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December 2015

San Francisco Team Defeats Class Certification in Hard Fought Litigation

A team consisting of Fletcher Alford, David Jordan, Dan Kubasak, and Kyle Smith scored a big win on December 17 by defeating class certification in a case brought against a Bay Area tech company accused of illegal eavesdropping and electronic recording activities.  Aided by several of the client’s disgruntled former employees, plaintiffs were able to show that the client  had indeed committed numerous violations of Penal Code sections prohibiting surreptitious eavesdropping and recording. 
Because those sections also impose civil penalties of up to $5,000.00 per violation, the client was facing millions of dollars in uninsured liability. The G&R team devised an aggressive discovery strategy aimed at refuting the criteria for class certification.  Counsel for the putative class was particularly aggressive, resulting in contentious discovery and motion practice. 
After a year and a half of very hard fought litigation, and almost two hours of heated oral argument, Judge Weiner of the San Mateo County, California Superior Court, issued a 27-page decision finding the case entirely inappropriate for class certification.  Sensing they were in trouble, plaintiffs had proposed several re-defined and narrowed classes and subclasses – but the Court rejected those as well.  Absent a reversal on appeal (which appears highly unlikely), this ruling should effectively end the case. 
Thanks to Michael Kubicki who provided early assistance on the case, and to the invaluable paralegal team of Sue Campaign and Matt Nolte.

Fletcher C. Alford
David L. Jordan