Jeff Topor has over thirty years of experience litigating in and working for federal and state courts. Since 2000, Jeff has concentrated his practice on complex litigation with an emphasis on defending creditors, finance companies (including fintech companies), debt buyers, debt collectors, and law firms and lawyers in federal and state courts against individual and putative class claims under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), corollary state Acts, and myriad other consumer protection statutes. He has tried cases before juries in state and federal court in California and elsewhere, has extensive experience in federal and California appellate courts, and has mediated and arbitrated scores of matters. Jeff regularly shares his knowledge at industry events. Prior to devoting his practice to defending those in the consumer financial services space, Jeff spent four years litigating antitrust class actions in California and Minnesota.
Before entering private practice, Jeff was a Staff Attorney at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In that role, he orally presented to three-judge panels for disposition more than fifty appeals on a wide variety of civil and criminal legal issues. Additionally, as a Motions Attorney at the Court, Jeff developed particular experience in appellate motion practice, presenting hundreds of motions – both dispositive and non-dispositive – to the Court for resolution. He previously held a similar position in the Office of Staff Attorneys at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis, and he also clerked for a Minnesota state trial court judge. During law school, Jeff clerked for the Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office, where, among other things, he had the privilege and honor of assisting in the briefing and preparation for oral argument in a matter before the United States Supreme Court.
Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.
- Member of trial team that secured defense verdict in jury trial in federal court action involving claims of usury arising under California’s Financing Law, Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and Unruh Act.
- Defeated class certification in federal district court in case alleging client’s Retail Installment Sales Agreement program violated California law.
- Led trial team in week-long jury trial in Missouri state court resulting in complete defense verdict for debt buyer client on claims brought under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act, for fraud, and for breach of warranty arising from used automobile dealer’s point-of-sale conduct, for claims based on automobile finance company’s failure to comply with Missouri’s Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), and for claims based on debt buyer client’s collection and litigation activities. Commended by presiding juror following trial for being “smooth, under control, and very professional.”
- Defeated class certification in federal district court in case challenging client’s Rental Purchase Agreement under California’s rent-to-own statute (the Karnette Act), Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and Unfair Competition Law.
- Obtained summary judgment in federal district court on behalf of debt buyer client in identity theft case involving claims under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and California’s Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act.
- Retained by debt buyer client following state trial court collection proceedings to handle appeal in Oregon involving issues of pleading in collection actions. Handled briefing and argument in Oregon Court of Appeals. Prepared subsequent briefing in Oregon Supreme Court, leading to decision agreeing with client that account stated is a permissible cause of action to recover an unpaid credit card debt and affirming appropriate statute of limitations for same.
- Obtained dismissal of putative class action against debt buyer client in federal court, rejecting plaintiff’s theory that letter seeking to collect time-barred debt violated Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
- Drafted amicus brief on behalf of industry trade group in matter before United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, urging court to clarify that attorneys are entitled to assert “bona fide error” defense under Fair Debt Collection Practices Act with respect to errors of state law.
- Successfully moved to compel arbitration in Oregon federal district court in putative class action against debt buyer client asserting claims under Fair Debt Collection Practices Act arising from client’s prosecution of state-court collection action.
- Drafted amicus brief on behalf of industry trade group in matter before United States Supreme Court urging Court to clarify that a communication does not violate Fair Debt Collection Practices Act unless it demands money from consumer.
- Obtained favorable opinion from United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit confirming that plaintiff in a class action under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act bears burden of proving defendant’s net worth.
- Member of team that successfully litigated private antitrust consumer class actions against a major software manufacturer, resulting in settlements worth almost $1.3 billion for businesses and individuals in California and Minnesota.
- American Bar Association
- National Creditors Bar Association
- American Collectors Association (ACA) International, Members’ Attorney Program
Presentations and Publications
- Co-Author, “Recent Developments on Article III Standing Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act,” 2023 Annual Survey of Consumer Financial Services, The Business Lawyer (American Bar Association), May 19, 2023
- Speaker, “Pink Flamingos, or, Does the Plaintiff Have a Leg to Stand on Following TransUnion v. Ramirez?,” National Creditors Bar Association Fall Conference, October 28, 2022
- Speaker, “Handling Objections to Evidence in Consumer Cases,” National Creditors Bar Association Fall Conference, October 27, 2022
- Speaker, “Around the World in 90 Minutes: What’s New in the World of Debt Collection,” The Conference on Consumer Finance Law’s Consumer Financial Services Conference, October 21, 2022
- Speaker, “The Eleventh Commandment: Thou Shalt Move to Compel Arbitration,” National Creditors’ Bar Association Spring Conference, May 5, 2022
- Co-Presenter, “Creditors' Rights: Contested Consumer Trials & Appellate Practice,” National Creditors Bar Association, Legal Learning Webinar, March 30, 2022
- Presenter, “CCP § 98 Declarations: Can You Still Use Them After Meza?,” California Creditors’ Bar Association Conference, August 3, 2019
- Speaker, “TCPA Update,” National Creditors’ Bar Association Spring Conference, May 2019
- Client Presentations, “Issues in Automobile Financing in California” and “Overview of The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018,” Summer 2019