February 12, 2018

The lawyers appointed to lead the litigation on behalf of consumers and financial institutions in the Equifax multidistrict litigation include a number of familiar faces who also served in leadership roles in the 2014 Home Depot data breach MDL.

A federal judge in Atlanta on Monday appointed leadership counsel in the massive Equifax data breach multidistrict litigation.

U.S. District Chief Judge Thomas Thrash Jr. of the Northern District of Georgia—who also presided over multidistrict litigation stemming from Atlanta-based Home Depot’s 2014 data breach—kept the legal leadership teams small. Last month, Thrash established two tracks—one for consumer claims and a second for claims made by financial institutions. Among the lawyers he appointed to leadership roles are a number of familiar faces stemming from the Home Depot MDL.

Thrash named three attorneys as co-lead counsel for the consumer plaintiffs:

  • Kenneth Canfield, a name partner at Atlanta’s Doffermyre Shields Canfield & Knowles. Canfield was co-lead counsel for the plaintiff financial institutions in the Home Depot litigation.
  • Amy Keller, a partner at Chicago’s DiCello Levitt & Casey.
  • Norman Siegel, a partner at Stueve Siegel Hanson in Kansas City, Missouri, who was also a veteran of the Home Depot data breach litigation where he served as co-lead counsel for the consumer plaintiffs. Siegel paired up with former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes and his Marietta law firm to file one of the first consumer suits against Equifax after the Atlanta-based credit bureau went public with news of the data breach last September.

Canfield, Keller and Siegel had applied as co-lead counsel on behalf of a group, including Barnes, touting that they were all veterans of data breach MDLs involving Home Depot, Anthem, Target and Yahoo. Thrash agreed.

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Thrash appointed seven attorneys to a steering committee for the consumer suits. They are:

  • Andrew Friedman of Washington’s Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, part of the Canfield/Barnes group.
  • Eric Gibbs of Girard Gibbs in Oakland, California, also part of the Canfield/Barnes group.
  • James Pizzirusso of Hausfeld in Washington.
  • Ariana Tadler of New York’s Milberg Tadler Phillips Grossman.
  • John Yanchunis of Morgan & Morgan in Tampa, a veteran of the Yahoo data breach MDL. Yanchunis was also co-lead counsel for the consumer plaintiffs in the Home Depot MDL.
  • William Murphy III of Murphy, Falcon & Murphy of Baltimore.
  • Marietta attorney Jason Doss, who is representing businesses that may also have had their financials compromised by Equifax’s data breach. Thrash had declined to establish a separate track for the businesses but gave Doss, the only lawyer to file suits on behalf of businesses, to the steering committee.

The full NLJ article can be read here