee at the Bar Association’s annual meeting on October 9, 2015. He will be responsible for programming at the Committee’s monthly and annual meetings.

In March 2015, Vault recognized Severson & Werson as one of the best small and midsized firms in America by naming Severson to its Top 150 Under 150 list. Vault’s team “pored through Vault survey data, news stories, trade journals and other legal publications; spoke with lawyers in the field and reviewed other published rankings” and “assessed each firm for prestige, quality of life and professional growth opportunities” to come up with its list of the top 150 small and midsized firms in America.

In August 2015, Severson & Werson celebrated its 70th Anniversary. Founded in 1945, Severson has been an integral part of the growth and health of the modern financial services and insurance industries. Our clients include banks, thrifts, consumer and automobile finance companies, mortgage bankers and domestic and foreign insurance companies. We are honored and humbled by the trust that our clients place in us, and we look forward to serving you for years to come. “To be trusted as ‘counselor’ to our clients—that is what it’s all about.”

– James B. Werson.