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Past Successes

Banking

Wells Fargo Overdraft Litigation. In 2010, Barry was part of the San Francisco trial team that obtained a $203 million judgment against Wells Fargo Bank for manipulating the order of processing debit card transactions to increase the number of overdraft fees imposed on its California accountholders. (Luckily, he walked away from a helicopter crash after an earlier hearing in the case.) The first and only such case to go to trial, it prompted a wave of nationwide settlements.

Checking Account Overdraft Litigation. Prior to his departure from Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein in 2011, Barry was on the Plaintiffs' Executive Committee in this multidistrict litigation proceeding involving more than 35 banks who manipulated the order of processing their customers' debit card transactions to generate overdraft fees.

Wells Fargo Lifetime Free Checking Litigation. In 1999, Barry negotiated a settlement on behalf of 164,000 customers of Wells Fargo Bank who had been promised lifetime free checking by other banks subsequently acquired by Wells Fargo.


Pharmaceuticals

Neurontin Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation. In 2010, Barry was part of the Boston trial team that obtained a $142 million verdict for Kaiser Foundation, a non-profit health care provider, against Pfizer for deceptive marketing of Neurontin (an anti-epileptic) to physicians for unapproved uses for which it was not effective. The landmark judgment was the first time a pharmaceutical company had been held liable under the RICO statute.

Vytorin/Zetia Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation. Barry represented consumers of these cholesterol medications in a case alleging that the manufacturer delayed publication of a study showing that the combination drug was no more effective than generic simvastatin in reducing arterial plaque and heart disease. The case settled in 2010 for $27 million.

Synthroid Marketing Litigation. Barry was co-lead counsel in a class action against the manufacturer of the popular thyroid medication, who suppressed the publication of a study showing that a less expensive generic could be safely substituted. The $88 million settlement was distributed to consumers in 2003.


Energy

California Electricity and Natural Gas Antitrust Litigation. From 2001 – 2009, Barry was lead or co-lead counsel in the multi-faceted antitrust litigation arising out of the California energy crisis.

In the Natural Gas Antitrust Cases, Barry obtained a $1.25 billion settlement with El Paso Natural Gas Co. for residential and business consumers of natural gas, in a case alleging the manipulation of pipeline capacity to drive up wholesale prices at the California border. It remains one of the largest consumer class action settlements on record, and the only case to recognize an exception to the Copperweld doctrine, which ordinarily bars antitrust claims based on intra-corporate conspiracies.

In the Price Indexing Cases, Barry obtained an additional $164 million in settlements for natural gas consumers from eight companies accused of engaging in “wash trades” and false reporting of trades to manipulate wholesale prices at the California border.

In the Wholesale Electricity Antitrust Cases, as co-lead counsel for electricity consumers, Barry recovered over $1 billion from The Williams Companies, Duke Energy, and Reliant Energy in settlement of claims that they conspired to manipulate California’s wholesale electricity markets.


Real Estate

Property I.D. Kickback Litigation. In Berger v. Property I.D., Barry represented California home sellers in a case involving kickbacks paid by the largest provider of Natural Hazard Disclosure reports to Coldwell-Banker, Prudential California Realty, and RE/MAX in violation of the “sham” affiliated business relationship provisions of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). A 2008 settlement provided class members with full refunds of the amounts paid for their reports, up to a total of $35 million. The litigation prompted action by HUD, which signed on to the landmark settlement.


Privacy

National Security Agency Telecommunications Records Litigation. In this "mother of all privacy cases," Barry was appointed to represent MCI subscribers in litigation against the major telecommunications carriers for turning their customers' call records over to the National Security Agency in violation of federal privacy laws. The case was dismissed in 2009, after Congress granted the carriers immunity, as a result of a heavy lobbying effort. (You can't win them all.)


Direct Marketing

American Family Publishers Business Practices Litigation. Barry was co-lead counsel for consumers misled into purchasing magazine subscriptions in the hope of winning the annual American Family Publishers sweepstakes. Even though the company filed for bankruptcy, the $33 million settlement provided class members with over 90% of their claimed losses, with settlement checks averaging over $500.


Defective Products

Lucent Technologies "Y2K" Litigation. Barry represented small businesses in a successful "Y2K" class action against Lucent Technologies for failing to disclose that telephone systems it sold as late as 1997 would cease to function properly after 1999. The case settled for $110 million.


Qui Tam/False Claims Act

Avaya Qui Tam Litigation. Barry represented the whistleblowers in a False Claims Act case brought against Avaya and CIT Group, alleging that they continued to bill the federal government and numerous states for telecommunications equipment that was no longer in place. The case settled in 2011 for $16.6 million.

The Towers
2000 Powell St.
Suite 1605
Emeryville, CA 94608-1861
510.450.0782 (phone)
510.924.0403 (fax)