Brett D. Watson
Brett D. Watson is a partner of the firm. Mr. Watson specializes in representing financial institutions, lenders and employers in business and employment litigation matters before state and federal courts and arbitration panels. Mr. Watson litigates cases involving the full spectrum of retail financial products, including credit and charge card disputes, pre-paid and debit card disputes, checking-related disputes such as embezzlement and/or forged or unauthorized endorsements, Commercial Code Article 3 and Article 4 matters, merchant disputes, privacy and/or identity theft disputes, bankruptcy-related litigation including preference and avoidance actions, wrongful foreclosure, § 17200 matters and complex business disputes.
Mr. Watson also has specialized expertise in representing both direct and indirect lenders in automobile financing disputes, claims for wrongful vehicle repossession, and dealership derivative lawsuits including FTC holder rule disputes.
Mr. Watson also frequently defends claims against businesses, creditors, servicers and collection agencies alleging violations of federal and state consumer protection statutes, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA), Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), California’s Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (RFDCPA), Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Rees-Levering Automobile Sales Finance Act (ASFA), California Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA), Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).
Mr. Watson also maintains a robust employment litigation practice, advising and defending employers regarding both statutory and common law harassment, discrimination, retaliation and other employment-related claims. Employers in California face unique and difficult employment challenges, and Mr. Watson’s expertise in this area allows him to advise on the hiring and firing of employees, wage and hour compliance, and insurance coverage issues.
Mr. Watson is also the California litigation editor for CARLAW, a monthly, multi-faceted, legal reporter used by automobile lessors, finance companies and companies that service the automobile industry.
Mr. Watson received his Juris Doctorate degree magna cum laude from Pepperdine University School of Law where he was a member of the Pepperdine Law Review. He received his Bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University, San Bernardino.
Honors & Awards
Mr. Watson has been included on the list of Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Mr. Watson is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of California and the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
Articles & Publications
- The First Line of Defense to Preventing Employee Embezzlement, The Los Angeles Daily Journal (March 31, 2011).
- Defending Card Issuers Against Employee Embezzlement Claims, ABA Banking Journal (January 20, 2012).
- Routinely obtains defense rulings on behalf of banks and charge card issuers involving claims of embezzlement through check forgery and/or charge card usage, and has authored two articles on the subject.
- Obtained a dismissal (affirmed on appeal) following a ruling on an anti-SLAPP motion in favor of a major charge card issuer in a multi-million dollar case where the Court found that the bank’s activity was protected.
- Obtained summary judgment (affirmed on appeal) in favor of a major national bank in a multi-million dollar breach of contract case involving passbooks and certificates of deposit.
- Successfully defended a multi-million dollar lawsuit brought by cardmember against credit card issuer alleging wrongful cancellation of credit cards and asserting damages to business resulting therefrom.
- Routinely obtains dismissals of FDCPA and FCRA claims at the pleading stage on behalf of various creditors.
- Obtained a successful judgment against a sham local business owner infringing upon a national retailer’s trademarks.