Firm Recognized For Leadership Role in Litigation Surrounding Unlawful Bank Overdraft Fees

DALLAS –(June 27, 2012) –For the third time in the past five years, the non-profit organization, Public Justice has selected a team of Baron and Budd lawyers as finalists for the organization’s annual “Trial Lawyer of the Year” Award. The firm is being considered for its work in national litigation against numerous banks for deceptive overdraft fee policies that put consumers at risk of excessive overdraft fees. Baron and Budd’s efforts in these cases, as well as the efforts of other national law firms, are credited with changing the banking industry’s policies and helping protect the rights of bank customers.

“I am so honored that the firm has been selected for such a prestigious award,” said Russell Budd, president and managing shareholder of Baron and Budd. “Congratulations to the entire team, who has worked tirelessly on this case.”

This prestigious award is given out each year by the Public Justice Foundation, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to protecting the rights of Americans when confronted by corporate malfeasance. The organization’s “Trial Lawyer of the Year Award” recognizes the attorney or group of attorneys who have made the most significant contribution to the public interest through precedent-setting litigation.

Baron and Budd was a leader in the overdraft litigation against banking giant JP Morgan Chase, which resulted in a settlement for $110 million in cash and forced Chase to abandon several of its overdraft practices worth significantly more to Chase customers than the cash component of the settlement. As part of the settlement, Chase also agreed not to charge overdraft fees on transactions of $5 or less. The firm was also one of the leaders in the overdraft litigation surrounding the $410 million settlement with Bank of America, which forced the banking giant to change its overdraft fee policies and helped set the standard for similar changes at other financial institutions. Litigation against numerous other national banks surrounding the same issue is still ongoing.

The overdraft litigation focused on the banking industry’s overdraft fee practices. These practices were set up to intentionally maximize fees charged to consumers, usually by rearranging debit card transactions from highest to lowest dollar amount so account funds would be depleted more quickly. Banking customers often incurred unwarranted overdraft fees under this method.

The winner will be announced at the Public Justice Foundation Annual Gala and Awards Dinner on July 31, 2012.

Baron and Budd was nominated in 2008 for the firm’s work on the MTBE water contamination litigation, which resulted in a $420 million settlement with many of the nation’s oil giants. The firm won the award in 2007 for its work on the groundbreaking Tucson TCE groundwater contamination case, a 21-year lawsuit that helped define Arizona water pollution law. 

About Baron & Budd, P.C.
The law firm of Baron & Budd, P.C., with offices in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Austin and Los Angeles, is a nationally recognized law firm with a 30-year history of "Protecting What’s Right" for people, communities and businesses harmed by negligence. Baron & Budd’s size and resources enable the firm to take on large and complex cases. The firm represents individuals, governmental and business entities in areas as diverse as water contamination, Gulf oil spill, Qui Tam, California Proposition 65 violations, dangerous medications and medical devices, Chinese drywall, insurance claims, commercial litigation, consumer fraud, securities fraud and asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma. Learn more about the mesothelioma attorneys at Baron & Budd.