Brett L. Messinger concentrates his practice in the areas of international and commercial litigation; banking litigation and law; consumer class actions; actions under the Truth-In-Lending Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Debt Collection Law; insurance defense and coverage; international and domestic cargo claims; and product liability. He also provides compliance opinions to the banking and title insurance industries in regard to the Truth-In-Lending Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, and related federal and state law. Mr. Messinger is engaged in a national banking litigation practice, often handling cases and appearing in court throughout the United States, and he has developed large practices involving assisting foreign litigants in transferring and domesticating foreign judgments to the United States.
Mr. Messinger has appeared in cases throughout the country. In addition to appearing frequently in the jurisdictions to which he is admitted, he has been admitted pro hac vice and successfully litigated cases in various jurisdictions, including Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin.
Mr. Messinger serves as counsel to a national debt buyer in numerous cases throughout the United States involving claims made under state and federal consumer laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Debt Collection law. In addition, he has counseled various companies seeking advice in developing products for compliance with banking laws, including the Truth in Lending Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, as well as other state and federal laws.
Mr. Messinger has represented insurance carriers in mass products liability litigation. He has also litigated on behalf of insurance carriers in various cases involving the interpretation of automobile insurance policies under Pennsylvania law.
As counsel to a large multinational air cargo carrier, Mr. Messinger has litigated matters involving interpretation of federal common law, the Warsaw Convention, Montreal Protocol 4 and the Airline Deregulation Act. He also assisted companies in Asia, Europe and Central America in the transfer and collection of foreign judgments in the United States.
Admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, Mr. Messinger is a 1991 graduate of Widener University School of Law and a graduate of the University of Delaware.
Areas of Practice
· International and commercial litigation, lender litigation and liability, predatory lending claims, banking law, federal and state consumer class and individual actions, including actions under the Truth-In-Lending Act, the Fair Debt Collection law and the Fair Credit Reporting Act, insurance defense and coverage, title claims, international and domestic cargo claims, and product liability.
· Obtained a verdict in favor of JPMorgan Chase Bank (Chase) following a bench trial of a foreclosure action. The court rejected the homeowner's assertion that the reinstatement of his mortgage by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency operated to modify his mortgage and found him in default.
· Obtained an order from the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon granting summary judgment for a mortgage bank in a wrongful foreclosure action brought by an individual who had refused to convert her loan to permanent financing after the bank ceased offering one-time-close loans. Lannaghan v. First Horizon Home Loans, a division of First Tennessee Bank National Association, Civ. No. 10-6156-AA, 2011 US Dist. LEXIS 83761 (D. Ore. 2011).
· Obtained a decision from a trial court that a client's confessed judgment against the home of a couple to whom he lent approximately $1 million was valid and superior to second mortgage the couple had taken out on the property. Settled the matter for a confidential sum shortly thereafter.
· Obtained a defense verdict in favor of JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. (JPMC) following a two-day bench trial in an action to quiet title to a residential investment property. Established that JPMC had sent the plaintiff a proposed loan-modification agreement more than one month before the sale, but that the plaintiff did not comply with the agreement's terms by sending back both the initial payment and the signed agreement.
· Litigated to conclusion an insurance coverage case in which the insured sought to recoup from the client insurance company the amount it paid to settle the underlying securities class action. The court held that there was no coverage under the directors' and officers' policy for the return of ill-gotten gains. CNL Hotels & Resorts v. Twin City Fire Ins. Co., 291 Fed. Appx. 220 (11th Cir. 2008).
· Litigated to conclusion allegations that a life insurance company issued a credit life insurance product in violation of the Truth in Lending Act and other state and federal laws. Class certification was denied, and class representative was unable to obtain a verdict at the trial of her individual claims. Porter v. NationsCredit Consumer Discount Co., 285 Fed. Appx. 871 (3d Cir. 2008).
· Admitted pro hac vice to act as lead counsel to a mortgage company in an action brought by a loan applicant who alleged that the company violated Fair Credit Reporting Act by accessing her credit report on multiple occasions, thereby causing her credit score to drop. After the company moved for summary judgment, the case was referred to mediation, where it settled for a minimal amount.
· Defended a U.K.-based cosmetics manufacturer against a suit for interference with business opportunities brought in New York state court by a cosmetics distributor located in New York and Germany. The case settled for the payment of $1 and the creation of an ongoing business relationship between the companies, resulting in profits to all involved.
· Represented small English corporation that developed, invented and manufactured a chemical generator in its sale to a large U.S.-based corporation. As a result of the sale, the shareholders of the English corporation were paid a large sum for their stock and were made employees of the purchasing corporation.
· Represented a U.S. family who invested more than $4 million in a mortgage-related Ponzi scheme formed by four citizens of England. Brought suit and obtained an $8.3 million judgment against the defendants.
· Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2014-present
- Special Counsel, 2008-2013
- Associate, 1998-2008
· Raeder & DeRespino, P.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Voorhees, New Jersey
- Associate, 1997-1998
· Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Camden, New Jersey
- Associate, 1995-1997
· Mannino Griffith, P.C., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Associate, 1992-1995
· Law Offices of M.W. Pinsky, Esquire, Westmont, New Jersey
- Associate, 1991-1992
Honors and Awards
· Law Review, Note and Comment Editor, The Delaware Journal of Corporate Law
Civic and Charitable Activities
· Youth Coach, Cherry Hill Football Club (1998-present)
· Mr. Messinger can be found frequently on the soccer pitch, currently playing winger and striker for Gibbsboro Grays (South Jersey Masters Soccer League).
· Publications and Speaking Engagements
· Co-author, "Revised Common Level Ratio for Philadelphia May Entitle Certain Taxpayers to a Refund," Duane Morris Alert, February 20, 2013
· Co-author, "Pa. Appellate Court Issues Opinion in Dietz v. Chase Home Finance, LLC, Clarifying Preemption of State Common Law Claims by Fair Credit Reporting Act," Duane Morris Alert, April 16, 2012
· Brett L. Messinger and Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, "Book Review, R.A. Brand & S.R. Jablonski Forum Non Conveniens: History, Global Practice, and Future Under the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements," Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, March 2009
Selected Speaking Engagements
· Radio Appearance, " Real Estate Talk With Willie Lambright," October 31, 2013
· Radio Appearance, " Real Estate Talk With Willie Lambright," September 19, 2013
· Radio Appearance, " Real Estate Talk With Willie Lambright," August 22, 2013