Navajo Nation Sues Wells Fargo

Among the populations targeted by Wells Fargo were the tribe’s elders — some of whom do not speak English well. They were purposely confused and deceived into purchasing products to help employees meet banking quotas. Wells Fargo went so far as to attend community events, like flea markets and basketball games, in an attempt to sign Navajo people up for unnecessary accounts en masse—all to meet its sales targets. These practices were particularly harmful because Wells Fargo, in some cases, is the only banking option for residents.

“Wells Fargo’s targeted exploitation of the most vulnerable Navajo communities reflects an even darker and more insidious side to Wells Fargo profiteering schemes that have been unearthed to date.  Wells Fargo deceived the Navajo people and lied to their government, subverting the government’s ability to represent the legitimate interests of the Tribe,” said attorney John Hueston.

“Wells Fargo’s exploitation of its customers has been well documented,” said President Russell Begaye. “But even so, Wells Fargo’s actions toward the Navajo people have been of a uniquely outrageous nature.”

Attorney General Ethel Branch said, “Wells Fargo must be held accountable for its unfair and unlawful practices directed toward the Navajo people. Among their other despicable acts, the bank specifically targeted our most vulnerable population – our elders.”

The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico.

The Hueston Hennigan team includes John C. Hueston,  Moez M. Kaba, Leanne Vanecek, Stephen Richards  and Selena Galaviz.

 

Moez Kaba Talks Diversity with Benchmark Litigation

Benchmark Q & A with Moez Kaba

Moez Kaba is the youngest partner at one of the country’s premier trial boutiques, Hueston Hennigan, a Los Angeles-based shop formed by a group of former Irell & Manella commercial litigation partners. The firm has earned considerable traction in the legal community via some high-stakes and high-profile appointments. Kaba, a co-founder of the firm, reflects both the firm’s approach as well as the cultural and generational shift in the US litigation landscape. In this Q&A with Benchmark’s Michael Rafalowich, he discusses these issues at length. Continue reading “Moez Kaba Talks Diversity with Benchmark Litigation”

Hueston Hennigan Reports Interference with State Audit

Her approval of a plan in which top aides would preview campus administrators’ confidential survey responses “reflected poor judgment and set in motion a course of conduct that the Board of Regents finds unacceptable,” board chairman George Kieffer said in a statement after the regents met behind closed doors for nearly five hours.

But the regents quickly and unanimously agreed to support Napolitano’s continued leadership, Kieffer said after the meeting.

The regents asked Napolitano to acknowledge responsibility and apologize, which she did in her own statement right after Kieffer read his. Later, she reiterated that she “exhibited poor judgment in approving an ill-advised approach” to the state audit and “deeply regret this mistake.”

The regents, meeting in San Francisco, were responding to an independent investigation that found Napolitano’s top aides had sought to suppress campus criticism of the central office in confidential surveys from State Auditor Elaine Howle.

Napolitano approved a plan to review the surveys about her office’s operations and services before they were sent back to the auditor.

After Howle publicly alleged that Napolitano’s office improperly interfered, the regents commissioned the investigation by former state Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno and the Hueston Hennigan law firm. The investigation found that Napolitano’s chief of staff, Seth Grossman, and deputy chief of staff, Bernie Jones, had pre-screened campus responses “with the specific purpose of shaping the responses to be less critical of” the UC Office of the President.

In a conference call with campus administrators, the aides said the surveys were “not the time and place to air dirty laundry,” and they also tried to hide their interference from the auditor, the investigation determined.

Click here to read more.

Alec Baldwin Settles Art Fraud Case

Mr. Baldwin sued Boone in September 2016 in the New York Supreme Court, after discovering that she had delivered a freshly-painted facsimile of a painting to him instead of the original, authentic work he agreed to purchase. Mr. Baldwin had paid Boone $190,000 for a painting by noted contemporary artist Ross Bleckner, but became suspicious after the piece he received appeared brighter and smelled of fresh paint. Instead of revealing that the painting was a copy by Mr. Bleckner, Boone attempted to deceive him. She alleged she had had the painting cleaned as a courtesy.

The settlement, which also includes additional works of art by Bleckner, was reached after Hueston Hennigan undertook aggressive pre-trial discovery and prepared for trial, which was set for 2018.

Representing Alec Baldwin were John Hueston, Moez Kaba and Steven Feldman.

News Coverage:

Law360

New York Times

Daily Journal

 

 

Judge Tosses Kmart Trademark Suit

Acting on a motion for summary judgment filed by Hueston Hennigan, U.S. District Court Judge William H. Orrick held that although courts “sparingly grant summary judgment in trademark cases because they are so fact-intensive,” the evidence here tilted so heavily in favor of the defendants as to make summary judgment appropriate.

“There is no evidence that consumers are likely to believe that Risewear was either the source or sponsor of Rise Basketball’s goods, and no plausible reason to think that such evidence exists,” the judge wrote.

Kmart, Sears, and Risewear were represented by Robert N. Klieger and Tristan Favro.

Click here for news coverage in Law360.

 

Two Hueston Hennigan Partners Named to Daily Journal Top 100

Mr. Hueston was recognized for a string of successful trial results. These include work for the California State Bar and T-Mobile USA, as well as for his leadership at the helm of the firm. Mr. Hueston noted that he and the partnership are particularly gratified with the performance of the associates. Every lawyer at the firm participated in a trial in the past year.

The Daily Journal recognized Mr. Kaba’s successful trial work and courtroom advocacy.  Mr Kaba’s work on IMDb’s ongoing free speech suit seeking to block a California law requiring the website to remove actors’ birth dates was noted, as well as his role as trial counsel, with Mr. Hueston, for Valeant Pharmaceuticals, a defendant in a high-profile complex securities suit.

Click here to read the profile of Mr. Hueston.

Click here to read the profile of Mr. Kaba.

National Law Journal Names John Hueston 2017 Elite Boutique Trailblazer

Partner John Hueston has been named to the National Law Journal’s (NLJ) list of “Elite Boutique Trailblazers.” According to the NLJ, honorees were selected for “a deep passion and perseverance in pursuit of their mission, having achieved remarkable successes along the way.”

Continue reading “National Law Journal Names John Hueston 2017 Elite Boutique Trailblazer”

Three Partners Named in Best Lawyers 2018

From Best LawyersBest Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. 83,000 industry leading attorneys are eligible to vote (from around the world), and we have received almost 10 million evaluations on the legal abilities of other lawyers based on their specific practice areas around the world. For the 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, 7.4 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in more than 58,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.