John is Co-Chair of the firm's Commercial Litigation Practice Group and represents banks, finance companies, insurance companies, leasing companies and real estate developers in courts and arbitration proceedings across the country. Over the course of his career, Mr. Houlihan has developed particular expertise in credit card and mortgage product litigation. Within the past five years, John has defended financial institutions in consumer class actions involving alleged violations of consumer protection and unfair business practices statues in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, California, Maryland, New Hampshire and New York. John is the editor of Massachusetts Discovery Practice, a comprehensive two-volume treatise on discovery under the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure.
•Following a Fourth Circuit victory on the issue of whether filing an answer and engaging in limited discovery activities resulted in a waiver of an arbitration provision, a team of Edwards Wildman attorneys lead by John obtained a favorable non-class settlement of a putative class action pending in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland in which the plaintiff asserted claims under Maryland's Credit Grantor Closed End Credit Act and Consumer Debt Collection Act as well as related common law claims arising in connection with an alleged policy requiring the inclusion of additional products as a requirement of a finance company's agreement to take an assignment of a consumer installment sales contract.
•John currently leads a team of attorneys representing a financial institution in a Massachusetts State Court action in which the plaintiff alleges violations of the Massachusetts Securities Act in connection with the alleged sale of residential mortgage backed securities.
•John currently leads a team of attorneys representing a counterparty in a derivatives rate swap dispute.
•Last year a team of attorneys lead by John obtained a favorable non-class based settlement of a putative class action pending in the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island in which the plaintiffs asserted violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.
•A team of attorneys lead by John recently achieved a favorable non-class settlement of a putative Massachusetts class action in which the plaintiffs alleged violations of Massachusetts' Retail Installment Sales Act and the Uniform Commercial Code, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 106 9-614 and 9-616 in connection with the calculation of debtor balances following the post-repossession sale of collateral.
•John lead a team of attorneys that obtained a summary judgment order dismissing claims asserted in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio for breach of contract, fraud and violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act in connection with floor plan financing provided to an Ohio automobile dealership.
•John was part of a team of attorneys that represented a government authority in three related cases that arose in connection with the construction of a commuter rail system in which the authority defended claims for delay and extra work in excess of $200 million. All three cases ultimately settled on a favorable basis.
•John was part of a team of attorneys that negotiated and obtained a favorable settlement of a putative New York class action in which the plaintiff alleged violation of New York's consumer protection statute and breach of common law obligations in connection with the alleged failure to estimate fairly the anticipated fees and expenses associated with residential real estate transactions. The case settled after the defendant successfully moved to strike the plaintiffs' class claims.
•John negotiated the favorable settlement of claims asserted against a national financial institution relating to a dispute concerning the proper allocation of losses arising as a result of a data uploading error in a supplier early payment program. The case settled after a motion to strike portions of an expert's report put the plaintiff's ability to establish the bulk of its damage claim in jeopardy.
•John lead a team of attorneys that obtained the dismissal of both a Massachusetts and a California federal court class action challenge to the manner in which credit card companies adjust the applicable rate of interest charged on credit card accounts and successfully defended the Massachusetts judgment in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
•John obtained summary judgment in a New Hampshire federal court action on behalf of an ERISA health and welfare benefit plan charged with wrongfully denying benefits to a plan participant.
•John obtained a favorable settlement of claims for breach of a purchase and sale agreement and a servicing agreement that arose in connection with the sale of $109 million portfolio of credit card receivables.
•John lead a team of attorneys in the representation of a bank holding company and its affiliates in related Delaware Chancery Court and Rhode Island Superior Court actions concerning alleged breaches of contract and business torts arising in connection with the transfer of a $12 billion credit card portfolio. Our client prevailed on three separate motions for partial summary judgment and at the three week trial of the remaining claims, all of which resulted in a judgment that, after deducting conceded offsets, exceeded $63 million.
•John obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of a financial institution in a Pennsylvania federal court ERISA action in which former employees alleged that they were wrongfully denied severance benefits.
•After obtaining a partial summary judgment for the leasing subsidiary of a financial institution in a Massachusetts state court action, which resulted in the dismissal of the Lessee's claims concerning the end-of-lease purchase of liquefied natural gas storage facilities, John successfully mediated his client's claims by achieving the execution of a lease extension agreement with a present value that exceeded the Lessee's original settlement offer by more than 770%.
•John obtained summary judgment on behalf of an ERISA plan participate in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts in connection with his efforts to obtain benefits due under ERISA Top Hat Plan.
•John successfully defended a financial institution in a Rhode Island federal court action in which the plaintiff alleged violations of the Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act and the Bulk Transfer Act as well as common law fraud. The Court's directed verdict in favor of John's client was upheld on appeal to the First Circuit.
•John has successfully negotiated favorable settlements of multiple New Hampshire and Maryland consumer class action claims asserting violations of state statutes governing the installment sale of automobiles.
Besides Edwards Wildman
John enjoys spending time with his wife, Jennifer, and their five children. He is an avid fly fisherman, upland bird hunter and downhill skier.
First Circuit Affirmed the Trial Court's Dismissal of the Regulation CC Claim Against Client Bank
In April 2012, the First Circuit Court Appeals (with retired Supreme Court Justice Souter sitting) affirmed the ruling of the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts on behalf our client bank, dismissing the plaintiff's claim alleging violation of Regulation CC enacted under the Expedited Funds Availability Act and common law negligence.
ERISA Overview Seminar
October 2, 2013 event
ERISA Overview - Complimentary Seminar
October 2, 2013 event
What the Contract Should ... or Should Not ... Say About Dispute Resolution
June 12,2013 event
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Investigates Auto Financing Discrimination Digilaw Blog
March 8, 2013 publication
Edwards Wildman Client Advisory - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Investigates Auto Financing Discrimination
March 2013 publication
Edwards Wildman Client Advisory: Recent D.C. Circuit Opinion Holding President Obama's Recess Appointments to the NLRB Unconstitutional Could Impact the Regulatory Powers of the CFPB
January 2013 publication
THE SUBPRIME LENDING CRISIS: The Legal Fallout
December 2007 publication
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act Volume 2: State Privacy Initiatives
7th National Advanced Forum on Consumer Finance Class Actions & Litigation
January 29, 2008 - January 30, 2008 event
Edwards Wildman's John Houlihan Analyzes ERISA Class-Action Litigation in Employee Benefit Adviser Article
December 4, 2012 news
Edwards Wildman Represents Santander Consumer USA in Favorable Fourth Circuit Ruling, Reports Law360
December 3, 2012 news
Edwards Wildman's John Houlihan and Colin O'Donovan Write Article on Proposed Rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Inside Counsel
October 30, 2012 news
Edwards Wildman's John Houlihan and Elizabeth Kelly Examine UDAAP Provision in Dodd-Frank in Inside Counsel Article
October 12, 2012 news
'Guide to the World's Leading Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyers' Lists 13 EAPD Attorneys (US, UK and Hong Kong)
September 18, 2009 news