Susan K. Jamison

Partner

Susan Jamison prosecutes and defends cases at both the trial and appellate levels. She has particular expertise in defending financial institutions in consumer and operations-related cases, defending class actions and complex unfair competition litigation, and defending and counseling clients in employment-related matters.

Susan’s appellate practice has included two decades of successful representation of clients in a variety of groundbreaking appeals and as amicus counsel for banking associations and other trade groups in cases of industry-wide importance.

Class Actions

In the last ten years, Susan has served as one of the leaders of the firm’s unfair business practices and class action practice group, defending class actions in state and federal courts across the country. Her class action engagements have included claims arising under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, RICO, the federal securities laws, California and federal labor and employment laws, the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, false advertising statutes, California's Unfair Competition Law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and a myriad of other state and federal consumer protection statutes.

Employment

Susan defends large and small businesses in individual, collective, and class action cases under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Age Discrimination and Employment Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, the California Labor Code, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and the Fair Employment and Housing Act. Her employment clients frequently call upon her to provide them with risk management advice and counseling, including with respect to reductions-in-force, high-risk terminations, disability accommodation requirements, leave requests, and sexual harassment complaints. Her employment practice emphasizes effective risk management strategies designed to prevent or mitigate litigation exposure and expense and to ensure compliance with applicable law.

Complex Litigation

Susan represents businesses, professional firms, financial institutions, and individuals in complex and high-stakes litigation, including securities and financial statement-related claims. Her practice includes SEC investigations and enforcement proceedings, shareholder derivative actions, claims by bankruptcy trustees and receivers against officers, directors, and auditors, and the defense of businesses facing ADA access and similar suits principally motivated by the potential for substantial fee-shifting awards. As one of the leaders of the firm's financial institutions defense practice, Susan also brings more than twenty years of experience to the defense of banks and other financial institutions facing large-exposure claims brought by their customers.

Notable Representations

  • Obtained dismissal on the pleadings of claims by putative nationwide class alleging that bank custodian of self-directed IRAs failed to protect customers from Ponzi scheme in violation of RICO and fiduciary duties.  Dismissal affirmed on appeal.
  • Successfully disposed of putative nationwide class actions alleging that satellite television provider violated Telephone Consumer Protection Act by placing automatically-dialed phone calls to cell phone numbers, either by defeating class certification or by convincing individual plaintiff to abandon class claims and settle individually for nominal amount.
  • Obtained dismissal on the pleadings of putative nationwide class action claims alleging that debiting of early termination fees from customer bank account violated Social Security Act and state laws.  Dismissal affirmed on appeal.
  • Defended founder and board member of investment firm in nationwide class action brought by state pension funds and companion SEC investigation alleging that the defendant violated securities laws and ERISA by failing to inform other board members and executives of technical glitches affecting the operation of software programs.
  • Defended wage and hour class actions seeking overtime wages, other premium compensation, and penalties brought by hourly and salaried employees claiming that their employers violated various California Labor Code provisions.
  • Defended statewide class actions alleging consumer protection violations arising from allegedly inadequate disclosures of fees and/or the improper charging of overdraft and other account service fees.
  • Persuaded plaintiff bringing putative statewide class action against nationwide satellite television service provider for alleged “bait and switch” tactics and for allegedly recording telephone calls without the called party’s consent to abandon class claims and settle for nominal amount on an individual basis.

Honors & Awards

Since 2006, Susan has been recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer. American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell selected Susan as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Labor & Employment. She has received an AV Preeminent® peer review rating - the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards, and has been commended for her pro bono work.

Publications & Speaking Engagements

Susan frequently speaks at the annual Legal Counsel Seminar of the California Bankers Association and in other forums on the defense of unfair business practice claims, litigation risk management, class action litigation, and other matters of interest to her clients.

Professional Activities

Susan currently serves as the California Bar Foundation's Treasurer and on its Board of Directors. She is a member of the California State Bar, the American Bar Association, and the Bar Association of San Francisco. She has also served on the board of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area and as a member of the Legal Affairs Committee of the California Bankers Association.

Education

Susan earned her undergraduate degree in American Studies from Stanford University (1981). After teaching for three years, she earned her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) (1987). At Boalt, she was elected to the Order of the Coif, served as an Articles Editor of the California Law Review, and was the recipient of numerous academic awards. She began practicing law in private practice in 1988 following a one-year clerkship with Judge J. Clifford Wallace of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Case Studies

Bank in a consumer class action

Coblentz class action litigators defended a California bank in a consumer class action that was part of a wave of overdraft fee-related litigation against banks across the country. The bank allegedly re-sequenced debit card transactions in order to maximize the overdraft fees it charged customers....

California Bankers Association in Miller v.

Coblentz represented the California Bankers Association as amicus curiae in a successful effort to persuade the California Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court to reverse trial court rulings prohibiting Bank of America from applying directly-deposited Social Security funds to...

Cox Communications, Inc.

The Coblentz litigation team successfully represented Cox Communications in a class action case that was heard by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California (Lyons v. CoxCom Inc., No. 08-2047). We moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim and additionally argued that the...

DISH Network L.L.C.

Coblentz litigators have represented DISH Network L.L.C. in a variety of cases, including over 70 litigation matters during our more than 15 year relationship.

in OneBeacon Insurance Co. v. T. Wade Welch & Associates, DISH Network Corp., et al., Coblentz defended DISH in a ten-day federal...