Becca Wahlquist is co-chair of the firm's Consumer Class Action Defense practice. She has a wide-ranging, complex commercial litigation practice defending Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 business in federal and state courts throughout the country. She is a national expert in defending cases brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and similar consumer protection statutes. She also practices in the fields of appellate litigation, contract and business tort disputes, and commercial and appellate arbitrations. Becca received a 2008 California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY) award for her work in the field of complex commercial arbitration. She consults with major U.S. companies about compliance with laws pertaining to advertising and communications.
Becca values her pro bono work, including the twelve years she headed the appeals for an Alabama death row inmate. After her final oral argument before the Alabama Supreme Court led to a 7-2 order finding that her client was entitled to a new trial, in June 2019, her client was released from prison.
Becca is a frequent commentator on a variety of legal issues, and was invited by the Senate Commerce Committee in May 2016, and by a House Judiciary subcommittee in June 2017, to provide testimony about the TCPA’s impact on American businesses, and spoke on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Won summary judgment for many clients on TCPA claims, including for a worldwide manufacturer in multi-district litigation in West Virginia federal court, which order was affirmed after argument before the Fourth Circuit. See “UTC Unit Escapes TCPA Suit Over Resellers’ Marketing Calls
, May 19, 2015; see “4th Circuit Says Honeywell, UTC Not Liable for Sellers’ Calls
, March 14, 2018. Another summary judgment won for a national bank when the plaintiff was found to be outside the zone of interest of the TCPA. See Garcia v. Credit One Bank
, 2020 WL 4431679 (D. Nev. Jul. 31, 2020).
Won denials of class certification for many clients, including for a national bank where the Nevada district court found common issues did not predominate, Bridge v. Credit One Fin., Corp.
, 294 F. Supp. 3d 1019 (D. Nev. 2018), and for a national manufacturing company where the Connecticut district court found the same. Gorss Motels, Inc. v. Otis Elevator Co.
, 2019 WL 1490102 (D. Conn. Apr. 4, 2019).
Won dismissals of litigations for various reasons including lack of personal jurisdiction, Boger v. General Auto. Ins. Servs. Inc.
, 2020 WL 42713 (D. Az. Jan 3, 2020), failure to state viable cause of action, DeClements v. RE/MAX LLC,
2020 WL 3078365 (D. Colo. Jun. 10, 2020), and existence of a valid arbitration provision. Thompson v. Isagenix Int’l., LLC
, 2020 WL 1432840 (D. Az. Mar. 24, 2020).
Oversaw nationwide settlements of consumer class actions when advantageous to client to do so, including for a national mortgage company that successfully settled claims with over 2 million consumers and an insurance company settling claims involving over 10 million allegedly illegal faxes. See “Mortgage Lender Inks $6.3M Deal To End TCPA Class Action
, February 7, 2020; “Illinois Appeals Court Oks $23M MetLife Fax Case Settlement
, March 24, 2016.
Significant Litigation Representations
Represented major American corporations as lead counsel in defending against individual and putative classwide Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) claims, including nationwide businesses in the following industries:
ADA, FCRA, and FDCPA
- banking and finance
- satellite and cable
- insurance and mortgage
- retail and service
- real estate
Represented companies facing class action allegations asserting violations of federal law, most often American Disabilities Act (ADA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
CLRA and UCL
Represented pharmaceutical company and various manufacturers of beverages, foods, and clothing in federal and state court putative class actions involving claims of false advertising and deceptive labeling, often involving claims under California’s Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition Law.
Various breach of contract litigations, including a representation of a satellite company that led to a jury trial and verdict for the client of over $62 million.
Represented companies both defending and pursuing claims of trade dress infringement.
Represented clients in appeals to federal circuit courts stemming from nationwide class action litigations.
Represented clients in complex business arbitrations and consumer arbitrations, as well as in appellate arbitrations and in post-arbitration litigation challenges.
Advised companies regarding consumer and business-to-business advertising; communications with current, former, and prospective customers; and compliance documents and policies.
Represent clients in regulatory investigations helmed by state Attorneys General and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC); represent clients in matters before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Various individual representations in wide-ranging matters, including:
- Death Penalty. Represented on a pro bono basis an inmate on Alabama death row in his post-habeas challenges: secured ruling from the original trial court judge that the trial was riddled with prejudicial ineffective assistance of counsel (IAC), and was unconstitutional on that basis (March 2010); after years of challenges before the Alabama Criminal Court of Appeal, secured order from the Alabama Supreme Court (January 2019) affirming the trial court’s finding of prejudicial IAC.
- Prisoner Rights. Represented on a pro bono basis a California inmate alleging civil rights and constitutional claims against prison guards who had kept him shackled in a 2-foot by 2-foot by 6-foot holding cage for 19 hours, denying him access to food, water, adequate clothing, restroom facilities, or mental health assessments. Jury in Central District of California found that nine defendants violated the inmate’s constitutional rights.
2008 California Lawyer of the Year Award, California Lawyer, March 2009.
The Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services, State Bar of California, 2006.