Roland Tellis is head of Baron & Budd’s Class Action Practice Group and co-manages the Firm’s Los Angeles Office. His practice focuses on complex, high-profile litigation, including consumer class actions, financial fraud, business torts, corporate misconduct, automobile defect, food labeling, false advertising, securities fraud and environmental contamination. He has held leadership roles in numerous multi-state, complex class action cases and has represented clients in many jury trials, including several involving hundreds of millions of dollars. His legal expertise and track record of success has placed him in leadership roles for some of the country’s most high-profile cases, including:
- Appointed Co-Lead Counsel in In re: Wells Fargo Collateral Protection Insurance Litigation, a multi-state class action involving hundreds of thousands of consumers improperly charged for “forced placed” Collateral Protection Insurance.
- Appointed to Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in In re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, a multi-state mass tort action filed by governmental entities against the manufacturers and distributors of opioids widely believed to be the largest MDL case in U.S. history.
- Appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in In re: Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, a multi-state class action involving hundreds of thousands of vehicles equipped with “defeat devices” designed to evade emissions laws. The PSC negotiated a settlement in excess of $14 billion.
- One of three lawyers appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in In re: Takata Airbag Products Liability Litigation, a multi-state class action involving millions of vehicles equipped with a defective airbag inflator resulting in the largest consumer product recall in U.S. history. The PSC negotiated a settlement in excess of $1.2 billion with certain automakers.
- Lead counsel in Bias v. Wells Fargo Bank, a certified nationwide RICO class action involving millions of mortgage loans. Negotiated a $50 million common fund, non-reversionary settlement.
- Appointed to Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee and Co-Chair of the Class Action Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in In re: S. Cal. Gas Leak Cases, JCCP No. 4861, a case involving the largest methane gas leak in U.S. history.
- Appointed to Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in In re: Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep EcoDiesel Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, a multi-state class action involving vehicles equipped with “defeat devices” designed to evade emissions laws.Co-Lead counsel in In re: MyFord Touch Consumer Litigation, a certified multi-state class action involving hundreds of thousands of vehicles equipped with a defective “infotainment system.
- Appointed to the Executive Committee in In re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, a multi-state mass tort action filed by governmental entities against the manufacturers and distributors of opioids widely believed to be the largest MDL case in U.S. history.
In 2005, Mr. Tellis received commendation from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for his assistance in a successful parallel prosecution of a $120 million securities Ponzi scheme perpetrated by foreign currency traders. Mr. Tellis also represented the City of Sunnyvale in environmental litigation concerning perchloroethylene contamination of a large mixed-use development site and the California Water Service Company over the contamination of hundreds of drinking water wells throughout California. Mr. Tellis also represented the owner of a multi-billion dollar commercial real estate portfolio in a lengthy jury trial over claims of an oral partnership and the Screen Actors’ Guild and members of its national board in a leadership battle.
Mr. Tellis has become a leader in representing plaintiffs in multidistrict class action litigation. He is lead class counsel in several complex class action cases, including cases in the financial services sector, the automobile industry and the food and beverage arena. His experience exemplifies the depth and breadth of resources that Baron & Budd provides for its clients.
Some of Mr. Tellis’ consumer class actions include Bias et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, a class action concerning fraud in the setting of default related bank fees; Stitt et al. v. Citibank et al., putative class action concerning fraud in the setting of default-related bank fees; Ellis et al. v. JPMorgan Chase et al., a putative class action concerning fraud in the setting of default-related banks fee; Payne et al. v. Bank of America, et al., a putative class action involving manipulation of the LIBOR U.S. Dollar rate; In re: Brazilian Blowout Litigation, class counsel in the certified class action concerning issues of fraud in connection with the sale of Brazilian Blowout hair products; Delacruz v. Cytosport, Inc., a putative class action concerning false advertising, fraud, and misrepresentations regarding dietary supplement products; Aarons et al. v. BMW of North America, LLC et al., a putative class action concerning premature transmission failure in MINI Cooper vehicles and in In re: Alexia Foods, Inc. Litigation, a putative class action concerning false advertising, fraud and misrepresentations concerning frozen food products.
Prior to joining Baron & Budd, Mr. Tellis practiced with the international law firms of Bingham McCutchen LLP and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, where he litigated complex cases on behalf of corporate defendants and tried multi-million dollar cases to verdict.
Mr. Tellis has been named among the Best Lawyers In America every year since 2014, a Super Lawyer every year since 2006 and was a faculty member of the Practicing Law Institute and Chair of its annual program entitled “Taking and Defending Depositions.” He was elected to serve on the Board of Governors of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and was appointed to serve as a Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. He was the Chair of the United States District Court for the Central District of California’s Attorney Settlement Officer Panel Committee and was appointed by the Chief Judge of the Central District of California to the Board of Trustees for the Central District’s Attorney Admission Fund. Along the way, he has devoted time to the pro bono representations of indigent clients and has mentored young lawyers and law students in association with the South Asian Bar Association.
- Program Chair and Faculty, “Taking and Defending Depositions,” Practicing Law Institute (2009-2010)
University of California, Hastings College of the Law (J.D. 1996)
University of California, Los Angeles (B.S. 1992)
Bar & Court Admissions
American Bar Association
California State Bar
Los Angeles County Bar Association
Century City Bar Association
Association of Business Trial Lawyers
Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation (Woodward White, Inc., 2014)
Super Lawyers, Southern California (Thomson Reuters, 2008-2013)
Super Lawyers, Southern California Rising Star (Thomson Reuters, 2004-2007)
Certificate of Commendation, U.S. Department of Justice (2005)
Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers (National Trial Lawyers, 2017)
California Lawyers Attorney of the Year (Daily Journal, 2018)