Todd L. SchleifsteinOf Counsel firstname.lastname@example.org
Todd L. Schleifstein is experienced in prosecuting and defending a wide array of commercial disputes, with a particular emphasis on defending consumer fraud class actions. He has frequently appeared in federal and state courts throughout the United States and in arbitration, mediation and alternative dispute resolution proceedings involving a variety of matters and industries.
Todd's class action experience includes the following:
- Defeated class certification in a putative nationwide class action brought against a distributor and seller of desktop computers alleged to have misrepresented the computers as "true multi-media" computers.
- Defeated class certification in a putative statewide class action, and secured the voluntary dismissal of two similar nationwide putative class actions, against a major distributor and seller of printers arising from the company's alleged failure to disclose that significant amounts of ink remain in cartridges after messages on the printer instructing the user to replace the cartridge are displayed.
- Defeated class certification in a putative nationwide class action against a seller of luxury timeshare products and its affiliates alleging fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty and civil RICO violations by purchasers of interests in a resort in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, arising from a member vote to resolve a financial problem at the resort and to affiliate the resort with another timeshare program.
- Defeated class certification in a putative statewide class action brought against a franchisor of frozen dessert stores alleged to have misrepresented the calorie and fat content of the desserts.
- Secured the involuntary dismissal of a putative nationwide class action against a leading destination resort company alleging breach of contract and violation of state consumer protection statute in offering points-based timeshare program to new purchasers to alleged detriment of existing weekly timeshare owners, and defending company in multiple putative nationwide class actions arising from same theory and from marketing of timeshare-like "fractional ownership interests" in other luxury vacation resort properties.
- Secured the involuntary dismissal of a putative statewide class action against two major concert promoters and venue operators, and a major ticket sales agent, arising from the manner in which the imposition of various auxiliary service charges added to the face amount of concert tickets are disclosed to consumers.
- Secured the involuntary dismissal of a putative statewide class action against a major furniture and mattress retailer alleging violations of state consumer protection statutes and state furniture regulations requiring inclusion of mandatory language in sales contracts about customer options in the event of delays in delivery, and in allegedly refusing to honor terms of protection plan for mattress.
- Secured the voluntary dismissal, following motion practice, of all class action allegations in a putative nationwide class action against a leading operator of destination resorts, arising from marketing of condominium units in the Turks & Caicos Islands.
- Secured the voluntary dismissal of two nationwide putative class actions against a distributor and seller of notebook computers arising from an alleged defect in the plastic parts of the computer that allegedly rendered it unduly prone to cracking, and defended company in third putative nationwide class action involving similar allegations, and in putative nationwide class action alleging cracking defect in screens of different laptop model.
- Secured the voluntary dismissal of a nationwide putative class action against a distributor and seller of televisions arising from alleged misrepresentations in the marketing of high-definition televisions, and defended the company in a nationwide putative class action arising from alleged misrepresentations as to the useful life of lamp assemblies used in DLP televisions.
- Secured the voluntary dismissal of a putative nationwide class action against a well-known fast-food franchisor alleging violations of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act arising from franchisee stores' alleged printing of customer receipts that allegedly failed to redact customer credit information.
- Secured the voluntary dismissal of a nationwide putative class action against a leading provider of wireless communications services arising from an alleged defect in the antenna used on cellular telephones that rendered the antenna flimsy and unduly prone to breakage, and secured the stay of a nationwide putative class action against the company arising from the enforcement of early termination fee provisions in customer contracts.
- Secured the voluntary dismissal of a putative nationwide class action against a major third party administrator of drug and alcohol employee screening tests arising from the use of a urine test that allegedly yields false positive results for alcohol.
- Secured the voluntary dismissal of a putative nationwide class action against a leading direct response advertising company specializing in selling innovative consumer products direct to the consumer via television and the Internet alleging misrepresentations in the marketing of its products, and defended company in two similar nationwide putative class actions.
- Secured the voluntary dismissal of a nationwide putative class action against a major catalogue sales company alleged to have violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
- Defended two rental car companies in putative nationwide class actions alleging violation of consumer protection statute and breach of contract arising from imposition of charge associated with frequent flyer miles and travel rewards earned in connection with online rentals, and overcame multiple objections to consolidated class settlement.
- Defended a leading provider of wireless communications services in MDL proceedings and several putative nationwide class actions arising from allegedly erroneous charges for unused data services, in a putative nationwide class action arising from a provision in its customer services agreement permitting the imposition of additional administrative charges, and in a putative nationwide class action on behalf of agents alleging improper termination and interference with dealings with sub-agents, securing the involuntary dismissal of numerous claims for breach of contract, tortious interference, defamation, and unjust enrichment.
- Defended telecommunications provider in putative class action arising from imposition of municipal construction surcharge for unregulated high speed Internet and related services.
- Defended the largest dental plan in New Jersey in a putative nationwide class action arising from the company's payment and claims handling practices to dentists.
- Defended major furniture and mattress retailer in putative class action arising from alleged violations of state regulations requiring inclusion of mandatory language in sales contracts about customer options in the event of delays in delivery.
- Defended leading health insurance plan in a putative class action arising from the payment of usual and customary rates for services rendered by non-participating providers.
- Defended a United Kingdom industrial company in a nationwide class action arising from the use of a spray-on fireproofing product in the construction of college and university buildings, and in a statewide class action arising from the product's use in the construction of public school buildings.
Todd also has deep experience litigating commercial agency disputes, contractual and commercial lease disputes, "business breakup" cases (involving the protection of trade secrets and proprietary business information, the licensing of intellectual property rights, the enforcement of covenants not to compete, and the termination of agents, franchisees, and other business units), intellectual property litigation and allegations involving the misappropriation of trade secrets, and disputes between competitors. In addition, for many years, Todd was part of a core group that acted as national coordinating counsel for several defendants in mass tort personal injury and property damage litigation, defended a variety of other toxic tort and products liability claims, and prosecuted actions seeking insurance coverage for mass tort claims.
- Civil and commercial litigation
- Consumer fraud class actions
- Unfair and destructive competition and civil RICO claims
- Business break-up litigation and contractual disputes
- Products liability and toxic torts
- Intellectual property litigation
- Bankruptcy litigation
- Real estate litigation
- Professional malpractice
- In Touch Concepts, Inc. v. Cellco P’ship, 788 F.3d 98 (2d Cir. 2015). Affirmance of dismissal of claims sounding in breach of contract and implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, tortious interference, defamation, and unjust enrichment arising from termination of sales agent of telecommunications company operating 150 retail locations in multiple states, in light of provisions in agency agreement permitting termination without cause and discretion to approve new agent locations and transactions between authorized agents. In a matter of first impression in the Circuit, Court also held that federal subject matter jurisdiction may be retained under Class Action Fairness Act following voluntary dismissal of putative class action allegations.
- Grand Wireless, Inc. v. Verizon Wireless, Inc., 748 F.3d 1(1st Cir. 2014). Reversal of trial court ruling denying motion to compel arbitration of dispute between major wireless telecommunications provider and former sales agent arising from alleged effort to mislead customers as to agent’s future business plans during waning weeks of agency. First Circuit holds dispute to be within scope of arbitration provision in parties’ agency agreement, and for the first time, holds that agent may not defeat arbitration by joining principal’s non-signatory employee as additional named defendant.
- Credit Lyonnais Secs. (USA), Inc. v. Alcantara, 183 F.3d 151 (2d Cir. 1999). Landmark decision in action on behalf of major international securities broker against Venezuelan securities firm seeking funds due upon transactions in American Depository Receipts; Court holds for first time that evidentiary hearing on personal jurisdiction must be held before entry of default judgment.
- Shein v. Canon U.S.A., Inc., 2010 WL 3170788 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 10, 2010). Denial of class certification of putative statewide class action arising from inkjet printer seller's alleged failure to disclose that significant amounts of ink remain in cartridges after messages on the printer instructing the user to replace the cartridge are displayed, in light of predominance of individual factual liability issues over common ones.
- Annecharico v. Raymour & Flanigan, 2016 WL 7015615 (D.N.J. Nov. 30, 2016): Grant of motion to dismiss putative statewide class action complaint for failure to state a claim upon which can be granted, alleging violation of New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, New Jersey Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act and breach of warranty, and arising from (1) inclusion of “all sales final” language in mattress purchase contract, notwithstanding simultaneous inclusion of mandatory language from New Jersey Household Furniture and Furnishings Regulations as to consumer rights upon delayed delivery, and (2) company’s alleged failure to honor terms of Platinum Protection Plan in addressing alleged problems with mattress.
- Air Express Int’l v. Log-Net, Inc., 2016 WL 5334659 (D.N.J. Sept. 22, 2016). Grant of partial summary judgment to international shipping company in dispute with former supply chain logistics management software vendor, dismissing counterclaims for misappropriation of trade secrets, trademark infringement, tortious interference, and unjust enrichment arising from company’s transition of customers to new software vendor’s platform, and denial of vendor’s motion for partial summary judgment on breach of contract counterclaim.
- DeSantis v. Marriott Ownership Resorts, Inc., 2014 WL 6389772 (M.D. Fla. Nov. 14, 2014). Grant of motion to dismiss putative nationwide class action complaint for failure to state a claim upon which can be granted, alleging violation of Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and breach of contract and of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and arising from sale and impact of interests in new points-based timeshare program on existing owners of traditional weekly timeshare interests at Marriott Vacation Club condominium resorts.
- Aspex Eyewear, Inc. v. Hardy Life, LLC, 2010 WL 2926511 (S.D. Fla. July 23, 2010). Denial of motions to dismiss claims for patent infringement and inducement of patent infringement based upon allegations of res judicata arising from prior patent infringement litigation between parties, and sufficiency of pleading of factual basis for inducement claims.
- Ersler v. Toshiba Am., Inc., 2009 WL 454354 (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 24, 2009). Final approval of settlement granted in nationwide putative class action against distributor and seller of televisions arising from alleged misrepresentations as to the useful life of lamp assemblies used in DLP televisions.
- Waudby v. Verizon Wireless Servs., LLC, 2007 WL 1560295 (D.N.J. May 24, 2007). Stay of putative nationwide class action challenging validity of Early Termination Fee included in standard wireless customer service agreements, in light of ongoing proceedings before Federal Communications Commission as to federal pre-emption of state law claims, and referral of claim for violation of Federal Communications Act to FCC.
- Armato v. New York Daily News, Inc., 2006 WL 166481 (D.N.J. Jan. 23, 2006). Dismissal of three consolidated actions on behalf of 38 plaintiffs alleging various contract, tort and statutory consumer fraud claims arising from printing of incorrect winning number for sweepstakes game in leading regional newspaper.
- Banque Nationale de Paris v. Prudential Secs., Inc., 1997 WL 639257 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 16, 1997). Denial of summary judgment motion by securities trading firm in action on behalf of major international bank for fraud, negligence, and conspiracy to defraud arising from commodities trader client's default on loans made under revolving credit facility.
- Port Auth. v. Allied Corp., 914 F. Supp. 960 (S.D.N.Y. 1995). Dismissal of warranty claims against U.K. industrial company brought by bi-state port authority in $105 million action regarding alleged property damage from use of building product in construction of airport and warehouses.
- 210 E. 86th St. Corp. v. Combustion Eng'g, Inc., 821 F. Supp. 125 (S.D.N.Y. 1993). Dismissal of market share, enterprise and other alternative liability theories in consolidated actions against U.K. industrial company regarding alleged property damage from use of building product in construction of privately-owned commercial office and retail buildings.
- Bank v. Brooklyn Law Sch., 297 A.D.2d 770, 747 N.Y.S.2d 800 (2d Dep't 2002). Dismissal of $5 million action for fraud, negligence, and violations of New York consumer protection law against leading regional law school.
- Fred Singer Direct Marketing, Inc. v. Media Resource Group, Inc., 256 A.D.2d 380, 681 N.Y.S.2d 602 (2d Dep't 1998). Reversal on appeal of grant of summary judgment in $10 million action for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets on behalf of direct marketing company against competitor formed by former executive.
Recognition & Leadership
- Team Member, a Law360 “Product Liability Practice Group of the Year,” 2021
- Team Member, U.S. News – Best Lawyers, "Law Firm of the Year: Litigation - Real Estate," 2022
- Team Member, The American Lawyer, “New Jersey Litigation Department of the Year,” 2022
- Team Member, Benchmark Litigation’s “New Jersey Law Firm of the Year,” Shortlisted, 2022
- Team Member, The American Lawyer’s “Regional Litigation Department of the Year – New Jersey,” Finalist, 2019
- Member, Winning Team, New Jersey Law Journal's "Class Action Litigation Department of the Year," 2016
- Member, Winning Team, New Jersey Law Journal’s "General Litigation Department of the Year" award, 2013
- Team Member, Lexology’s Client Choice Award USA & Canada, United States: New Jersey, 2013
- Team Member, "Product Liability Practice Group of the Year," Law360, 2011
A description of the selection methodology for the above awards can be found here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, New Jersey State Bar Association
- Member, New York State Bar Association
- Member, District of Columbia Bar Association
- J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1990
- B.A., cum laude, Brandeis University, 1987
- New Jersey
- New York
- District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit