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Super Lawyers Names Vildan Teske a Top 100 Lawyer and Top 50 Women Lawyer, and Phillip Kitzer and Brian Rochel Rising Stars

We are excited to announce that, once again, Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel partners have been named to the annual Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists. Vildan Teske has been named one of the Top 100 Lawyers and one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Minnesota. This is a very high distinction reserved for the top attorneys under the Super Lawyers rating system–and is especially impressive given that there are more than 25,000 attorneys in Minnesota. 

Phillip Kitzer and Brian Rochel were both again named to the list of Rising Stars honorees as well. Vildan Teske was named a Super Lawyer in the “Class Action/Mass Torts” category, while Phillip Kitzer and Brian Rochel were named Rising Stars honorees in the “Employment Litigation: Plaintiff” category.  

Each year, only a select few attorneys are honored as Super Lawyers or Rising Stars. Only 5% of the attorneys in Minnesota are recognized as Super Lawyers, and only 2.5% of attorneys are named as Rising Stars (for attorneys in their first 10 years of practice or under the age of 40). The award is based on a combination of  objective criteria,  peer nominations, and a blue ribbon panel review

For individual profiles and to see Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel’s firm profile, visit the Super Lawyers website. To view the full digital Super Lawyers magazine with the complete list, click here.

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel is proud of all of its attorneys, and grateful to the legal community for this recognition.

Vildan Teske Elected as Fellow of the American Bar Foundation

Teske, Katz, Kitzer & Rochel, PLLP is excited to announce that Vildan Teske has been elected a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation (ABF).  This prestigious distinction is limited to only one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction. Fellows are nominated by their peers and elected by the Board of the American Bar Foundation.

Established in 1955, the American Bar Foundation Fellows “is a global honorary society of attorneys, judges, law faculty, and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the highest principles of the legal profession and to the welfare of their communities.” For more information about the ABF, click here

Vildan Teske Named to Minnesota Federal Judicial Selection Committee

Congratulations to Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel partner, Vildan Teske, who was named by Senator Amy Klobuchar and Senator Al Franken to serve on their judicial selection committee. The Hon. Ann Montgomery and Hon. Donovan Frank, both judges on the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, recently took senior status, leaving two vacancies that will need to be filled.

In announcing the committee, Senator Klobuchar said “[t]his group of distinguished Minnesota leaders will help us identify jurists who will continue Minnesota’s long tradition of federal judges with broad experience and an unwavering commitment to the fair and just application of the law.”

Senator Franken said “I’m looking forward to reviewing the Committee’s work and recommending nominees to the President who will serve the people of our state with honor and distinction.”

Teske remarked, “I’m honored to serve on this prestigious committee. My years advocating on behalf of consumers, working with the Federal Bar Association, and serving on the Board of the Infinity Project have confirmed how important it is to have a good and strong judiciary.”

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Vildan Teske Quoted in Star Tribune Article regarding Forced Arbitration

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On Sunday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune featured an article about the current state of forced arbitration of consumer disputes: “Debate over forced arbitration finds its second wind, with help from events like Wells Fargo scandal.” Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel partner Vildan Teske is quoted in the article, noting that there have been recent developments in the fight against forced arbitration in consumer disputes, but that the latest changes only provide a “patchwork of protection.”

Teske has been a strong and vocal advocate for consumers, particularly in the fight to curtail forced arbitration and to reinforce consumers’ rights to use the judicial system when they have been harmed. Teske has presented on the issue many times, including along with U.S. Senator Al Franken and other notable consumer rights experts. Teske has also testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary committee.

For more information on consumer financial issues, consumer class actions, or forced arbitration, contact our firm or Vildan Teske directly.

All Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel Attorneys Named to Super Lawyers/Rising Stars List; Micko Named One of Minnesota’s Top 100 Lawyers

Once again, all of Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel’s attorneys have been named to the annual  Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists. Additionally, Doug Micko has been named as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Minnesota, a high distinction reserved for the top attorneys under the Super Lawyers rating system–especially impressive given that there are more than 20,000 attorneys practicing in Minnesota. 

Vildan Teske was named a Super Lawyer honoree and Marisa Katz was named a Rising Star honoree, both in the “Class Action/Mass Torts” category.  Doug Micko was named a Super Lawyer honoree and Phillip Kitzer and Brian Rochel were named named Rising Stars honorees, all  in the “Employment Litigation: Plaintiff” category.  

 Each year, only a select few attorneys are honored as Super Lawyers or Rising Stars. Only 5% of the attorneys in Minnesota are recognized as Super Lawyers, and only 2.5% of attorneys are named as Rising Stars (for attorneys in their first 10 years of practice or under the age of 40). The award is based on a combination of  objective criteria,  peer nominations, and a blue ribbon panel review

For individual profiles and to see Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel’s firm profile, visit the Super Lawyers website. To view the full digital Super Lawyers magazine with the complete list, click here.

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel is proud of all of its attorneys, and grateful to the legal community for this recognition.

Vildan Teske Presents in Program with Senator Franken in Washington D.C. on the Problems of Forced Arbitration for Servicemembers, Employees, and Consumers

On June 7, 2016, Vildan Teske presented on a panel discussing the growing and problematic use of forced arbitration clauses in consumer and employment agreements. The event, “Reforming the Ripoff Clause: Why Access to Justice Matters for Accountability and the Economy,” was hosted by the Center for American Progress (CAP). It included remarks by Senator Al Franken and Congressman Don Beyer on the issue of forced arbitration, followed by a panel discussion by a group of nationally-recognized consumer advocates.  The panel included Deepak Gupta of Gupta Wessler who argued on behalf of consumers before the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark AT&T v. Concepcion case; Julie Murray, an attorney at Public Citizen; David Halperin, attorney and public policy advocate; and Vildan Teske. The event was streamed live and is available in its entirety here.

Over the past decade, and especially in recent years, the scope and impact of these consumer and worker “ripoff clauses” have grown immensely, undermining the private attorney general system that has long protected consumers and workers from poor-quality, fraudulent, or even dangerous products, services, and work conditions. Ms. Teske spoke on a variety of access to justice issues related to forced arbitration in consumer and employment agreements, including, in particular, debunking the myth that “opt out” clauses provide a legitimate opportunity for aggrieved consumers or workers to seek justice through the public court system.  

Ms. Teske is a nationally-recognized expert on the topic of forced arbitration, and testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the topic. If you have questions about forced arbitration or other clauses that take away consumer and employee access to the public court system, contact Teske Micko today.  

New CFPB Rule Prohibiting Forced Arbitration Places Consumer Protection Ahead of Corporate Profits

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a new rule proposing the prohibition of mandatory arbitration clauses that deny groups of consumers their day in court. In the last several years, many contracts for consumer financial products and services – from bank accounts to credit cards to cellular phone contracts – have included mandatory arbitration clauses. These clauses affect hundreds of millions of consumer contracts and typically state that the company can require that disputes with consumers be resolved by privately appointed individuals (arbitrators). Where these clauses exist, companies are able to block lawsuits from proceeding in court. These clauses also almost always bar consumers from bringing class action claims through the arbitration process. As a result, no matter how many consumers are injured by the same unlawful conduct, they must proceed to resolve their claims individually against the company, often before arbitrators that rule in favor of the company 99% of the time.

In 2015, the CFPB released a comprehensive study showing that very few consumers ever bring – or think about bringing – individual actions against their financial service providers either in court or in arbitration. The study found that class actions provide a more effective means for consumers to challenge problematic practices by these companies. According to the study, class actions succeed in bringing hundreds of millions of dollars in relief to millions of consumers each year and cause companies to alter their legally questionable conduct.  

The CFPB proposed rule issued today would ban companies from putting mandatory arbitration clauses in new contracts that prohibit class action lawsuits against them. The proposal would once again open up the legal system to consumers. Groups of consumers would have the opportunity to obtain relief from the legal system, and many companies would also be incentivized to comply with the law. Also, the CFPB would be able to monitor the individual arbitration process, providing insight into whether companies are abusing arbitration or whether the process itself is fair. 

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel attorneys have spent years both inside and outside the courthouse advocating for consumers’ ability to seek redress in courts nationwide when they are harmed by the unfair and deceptive practices of businesses. For instance, Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel partner Vildan Teske testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in December 2013, advocating for the elimination of mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer contracts. Today’s announcement from the CFPB is a huge step for expanding consumer access to justice in the marketplace.

Vildan Teske, Doug Micko and Marisa Katz Present a CLE Update on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 Term

On October 12, 2015, Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel partners Vildan Teske, Doug Micko and Marisa Katz presented a continuing legal education (CLE) seminar on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 term.

The presentation included an overview of the major employment law-related cases decided in the last term and the implications of such decisions in everyday practice. The seminar also touched on the Court’s current term and key cases that will be decided in 2016 both in the employment and consumer class action areas. The presentation was made as part of Minnesota CLE’s Employment Law Webcast Series.

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel Appointed as Co-Lead Counsel Representing Class of Auto Loan Borrowers

On August 26, 2015, the Hon. Gary Oxenhandler, state court judge  in Columbia, Missouri, granted a motion to certify a class of Missouri borrowers with consumer claims against Cavalry Investments, LLC, and appointed Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel as Class Counsel.  Partners Vildan Teske and Marisa Katz are litigating this class action lawsuit along with the Missouri law firm of Angle Wilson Law LLC.

The class action lawsuit involves the sale of service contracts by certain auto dealers to consumers that require the consumers to use fluid additives before the protections of the contracts kick in.  The plaintiff class alleges that these contracts are insurance products that are being sold illegally, and that, as a result, the debt buyers that purchased these faulty loans are collecting on the loans illegally and taking advantage of consumers in violation of the law. 

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel Open House

On August 5, 2015, the law firm of Teske, Micko, Katz, Kitzer & Rochel invited its colleagues, family, and friends to join them at an open house. “We’ve had some great changes in the last year—a new name, new partners, and new space—and we really wanted to celebrate these developments together with people we respect and admire,” said Vildan Teske.   

Partygoers enjoyed the great views, food, and company at the open house, pictures of which are available at Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel’s Facebook page, found here