Roland Tellis is the Chair of Baron & Budd’s Los Angeles-based 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 defects, securities fraud and environmental contamination. He has held leadership roles in numerous multi-district, complex class action cases, including:
- Appointed Co-Lead Counsel in In re: ZF-TRW Airbag Control Units Products Liability Litigation, a multi-state class action involving millions of defective airbag control units.
- Appointed to the 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. Achieved a $26 billion settlement against three opioid distributors and an opioid manufacturer.
- Appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in In re: Social Media Adolescent Addiction/Personal Injury Products Liability Litigation, a multi-state mass tort action filed against Meta Platforms, Instagram, TikTok, ByteDance, YouTube, Google and Alphabet alleging that defendants’ social media platforms are defective because they are designed to encourage addictive behavior in adolescents.
- Appointed Co-Lead Counsel for the Class Action Track in Southern California Gas Leak Cases, a coordinated class action filed by property owners against a gas utility for causing the largest natural gas leak in U.S. history. Achieved a $40 million non-reversionary common fund settlement for area residents.
- Appointed Co-Lead Counsel in In re: Wells Fargo Collateral Protection Insurance Litigation, a nationwide class action case involving forced-placed automobile collateral protection insurance. Achieved a $423 million non-reversionary common fund settlement which provided payments to consumers without the need for claim forms or documentary proof.
- 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. Achieved a settlement worth more than $14.5 billion.
- 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 automotive recall in U.S. history. Achieved a $1.5 billion settlement against seven automaker defendants.
- Appointed to the 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. Achieved a settlement worth more than $500 million.
Mr. Tellis has also represented clients in numerous jury trials, including several involving hundreds of millions of dollars. 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 owner of a multi-billion-dollar commercial real estate portfolio in a lengthy jury trial over claims of an alleged oral partnership and the Screen Actors’ Guild and members of its national board in a leadership battle.
Prior to joining Baron & Budd, Mr. Tellis practiced with the international law firms of Bingham McCutchen LLP and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP. There, he litigated complex cases on behalf of corporate defendants and tried multi-million-dollar cases to verdict.
In 2018, Mr. Tellis was honored with the Daily Journal’s 2018 “California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year” award for his role in the Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” MDL. Mr. Tellis has also been named among the Best Lawyers in America every year since 2014, a Super Lawyer every year since 2009 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. Additionally, Mr. Tellis serves on the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Along the way, Mr. Tellis 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-Present)
Super Lawyers, Southern California (Thomson Reuters, 2009-Present)
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)