Ezra D. Church focuses his practice on class action lawsuits and complex commercial and product-related litigation, with particular emphasis on the unique issues facing retail, ecommerce, and other consumer-facing companies. Ezra also focuses on privacy and data security matters, and regularly advises and represents clients in connection with these issues.
Ezra has extensive experience handling complex and unusual class action litigation, and has handled all aspects of such cases from inception through trial and appeal. His work in this area includes defeat of class certification in a rare copyright class action against one of the world’s leading publishers, successful opposition of class certification in an unusual defendant class action against many large financial institutions, and a successful defense verdict in a consumer class action trial against an international retailer, including affirmance on appeal. He is an active member of the Firm’s Class Action Working Group and regularly writes and speaks on class action issues. He is a contributor to the Firm’s chapter on class action litigation in the leading treatise Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts and co-author of a chapter in A Practitioner’s Guide to Class Actions, among others.
With respect to privacy and data security laws and related requirements, Ezra’s work includes representation of companies faced with class actions, government investigations, and he has advised hundreds of companies in connection with data breaches and privacy and cybersecurity compliance issues such as data transfer, privacy policies and notice, information security policies, and online and mobile data collection. In connection with privacy and cybersecurity, Ezra is an active member in the Firm’s Crisis Management practice. His experience includes the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act (GLBA), including Reg. S-P, Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM Act) laws, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), data transfer requirements and mechanisms such as the Privacy Shield and model clause agreements, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). He writes and speaks frequently on these topics, and has lectured on privacy law at Rutgers University Law School. Ezra has been designated a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) with the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).
Ezra has particular experience representing retail and ecommerce companies and has helped lead the Firm’s retail practice over the past nine years. In his work with retail and ecommerce companies, he regularly counsels clients on a host of operational and other legal issues, which are often peculiar to the industry. Areas within Ezra’s counseling practice include data collection, privacy, data security, online contracting and website terms, intellectual property, gift cards, loyalty programs, layaway programs, unclaimed property/abandoned property and escheat laws, employee background checks, anti–money laundering plans, payment mechanisms, price comparison and other forms of advertising, and marketing programs.
Ezra also has experience handling all aspects of unclaimed property or abandoned property matters, including advice on developing legally-compliant systems to manage and minimize escheat obligations, representation of companies in state unclaimed property audits and voluntary disclosure agreements, and extensive experience litigating unclaimed property matters in courts throughout the United States.
Class Actions & Complex Litigation
Won complete defense verdict and affirmance on appeal in a rare consumer class action trial for a major national retailer under California’s gift card redemption law in which the Plaintiff class sought more than $30 million.
Won nationwide class action against Fortune 20 technology firm alleging claims related to transfer of customer data in connection with ecommerce business.
Led successful opposition to class certification, including class discovery and briefing, in rare defendant class action alleging violations of bankruptcy law and involving many of the world’s largest financial services firms.
Obtained dismissal of nationwide class action against international food and facilities services business alleging violations of FCRA in connection with employee background checks.
Successful settlement of investigation by California DAs of alleged pricing inaccuracy by a major retailer.
Won dismissal of restaurant chain in lawsuit under FACTA regarding the printing of personal information on receipts.
Dismissal of class actions in Pennsylvania and Maryland alleging product defects in construction materials.
Defeated class certification in nationwide class action alleging systemic copyright violations against international publishing and media company.
Representation of major pharmaceutical company in serial litigation by state AGs regarding alleged violations of state false claims laws.
Obtained dismissal of nationwide class action against ecommerce retailer alleging false advertising and violation of FTC advertising rules.
Defended international enterprise software company in breach of contract and fraud suit arising from sale and implementation of a revenue management solution.
Privacy & Cybersecurity
Served as US financial privacy expert in connection with acquisition by the world’s largest asset manager of a US based robo-advisor, assisting with due diligence on US privacy laws, including Regulation S-P, and addressing post-acquisition privacy issues.
Advised app developer regarding privacy compliance for development of preloaded games portal for major mobile phone carrier.
Advised major financial services company on compliance with the new New York DFS Cybersecurity Requirements for Financial Services Companies, including revisions of contracts and security program.
Advised Global and US Fortune 500 insurance company in connection with creation of digital adviser platform, including privacy and data security issues in connection with aggregation and services contracts.
Advised international retailer on data privacy compliance for the development of a private label tablet.
Representation of educational technology firm in connection with FTC investigation concerning privacy and data security.
Counseled over a dozen companies facing data breach incidents.
Served as subject matter expert on privacy, cybersecurity, and consumer protection matters for due diligence in connection with numerous mergers and acquisitions.
Assisted over two-dozen companies with advice, planning, and applications in connection with the Privacy Shield for data transfers from the EU to the United States and new EU General Data Protection Regulation. The work included a review of clients' privacy programs, privacy policies, security policy, and contracts.
Unclaimed & Abandoned Property
Representation of major retailers in unclaimed property/escheat audits and voluntary disclosure agreements.
Representation of five retailers in False Claims Act litigation brought by the State of Delaware related to the treatment and reporting of the unused balance on gift cards under state unclaimed property laws.
Advised major utility company regarding participation in audit of transfer agent American Stock Transfer or AST.
Representation of major bank in false claims act litigation asserting improper reporting of unclaimed property.
Counseled over a dozen clients regarding gift card programs with respect to escheat, including the set-up and maintenance of special purpose gift card issuers.
Successfully negotiated discharge of escheat obligations with the State of Delaware based on the Chapter 11 reorganization of an international manufacturer and retailer.
Counseled major hospital system on unclaimed property issues related to insurance credit balances, including reporting obligations and ongoing compliance.
Advised advertising firm on abandoned property management related to client account balances.
Northwestern University, 2002, B.A.
University of Texas School of Law, 2005, J.D., Cum Laude
US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
US District Court for the District of New Jersey
US District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
US District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana
US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana
Awards and Affiliations
Member, International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US)
Texas Law Review (2003–2005)
Recipient, Best Editor Award, Best Note Award, Texas Law Review (2005)