James A. Francis Consumer Protection Attorney at Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C.

James A. Francis

1-877-735-8600

1-215-940-8000

jfrancis@consumerlawfirm.com



Biography

JIM FRANCIS co-founded Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C. in 1998 with the goal of creating a law firm dedicated exclusively to consumer rights litigation. Since then, he and the firm have consistently achieved ground-breaking results and cutting-edge legal rulings. He was trial and appellate counsel in Ramirez v. Trans Union, LLC, a case that obtained a record $60 million dollar verdict for a case brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In 2009, Jim argued the seminal FCRA case of Cortez v. Trans Union, LLC before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. He has been appointed to serve as class counsel by federal courts all over the country in over 60 cases.

In 2004, Jim was the youngest lawyer to be ranked a Top 100 Superlawyer in Pennsylvania in Philadelphia Magazine and Pennsylvania Super Lawyers magazine. He has been ranked in the Top 100 for Pennsylvania or Philadelphia many times since. In 2014, Jim was selected as one of a small group of national plaintiffs’ lawyers to be profiled in Law 360’s Titans of the Plaintiff’s Bar series. In the same year, he was awarded the Equal Justice Award by Community Legal Services of Philadelphia.

Jim regularly lectures for continuing legal education programs, law schools and community groups throughout the country, and has been a regular speaker for the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) and National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) for over 20 years. He has appeared on various news programs including the Today Show and PBS NewsHour to discuss consumer-related issues. He was featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer’s biographical “Question & Answer” segment in February of 2009.

Prior to forming Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C. and after graduating from law school, Jim was an associate with Kolsby, Gordon, Robin, Shore & Rothweiler in Philadelphia.

Jim currently serves on the Board of Directors of NACA.

Education

Temple University Beasley School of Law, J.D. 1995, President-Student Bar Association, 1995 Wapner, Newman & Wigrizer, P.C. award for excellence in civil trial advocacy; award for outstanding Oral Advocacy;

Muhlenberg College, B.A., cum laude, 1992

Admissions

  • Pennsylvania and New Jersey state courts
  • United States Courts of Appeal for the Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits
  • United States District Courts for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Middle District of Pennsylvania, District of New Jersey, Eastern District of Michigan, Northern District of Oklahoma
  • Ramirez v. Trans Union, LLC, 951 F.3d 1008 (9th Cir. 2020). Served as trial counsel in record $60 million jury verdict for a case brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act; argued appeal against former Solicitor General of the United States affirming verdict (with remittitur).
  • Robinson v. National Student Clearinghouse, No:1-19-cv-10749 (D. Mass. 2019). In first case challenging the defendant as a consumer reporting agency, obtained $2 million dollar settlement for consumers who were overcharged for college verifications and brought company into FCRA compliance
  • Patel v. Trans Union, LLC, 2018 WL 1258194 (N.D. Cal. March 11, 2018). Served as lead Class Counsel in case which obtained an $8 million dollar settlement for class of consumers who were falsely being reported as terrorists.
  • Thomas v. Equifax Info. Services, LLC, No. 18-cv-684 (E.D. Va.). National Class Counsel in FCRA class action, alleging violations by credit bureau for misreporting public records, providing nationwide resolution of class action claims asserted across multiple jurisdictions, including injunctive relief, and an uncapped mediation program for millions of consumers.
  • Clark v. Experian Info. Sols., Inc., No. 16-cv-32 (E.D. Va.). National Class Counsel in FCRA class action, alleging violations by credit bureau for misreporting public records, providing a nationwide resolution of class action claims asserted by 32 plaintiffs in 16 jurisdictions, including injunctive relief and an uncapped mediation program, for millions of consumers.
  • Clark/Anderson v. Trans Union, LLC, No. 15-cv-391 & No. 16-cv-558 (E.D. Va.). National Class Counsel in FCRA consolidated class action, alleging violations by credit bureau for misreporting public records, providing groundbreaking injunctive relief, and an opportunity to recover monetary relief, for millions of consumers.
  • In Re: TRS Recovery Services, Inc. And Telecheck Services, Inc., Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA Litigation)- Served as Class Counsel in a national FDCPA classaction and obtained a 3.4-million-dollar settlement against one of the nation's largest check history consumer reporting agencies.
  • Berry v. LexisNexis Risk & Info. Analytics Group, Inc., No. 3:11-cv-754, 2014 WL 4403524, at *11 (E.D. Va. Sept. 5, 2014) -- Appointed class counsel in national FCRA class action that obtained a $13.5-million-dollar settlement against Lexis/Nexis, one of the largest information providers in the world, along with a groundbreaking injunctive relief settlement on behalf of 200 million Americans in which LexisNexis agreed to bring its Accurint product into FCRA compliance.
  • Thomas v. BackgroundChecks.com, C.A. No. 13-029 (E.D. Va. Aug. 11, 2015) –Appointed class counsel in an FCRA national class action which obtained $18 million against another of the largest background screening companies in the world, and also obtained significant injunctive and remedial relief.
  • Henderson v. Acxiom Risk Mitigation, Inc., C.A. No. 12-589 (E.D. Va., Aug. 7, 2015)- Appointed class counsel in a national FCRA class action which obtained a $20.8 million settlement against one of the largest data sellers and background screening companies in the world.
  • Ryals et al. v. Hireright Solutions, Inc., C.A. No. 3:09cv625 (E.D. Va. Dec. 22, 2011) – $28.3 million national settlement achieved for class of consumers subjected to employment background checks in case brought under Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA); believed to be the third largest FCRA settlement in history.
  • Cortez v. Trans Union, LLC, 617 F.3d 688 (3d. Cir. 2010) – argued precedential case of first impression before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit which outlines the liability, causation and damages standards for FCRA cases against credit reporting agencies; $800,000 jury verdict against Trans Union in fair credit reporting case (remitted to $150,000).
  • Little v. Kia Motors America, Inc., 2003 WL 25568765 (N.J. Super. L. 2003) – $6 million (approximate) verdict for class of New Jersey car purchasers.
  • Samuel-Bassett v. Kia Motors America, Inc., __ A.3d __, 2011 WL 60559098 (Pa. 2011), C.P. Phila. County, January Term, 2001, No. 2199 – $5.6 million verdict for class of Pennsylvania car purchasers, plus award of attorney’s fees.
  • Serrano v. Sterling Testing Systems, Inc., __ F. Supp. 2d __, 2008 WL 2223007 (E.D. Pa. May 30, 2008) – federal court finding as a matter of first impression what defines a record of arrest under the FCRA.
  • Ziegenfuse v. Apex Asset Management, LLC, 239 F.R.D. 400 (E.D. Pa. 2006) – obtained court decision holding that offers of judgment under Rule 68 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure cannot be used in class actions.
  • Stoner v. CBA Information Services, 352 F. Supp. 2d 549 (E.D. Pa. 2005) – obtained $772,500 settlement for class of consumers who disputed errors in their credit reports.
  • Richburg v. Palisades Collection, LLC, 247 F.R.D. 457 (E.D. Pa. 2008); federal court ruled that actions to collect delinquent credit card debt in Pennsylvania subject to 4 year statute of limitations (not 6 as the defendant collection agency had argued).
  • Perry v. FleetBoston Financial Corp., 2004 WL 1508518 (E.D. Pa. 2004) – defeated motion to compel arbitration in class action brought under Fair Credit Reporting Act.
  • Crane v. Trans Union, LLC, 282 F. Supp. 2d 311 (E.D. Pa. 2003) – federal court held that credit reporting agencies that merely parrot information from credit furnishers and fail to forward dispute documentation face claims for punitive damages under the Fair Credit Reporting Act; violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act presents a violation of Pennsylvania’s Consumer Protection Law).
  • Lawrence v. Trans Union, LLC, 296 F. Supp. 2d 582 (E.D. Pa. 2003) (same).
  • Wisneski v. Nationwide Collections, Inc., 227 F.R.D. 259 (E.D. Pa. 2004) – obtained class certification in Fair Debt Collection Practices action in which a Pennsylvania federal court held for the first time that statutory net worth limitation is not limited to balance sheet net worth, and includes equity, capital stock and goodwill.
  • Evantash v. G.E. Capital Mortgage Services, Inc., 2003 WL 22844198 (E.D. Pa. 2003) – federal court held that technical accuracy defense was not available to defendants under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
  • Sheffer v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc., 2003 WL 21710573 (E.D. Pa. 2003) – federal court held that Fair Credit Reporting Act permits as recoverable damage emotional distress in trying to correct errors in a consumer’s credit file, even where no pecuniary or out-of-pocket losses.
  • Sheffer v. Experian Information Solutions Inc., 249 F. Supp. 2d 560 (E.D. Pa. 2003) – federal court held that FCRA provides a private right of action against furnishers of information.
  • Sullivan v. Equifax, Inc. et al., 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7884 (E.D. Pa. 2002) – federal court held that reporting a debt to a credit reporting agency is a communication covered by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
  • Wenrich v. Cole, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18687 (E.D. Pa. 2000) – federal court held that FDCPA provides protection for all persons, not just consumers.
  • Jaramillo v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc., 155 F. Supp. 2d 356 (E.D. Pa. 2001) – federal court held that single publication rule does not apply to actions brought for violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Norman v. Trans Union, LLC, C.A. 18-5225, 2020 WL 4735538 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 14, 2020)

Robinson v. National Student Clearinghouse, No:1-19-cv-10749 (D. Mass. 2019)

Leo v. APPFOLIO, Inc., No.3:17-cv-05771-RJB (W.D. Wash. 2019)

Thomas v. Equifax Info. Services, LLC, No. 18-cv-684 (E.D. Va. 2020)

Clark v. Experian Info. Sols., Inc., No. 16-cv-32 (E.D. Va. 2019)

Clark/Anderson v. Trans Union, LLC, No. 15-cv-391 & No. 16-cv-558 (E.D. Va. 2018)

Gibbons v. Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., LPA, 2018 WL 5720749 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 31, 2018)

Kelly v. Business Information Group, C.A. 15-6668, 2019 WL 414915 (E.D. Pa. 2019)

Carter v. McDonald’s Restaurants, 15-01531-MWF (March 15, 2015)

Ridenour v. Multi-Color Corporation, C.A. No. 2:15-cv-00041, (E.D. Va., Jan. 13, 2017)

Flores v. Express Personnel, C.A. No. 14-cv-03298, (E.D. Pa. Oct. 21, 2016)

Larson v. Trans Union, LLC, C.A. No. 12-cv-05726, (N.D. CA, Aug. 11, 2016)

Miller v. Trans Union, LLC, C.A. No. 12-cv-1715, (M.D. PA, Dec. 26, 2016)

Henderson v. Trans Union, LLC, C.A. No. 14-cv-00679, E.D. Va., May 3, 2016)

Pawlowski v. United Tranzactions, LLC, C.A. no. 15-cv-2330, (E.D. PA, April 18, 2016)

Rodriguez v. Calvin Klein, Inc., C.A. 1:15-cv-02590 (S.D. N.Y. 2015)

Giddiens v. Infinity Staffing, C.A. No. 13-cv-07115, (E.D. Pa., Jan. 12, 2016)

Giddiens v. First Advantage, C.A. No. 14-cv-5105, (E.D. Pa., July 11, 2015)

Jones v. Halstead Management Corporation, C.A. No. 14-cv-03125 (S.D. N.Y., May 5, 2016)

Berry v. LexisNexis Risk & Info. Analytics Group, Inc., No. 3:11-cv-754, 2014 WL 4403524 (E.D. Va. Sept. 5, 2014)

Thomas v. BackgroundChecks.com, C.A. No. 13-029 2015 WL 11004870 (E.D. Va. Aug. 5, 2015)

Henderson v. Acxiom Risk Mitigation, Inc., C.A. No. 12-589 (E.D. Va., Aug. 7, 2015)

Magallon v. Robert Half International, Inc. WL 8778398 (D. Or. Nov. 10, 2015)

Patel v. Trans Union, LLC, 308 F.R.D. 292 (N.D. Cal, 2014)

Goode v. First Advantage LNS Screening Solutions, Inc., C.A. No. 11-cv-02950 (E.D. Pa. Dec. 29, 2014)

Blandina v. Midland Funding, LLC, 2014 WL 7338744 (E.D. Pa. Dec. 23, 2014)

King v. General Information Services, Inc., C.A. No. 11-06850 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 4, 2014)

Robinson v. General Information Services, Inc., C.A. No. 11-07782 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 4, 2014)

Ramirez v. Trans Union, LLC, 2014 WL 3734525 (N.D. Cal. July 24, 2014)

White v. Experian Information Solutions, 993 F. Supp. 2d 1154, 1172 (C.D. Ca. 2014)

Sapp v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc., 2:10-04312 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 29, 2013)

LaRocque v. TRS Recovery Services, Inc., 2012 WL 291191 (D. Me. July 17, 2012)

Ryals et al. v. Hireright Solutions, Inc., C.A. No. 3:09-625 (E.D. Va. July 7, 2011)

Serrano v. Sterling Testing Systems, Inc., 711 F. Supp. 2d 402 (E.D. Pa. 2010)

Summerfield v. Equifax Information Services, LCC, 264 F.R.D. 133 (D. N.J. 2009)

Chakejian v. Equifax Information Services, LLC, 256 F.R.D. 492 (E.D. Pa. 2009)

Jones v. Midland Funding, LLC, C.A. No. 3:08-802 (RNC) (D. Conn. October 13, 2009)

Barel v. Bank of America, 255 F.R.D. 393 (E.D. Pa. 2009)

Mann v. Verizon, C.A. No. 06-5370 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 26, 2008)

Smith v. Grayling Corp., 2008 WL 3861286, C.A. No. 07-1905 (E.D. Pa. 2008)

Strausser v. ACB Receivables Management, Inc., 2008 WL 859224 (E.D. Pa. March 28, 2008)

Nienaber v. Citibank (South Dakota), N.A., 2007 WL 2003761 (D.S.D. July 5, 2007)

Jordan v. Commonwealth Financial Systems, Inc., 237 F.R.D. 132, (E.D. Pa. 2006)

Marino v. UDR, 2006 WL 1687026, C.A. No. 05-2268 (E.D. Pa. June 14, 2006)

Seawell v. Universal Fidelity Corp, 235 F.R.D. 64 (E.D. Pa. 2006)

Perry v. FleetBoston Financial Corp., 229 F.R.D.105 (E.D. Pa. 2005)

Beck v. Maximus, Inc., 2005 WL 589749 (E.D. Pa. 2005)

Beck v. Maximus, 457 F. 3d 291, 2006 WL 2193603 (3d Cir. Aug. 4, 2006)

Stoner v. CBA Information Services, 352 F. Supp. 2d 549 (E.D. Pa. 2005)

Bittner v. Trans Union, LLC, C.A. No. 04-2562 (E.D. Pa. January 4, 2005)

Wisneski v. Nationwide Collections, Inc., 227 F.R.D. 259 (E.D. Pa. 2004)

Petrolito v. Arrow Financial Services, LLC, 221 F.R.D. 303 (D. Conn. 2004)

Orloff v. Syndicated Office Systems, Inc., 2004 WL 870691 (E.D. Pa 2004)

Bonett v. Education Debt Services, Inc., 2003 WL 21658267 (E.D. Pa. 2003)

Gaumer v. The Bon-Ton Stores, C.A. No. 02-8611 (E.D. Pa. Dec. 30, 2003)

Street v. Portfolio Recovery Associates, C.A. No. 01-3684 (E.D. Pa. July 30, 2003)

Samuel-Bassett v. Kia Motors America, Inc., 212 F.R.D. 271 (E.D. Pa. 2000)

Oslan v. Law Offices of Mitchell N. Kay, 232 F. Supp. 2d 436 (E.D. Pa. 2002)

Oslan v. Collection Bureau of Hudson Valley, 206 F.R.D. 109 (E.D. Pa. 2002)

Saunders v. Berks Credit & Collections, 2002 WL 1497374 (E.D. Pa. 2002)

Schilling v. Let’s Talk Cellular and Wireless, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3352 (E.D. Pa. 2002)

Fry v. Hayt, Hayt and Landau, 198 F.R.D. 461 (E.D. Pa. 2000)

Smith v. First Union Mortgage Corporation, 1999 WL 509967 (E.D. Pa. 1999)

Miller v. Inovision, December Term, 1999, No. 3504 (C.P. Phila. County).

Faculty, Introduction to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Representing the Pro Bono Client: Consumer Law Basics 2020, Practising Law Institute, August 14, 2020, San Francisco, CA

Faculty, Representing the Pro Bono Client: Consumer Law Basics 2019, Practising Law Institute;

Faculty, Consumer Financial Services & Banking Law Update, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, October 29, 2019;

Faculty, Consumer Finance Class Actions, The Canadian Institute, July 24, 2019;

Faculty, Representing the Pro Bono Client: Consumer Law Basics 2019, Practising Law Institute;

Speaker, Fair Credit Reporting Act Conference, National Association of Consumer Advocates, Long Beach, CA, May 1–4, 2019;

Faculty, Judicial Scrutiny of Class Action Settlements: New Standards and Ensuring Timely Release of Attorneys’ Fees, Strafford Webinars and Publications, Tuesday, October 9, 2018;

Speaker, Fair Credit Reporting Act Conference, National Association of Consumer Advocates, Baltimore, MD, April 22-29, 2017;

Faculty, 21st Annual Consumer Financial Services Litigation Institute (CLE-accredited), "Fair Credit Reporting and Debt Collection Litigation", March and April 2016, NYC and Chicago;

Speaker, The Conference on Consumer Finance Law, Annual Consumer Financial Services Conference, Loyola University School of Law, Chicago, Illinois, September 16, 2016;

Speaker, "New Frontiers: FCRA Litigation Against Lesser Known CRAs", Consumer Rights Litigation Conference, National Consumer Law Center, Anaheim, California, October 2016;

Faculty, "Pursuing and Defending FDCPA, FCRA and TCPA Claims", Consumer Finance Class Actions, Strafford Publications, June 2, 2016;

Speaker, "Stump the Champs", Consumer Rights Litigation Conference, National Consumer Law Center, San Antonio, Texas, October 2015;

Speaker, Fair Credit Reporting Act Conference, National Association of Consumer Advocates, Las Vegas, NV May 1–3, 2015;

Co-Chair and Speaker, NACA 2013 FCRA Conference, National Association of Consumer Advocates, May 29 – June 1, 2013;

Presenter, Beyond E-Oscar: Litigating “Non-Credit” FCRA Cases, Webinar, National Association of Consumer Advocates, February 27, 2013;

Faculty, FDCPA Class Actions: Latest Litigation Developments, Strafford Webinars and Publications, November 8, 2012;

Speaker, Consumer Finance Class Actions: FCRA and FACTA: Leveraging New Developments in Certification, Damages and Preemption, Strafford Webinars and Publications, March 21, 2012;

Speaker, FCRA Developments, Consumer Rights Litigation Conference, National Consumer Law Center, Seattle, Washington, October 2012;

Speaker, 11th Consumer Class Action Symposium, National Consumer Law Center, Chicago, Illinois, November 6, 2011;

Speaker, Tenant, Employment and Chexsystems Reports, Consumer Rights Litigation Conference, National Consumer Law Center, Chicago, Illinois, November 3 – 6, 2011;

Speaker, Specialty Consumer Reports and the FCRA, FCRA Conference on Consumer Credit, National Association of Consumer Advocates, Memphis, Tennessee, May 20 – 22, 2011;

Panelist, Taking on the Challenges Facing Workers with Criminal Records: Advancing the Legal and Policy Advocacy Agenda, National Employment Law Project, Washington, D.C., April 5, 2011;

Faculty, 16th Annual Consumer Financial Services Litigation Institute (CLE-accredited), Collection Issues Including The TCPA & Hot Topics, Practicing Law Institute, New York, NY and Chicago, IL, March 2011;

Speaker, ABCs of Fair Credit Reporting, Tips on FCRA Depositions, Evolution of Credit Reporting Industries, Consumer Rights Litigation Conference, National Consumer Law Center, Boston, Massachusetts, November 11 – 14, 2010;

Faculty, Banking and Consumer Financial Services Law Update, Litigation and Arbitration Update, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, April 14, 2010;

Faculty, Deposit-Side Litigation Developments & Credit Card Developments, 14th Annual Consumer Financial Services Litigation Institute, New York, NY and Chicago, IL, March and April 2009;

Faculty, 13th Annual Consumer Financial Services Litigation Institute (CLE-accredited), Practicing Law Institute, New York, NY and Chicago, IL, January 2008, March 2008;

Speaker, Fair Credit Reporting Act Conference, National Association of Consumer Advocates, Chicago, IL May 8 – 10, 2009;

Faculty, 12th Annual Consumer Financial Services Litigation Institute (CLE-accredited), Practicing Law Institute, New York, NY, March 2007;

Faculty, Fair Credit Reporting Litigation, Consumer Protection Law (CLE-accredited), Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, PA and Mechanicsburg, PA, December 2004, March 2007;

Speaker, Litigating Accuracy Issues with Furnishers of Credit Data, National Association of Consumer Advocates, New Orleans, LA, June 2 – 5, 2005;

Speaker, Philadelphia Housing Expo, Homeownership Counseling Association of the Delaware Valley, 2005 and 2006;

Speaker, Understanding Credit Scoring, Consumer Rights Litigation Conference, National Consumer Law Center, Boston, MA, November 7, 2004;

Speaker, Litigating Accuracy Issues With Credit Reporting Agencies, National Association of Consumer Advocates, Chicago, Ill., May 14 – 16, 2004;

Speaker, Protecting Privacy, Ensuring Accuracy, National Association of Consumer Advocates, Albuquerque, NM, June 1, 2002;

Faculty/Speaker, Credit Reporting and Debt Collection Litigation, Municipal Court Judicial Conference (CLE), Pennsylvania, PA, May 6, 1999;

Speaker, The People’s Law School, Philadelphia Bar Association, Philadelphia, PA, October 2004;

Guest Lecturer, Consumer Protection Law, Temple Law School, 2003 – 2012;

Guest Lecturer, Consumer Protection Law, Widener Law School, 2004 – 2009.

The FCRA: A Double-Edged Sword for Consumer Data Sellers,
GP SOLO Magazine, American Bar Association, Volume 29, Number 6, November/December 2012

Credit Rating Damage: Compensable, Yet Overlooked Damage in Tort Cases,
The Verdict, Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association, Volume 2008-2009-Issue 6 (2009).

  • Editorial Board of the Consumer Financial Services Law Report
  • Philadelphia Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service Committee (chair or co-chair for 3 years)
  • Philadelphia Bar Association’s Federal Court’s Committee.
  • Arbitrator for the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County
  • Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Judge Pro Tem panel.

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