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Success in privacy and data security litigation requires a combination of substantive expertise in privacy, data security and consumer protection laws; deep experience in the relevant industry; and strong class action litigation skills and experience. Covington’s privacy and data security litigation practice brings all of these attributes to bear for clients and has a demonstrated track record of success through cost-effective litigation strategies and creative legal arguments.
At Covington, privacy and data security litigation is looked upon as its own discipline because of the unique substantive knowledge required to win cases. Our litigators have a deep substantive understanding of the laws most commonly at issue in privacy and data security litigation, including the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (including both the Wiretap Act and the Stored Communications Act), Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Video Privacy Protection Act, Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, and Telephone Consumer Protection Act, as well as the various state analogues to these statutes, state consumer protection laws, and the common law privacy torts. Covington’s litigators also are highly skilled in handling complex, high stakes litigation and have substantial experience in both class action and multi-district litigation.
This approach to privacy and data security litigation has been remarkably successful. In the past several years, Covington has successfully defended twelve privacy and data security consumer class actions for a wide variety of clients ― achieving results that required no monetary payouts. Importantly, our victories have come largely at the pleadings stage, which spared our clients otherwise significant costs of discovery and additional pretrial litigation.
Covington’s clients not only appreciate our effectiveness; they also appreciate our efficiency. Our privacy and data security litigators’ substantive expertise and industry knowledge means that we are able to “hit the ground running” on new matters, rather than needing to “get up to speed” on the law and the technologies at issue. We strive for and deliver cost-effective representation for our clients.
Achieved dismissal of a putative class action against LinkedIn alleging violations of the Stored Communications Act and state law. The complaint asserted that LinkedIn disclosed LinkedIn user identification numbers and LinkedIn URL addresses to third party advertising companies, which allowed those companies to correlate the identity of a user with his or her previously anonymous Web browsing history.
Achieved dismissal of a putative class action against AOL alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The complaint sought to hold AOL liable for misdirected text messages sent by users of AOL’s Instant Messenger system.
Achieved dismissal on summary judgment of a putative class action against Hulu alleging violation of the Video Privacy Protection Act. The complaint alleged that Hulu disclosed to third parties the video viewing information of individual Hulu users.
Achieved dismissal of a putative class action against Microsoft, CBS, Microsoft, McDonald’s, and Mazda alleging violations of the Wiretap Act, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and state laws. The complaint alleged that an online ad network used Flash cookies and other tracking mechanisms to build user profiles for the purpose of serving targeted advertising.
Achieved favorable resolution for Patagonia in a putative class action alleging wrongful collection of personal information in connection with credit card transactions.
Achieved dismissal of a putative class action against National Public Radio alleging violations of the Wiretap Act, Stored Communications Act, and state laws. The complaint alleged that mobile app developers wrongfully transmitted personal information to third party advertising companies.
Achieved summary judgment for Microsoft in a putative class action alleging unauthorized collection of geolocation information from the plaintiffs’ mobile devices. After a claim under the Wiretap Act was dismissed at the pleadings stage, we successfully obtained summary judgment on a remaining claim under the Stored Communications Act.
Defending Sherwin-Williams in a putative class action alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act in connection with a commercial text message program for paint contractors.
Achieved a favorable resolution for Shoe Show in a putative class action alleging violation of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act for allegedly printing expiration dates on credit card receipts.
Achieved dismissal of a putative class action against AOL alleging violations of the Wiretap Act, Video Privacy Protection Act, and numerous state laws. The suit alleged unauthorized collection of personal information from the plaintiffs’ computers using “Flash cookies” and unlawful disclosure of video viewing information to third parties.
Achieved dismissals of three putative class actions against Cable One, a cable and Internet service provider, in litigation involving claims under the Wiretap Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and related state laws. The litigation arose out of a third party’s test of a system using “deep packet inspection” for the purpose of serving targeted advertisements.
Defending Huawei, a Chinese mobile handset maker, in a putative class action alleging violations of the Wiretap Act, Stored Communications Act, and various state laws. The suit stems from the allegation that third-party mobile analytics software transmitted data about mobile device users’ activities to other parties without authorization.
Achieved dismissal of a putative class action against The Huffington Post alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The suit asserted unlawful transmission of unsolicited text messages.
Advised a large pharmaceutical company in connection with litigation involving the alleged infringement of patient privacy by a pharmacy chain that collects personal information about prescription drug users.
August 11, 2016, The American Lawyer
James Garland participated in a Q&A with The American Lawyer regarding the firm’s relationship with Microsoft and its recent work on an important internet search case in the Second Circuit. According to Garland, “Microsoft has a very strategic approach toward its legal functions and litigation in particular. In cases like this that are of strategic policy ...
June 26, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC, June 26, 2014 — The Legal 500 U.S. has ranked Covington & Burling in its top tier in eight practice areas and recognized 23 individual attorneys as “Leading Lawyers” in the directory’s 2014 edition. Additionally, Legal 500 “recommended” 42 Covington practice areas and 153 Covington lawyers. The eight Covington practices given the top tier ranking ...
November 14, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC, November 14, 2011 — Law360 named five Covington & Burling lawyers today as “Most Valuable Players” in their respective practice areas. The inaugural award singles out lawyers whose accomplishments in major litigation or transactional matters have “raised the bar” over the past year. The 92 lawyers awarded this honor focus their work in 16 ...