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Esteban Morales

Associate

[email protected]

+1.310.226.7841

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Esteban is an experienced litigator whose practice is principally focused on class action defense and financial services litigation. Esteban has successfully defended both small and large corporate clients targeted in class action suits alleging violations of various federal and state statutes, including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, California’s Unfair Competition Law, and California’s Invasion of Privacy Act. Results include dismissals at the pleading stage and without any discovery following aggressive defense strategies. In addition to defending class actions, Esteban has represented clients in corporate, real estate, trust and estate, and securities disputes. He is also a member of the firm's Sports & Entertainment Practice.

Before joining the firm, Esteban served as in-house Counsel for a major broker-dealer with thousands of registered representatives stationed throughout the country. In his capacity as an in-house attorney, Esteban litigated cases, routinely interfaced with insurance carriers and brokers, managed outside counsel, and advised on regulatory matters.

Esteban has been featured in The American Lawyer for his pro bono work with immigrant youth seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. Esteban also previously practiced at an international law firm and was an extern for the Honorable Dale S. Fischer, US District Court, Central District of California.

Education

  • University of California - Los Angeles (JD)
  • Brandeis University (BA)

Experience

Privacy Class Actions

  • Motion to dismiss granted with prejudice (no discovery) in a privacy class action suit filed against a major NBA franchise
  • Motion to dismiss granted in a privacy class action filed against an app developer claiming an app functioned as a tracking device
  • Motion to dismiss granted in privacy class action alleged against public transportation authority
  • Demurrer granted in California Invasion of Privacy Act class action against national retailer
  • Summary judgment granted in favor of global distributions systems provider in class action alleging TCPA violation
  • Voluntary dismissal of TCPA class action alleged against auto dealership network
  • Voluntary dismissal of privacy class action alleged against creditor
  • Voluntary dismissal of FACTA class action alleged against local service provider

Securities

  • Managed litigation (including numerous FINRA arbitrations) for four independent broker-dealers
  • Advised clients in connection with SEC and FINRA exams and inquiries
  • Represented a federal equity receiver pursuing claims against former officers, directors, and auditors associated with a Ponzi scheme

Other Litigation

  • Represented medical technology company in product liability litigation relating to EMS supplies and surgical tools
  • Second-chaired trial for declaratory relief involving assignment of a lease and prevailed on a motion for non-suit

Recognition & Awards

  • Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star: Class Action (2018-2019)
  • Recipient of Public Counsel Law Center Children's Rights Project Award

Languages

- Spanish

Recent Insights

News & Press

Events

Viewpoints

Viewpoint General

Monthly TCPA Digest – July 2019

July 18, 2019 | Article

This issue covers recent TCPA-related FCC activity, pending robocall legislation, and a class action ruling in the Eight Circuit upholding a significant reduction in TCPA damages.
Viewpoint General

Monthly TCPA Digest – June 2019

June 17, 2019 | Article | By Joshua Briones, Russell Fox, Alexander Hecht, Esteban Morales, Matthew Novian, Elana R. Safner

This TCPA Digest covers an FCC rule allowing default call blocking services and a 4th Circuit ruling upholding a $61M judgment against Dish Network for a third-party agent's actions.
Viewpoint General

TCPA Class Action Update: Commercial Purpose? Not Enough.

June 17, 2019 | Article | By Esteban Morales

All too often, plaintiffs alleging TCPA violations premised on faxes take the position that although a fax is not an advertisement on its face, it clears the advertisement hurdle because of an underlying profit motive. That’s a no-go confirmed the Third Circuit. Mauthe v. Optum Inc., No. 18-2894, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 15742 (3d Cir. May 28, 2019).
Viewpoint General

INSIGHT: California’s Privacy Act—Watch for an Expanding Private Right of Action

May 3, 2019 | Blog | By Joshua Briones, Esteban Morales, Matthew Novian

The California Consumer Privacy Act takes effect on January 1, 2020, but amendments are expected. In an article recently published by Bloomberg Law, Mintz attorneys Joshua Briones, Esteban Morales and Matthew Novian discuss the April 9 hearing on SB-561, a bill that would expand the private right of action and remove compliance opportunities for businesses, and explain why the bill should be closely watched.
Viewpoint General

Monthly TCPA Digest – January 2019

January 16, 2019 | Article | By Joshua Briones, Russell Fox, Alexander Hecht, Radhika Bhat, Elana R. Safner, Crystal Lopez, Esteban Morales, Nicole Ozeran, Natalie Prescott

This TCPA Digest covers an FCC petition on how the TCPA defines telemarketing and dual purpose and an Eighth Circuit holding for an insurance carrier based on record-keeping.
Viewpoint General

Monthly TCPA Digest – December 2018

December 17, 2018 | Article | By Joshua Briones, Russell Fox, Alexander Hecht, Radhika Bhat, Elana R. Safner, Crystal Lopez, Esteban Morales, Nicole Ozeran, Natalie Prescott

This TCPA Digest examines recently introduced Congressional bills focused on combatting robocalls and the FCC’s order to establish a single reassigned numbers database.
Viewpoint General

Monthly TCPA Digest – November 2018

November 19, 2018 | Article | By Joshua Briones, Russell Fox, Alexander Hecht, Radhika Bhat, Crystal Lopez, Esteban Morales, Nicole Ozeran, Natalie Prescott, Elana R. Safner

This TCPA Digest covers the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the PDR Network, LLC v. Carlton & Harris Chiropractic case and provides news from the FCC, including a notice to voice providers that action will be taken if the industry-led call authentication system doesn’t materialize soon.
Viewpoint General

TCPA & Consumer Calling Digest – October 2018

October 22, 2018 | Article | By Joshua Briones, Russell Fox, Alexander Hecht, Radhika Bhat, Crystal Lopez, Esteban Morales, Nicole Ozeran, Natalie Prescott, Elana R. Safner

Read about recent TCPA cases and FCC comment periods on automatic telephone dialing systems, call blocking technologies, and a proposed emergency use exemption to the TCPA.
Viewpoint General
The trend is clear – regardless of the jurisdiction, post Reyes an increasing number of courts are willing to hold plaintiffs to their word. Given the expense of defending a TCPA class action and its potential exposure, the safest course for creditors and other businesses receiving a do-not-call request is to halt communication. Enterprising professional plaintiffs, however, may find creative ways to “revoke” consent (such as with a fax in Medley) that may go unnoticed. The trend in decisions like Reyes, Barton, Harris, Few, and Medley, however, provides peace of mind allowing businesses to rely on prior agreements memorializing consent.
Viewpoint General

TCPA & Consumer Calling Digest – September 2018

September 20, 2018 | Article | By Joshua Briones, Russell Fox, Alexander Hecht, Radhika Bhat, Crystal Lopez, Esteban Morales, Nicole Ozeran, Natalie Prescott, Elana R. Safner

In this issue, we look at industry comments on the FCC’s report on robocalling and efforts to urge the agency to reconsider its reassigned numbers database proposal. In addition, we examine a recent circuit split on what constitutes an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) in the Third and Ninth Circuits and what that means for TCPA defendants. The split follows the D.C. Circuit’s May 2018 decision in ACA International v. Federal Communications Commission, which set aside the FCC’s “unreasonably expansive interpretation” of what constitutes an automatic telephone dialing system.

News & Press

The California Consumer Privacy Act takes effect in about eight months, but amendments are expected. An April hearing on a bill that would expand the private right of action and remove compliance opportunities for businesses showed it needs to be carefully followed, say Mintz attorneys Joshua Briones, Esteban Morales and Matthew Novian.
This Law360 Expert Analysis column discusses how an earlier Ninth Circuit decision – which provided a clear rule regarding plaintiffs' standing to assert claims concerning products they did not purchase – has been used to defeat defendants’ motions to dismiss. A team of Mintz attorneys including Member Joshua Briones and Associates Esteban Morales and Nicole Ozeran authored the piece.
This Law360 "Expert Analysis" piece discusses Lorenzo v. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission — a significant securities fraud case before the U.S. Supreme Court —which is likely the first of many opportunities the court will have to roll back expansive interpretations of securities law and deter plaintiffs from filing low-quality complaints. A team of Joshua Briones, Esteban Morales and Matthew Novian authored the column.
Joshua Briones, a Managing Member in Mintz’s LA office and Esteban Morales, an Associate in that office, provided comment to a Law360 article looking at a class action suit against BART, California’s public transportation systems.
Mintz's Joshua Briones, Esteban Morales, and Natalie Prescott authored an article in The Daily Journal covering a Kentucky federal court dismissal of a lawsuit brought by a drone pilot against the “Drone Slayer.”
Joshua Briones, a Managing Member in Mintz’s Los Angeles office; Esteban Morales, an Associate in that office; and Natalie Prescott, an Associate in Mintz’s San Diego office, authored this Law360 article discussing the new legal challenges presented by drones.
Mintz and Ansell Grimm & Aaron, P.C., have achieved a dismissal – among the first of its kind – on behalf of Work Out World, which faced a class action alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and attempting certification of a nationwide class. 

The Batmobile Is Here, But Is the Law Ready for Autonomous Cars?

July 25, 2016 | http://www.nationallawjournal.com/id=1202763448442?keywords=%22Joshua%20Briones%22&publication=National%20Law%20Journal&slreturn=20160702093254 The National Law Journal

Member Joshua Briones and Associate Esteban Morales authored this National Law Journal article on the reality of automated vehicles or self-driving cars expectation that product liability and privacy cottage industries will develop to respond to malfunctioning autonomous technology in the future.  
Joshua Briones, Managing Member in Mintz’s Los Angeles office, and Associates Esteban Morales and Crystal Lopez, authored this Inside Counsel article covering three U.S. Supreme Court decisions in separate Telephone Consumer Protection Act TCPA class action cases.

Events

Speaker
Dec
5
2017

West Coast Director Education Forum

American College of Corporate Directors

Renaissance Hotel at Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, CA

Panelist
Apr
10
2017

Guide to Consumer Communications and Compliance: TCPA, FDCPA, CAN-SPAM, and CIPA

IAPP KnowledgeNet CLE

SDG&E Energy Innovation Center 4760 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. San Diego, CA

Speaker
Sep
22
2019