Esteban is a class action and consumer defense lawyer. Esteban routinely handles litigation and compliance issues related to marketing, consumer outreach, allegations of consumer fraud, and privacy.
Esteban has successfully defended both small and large corporate clients targeted in class actions alleging violations of various federal and state statutes, including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (and state mini TCPAs), Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, California’s Unfair Competition Law, and California’s Invasion of Privacy Act (among many other statutes and theories). Results include potential plaintiffs abandoning claims during pre-suit discussions, dismissals at the pleading stage and without any discovery following aggressive defense strategies, and prevailing at summary judgment. In addition to defending class actions, Esteban has represented clients in corporate, real estate, trust and estate, and securities disputes.
Before joining the firm, Esteban served as in-house Counsel for a national 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.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act and State Mini-TCPAs
- Motion to Dismiss granted with prejudice (no discovery) in TCPA class action filed against a major NBA franchise.
- Summary judgment granted in favor of software company providing solutions for the travel industry in class action alleging TCPA violations. Decision affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
- Motion to Dismiss granted with prejudice (no discovery) in case alleging TCPA violations. Decision affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in what is believed to be the first substantive decision from the Ninth Circuit applying the residential standard from Chenette v. Porch.com, Inc., 50 F.4th 1217 (9th Cir. 2022).
- Voluntary dismissal of TCPA class action (no discovery) following filing of two motions to dismiss challenging jurisdiction, opposition to a motion to transfer and service of a Rule 11 motion for sanctions.
- Motion to dismiss granted in class action alleging violations of the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act, UCL, and TCPA.
- Responded to state regulator in connection with consumer complaint alleging TCPA violations. Response resulted in no action from the regulator.
- Voluntary dismissal of TCPA class action alleged against auto dealership network following investigation confirming consent.
- Voluntary dismissal of TCPA case following agreement to arbitrate and investigation confirming no revocation of consent.
- Successfully resolved numerous TCPA claims pre-litigation.
- Defended mini-TCPA claims pre-litigation and in formal litigation (including theories premised on the Florida Telephone Solicitation Act, Oklahoma Telephone Solicitation Act, and Massachusetts, Maryland, Washington, Missouri, Colorado, and Indiana statutes).
- Successfully represented multinational cloud computing company and secured favorable class settlement, with no admission of wrongdoing, resolving TCPA and Maryland mini-TCPA claims for a gross amount of $5.06 per class member.
- Provided pre-litigation compliance counseling to numerous companies in connection with potential text messaging, calling, and faxing projects. Examples include assisting fast-food chain with development of TCPA-compliant procedures in connection with text messaging project and advising genomic testing company in connection with potential faxing and text messaging projects.
California Invasion of Privacy Act
- Motion to dismiss granted in a class action filed against an app developer claiming an app functioned as a tracking device. Theories included alleged violations of the California Invasion of Privacy Act, Cellular Communications Interception Act, California Constitution, Intrusion Upon Seclusion, and California Consumers Legal Remedies Act.
- Demurrer granted in California Invasion of Privacy Act class action against national retailer.
- Resolved California Invasion of Privacy Act class action pre-discovery on favorable terms.
Transportation-Related Consumer Disputes
- Summary judgment granted in favor of tolling authority in consolidated class action (which originated as three separate class actions) alleging excessive fines under the U.S. Constitution. Prior to summary judgment, obtained dismissal of nearly all theories alleged against tolling authority, including under the New York General Business Law, secured voluntary dismissal of claims against affiliated authority, and obtained bifurcation of merits and class discovery.
- Voluntary dismissal of class action alleging misclassifications against a tolling authority following filing of motion to dismiss.
- Motion to dismiss granted in favor of public transportation authority in class action alleging violations of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act.
- Resolved tolling-related disputes against tolling authority on favorable terms.
Consumer Collection, Financial, and Credit-Related Claims
- Secured pre-discovery voluntary dismissal in class action alleging Fair Credit Report Act violations.
- Secured voluntary dismissal of arbitration claims against a creditor premised on violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act, and TCPA after successfully opposing the claimant's bid for summary disposition.
- Successfully defended Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act class action that was voluntarily dismissed and no longer pursued following removal to federal court.
- Successfully defended creditor and resolved case on favorable terms alleging California Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act claims.
- Successfully defended creditor and resolved case alleging Texas Debt Collection Act claim on favorable terms.
Email Consumer Claims
- Defended several cases alleging violations under California Business and Professions Code § 17529.5 and resolved them on favorable terms.
- Resolved several Section 17529.5 claims pre-litigation on favorable terms.
- Advised health clinic regarding email best practices to limit potential exposure.
Other Consumer and Privacy Class Actions
- Resolved Americans with Disabilities Act class action on favorable terms to our client.
- Resolved Biometric Information Privacy Act class action on favorable terms following early challenge to the named plaintiff's adequacy.
- 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.
- Represented software company in a breach of contract dispute and recovered settlement on their behalf.
- Successfully defended medical technology company in product liability litigation relating to EMS supplies and surgical tools.
- Represented company shareholders in connection with dispute over dissolution of company. Prevailed on demurrer and having all claims against shareholders (including fraud) dismissed with prejudice. The dismissal resulted in favorable resolution of one remaining claim against a corporate entity.
- Second-chaired trial for declaratory relief involving assignment of a lease and prevailed motion for non-suit.
June 30, 2023 | Article | By Russell Fox, Jonathan P. Garvin, Joshua Briones, Esteban Morales
Telephone and Texting Compliance News: Third Circuit Affirms $286,000 Fraud Counterclaim Arbitration Award
June 30, 2023 | Article | By Joshua Briones, Esteban Morales
News & Press
January 4, 2024
December 22, 2023
January 5, 2022
January 6, 2021
July 16, 2020
May 1, 2020
April 24, 2020
December 14, 2018
November 8, 2018
December 15, 2017
June 2, 2017
October 5, 2016
Events & Speaking
Mintz Los Angeles Office
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles, CA
American College of Corporate Directors
Renaissance Hotel at Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, CA
IAPP KnowledgeNet CLE
SDG&E Energy Innovation Center 4760 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. San Diego, CA
- Author, Think Twice Before Hitting 'Send' After 9 at Night, ALM Daily Business Review (January 2024)
Recognition & Awards
Best Lawyers of America Ones to Watch - Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants (2021-2024)
Best Lawyers in America "Ones to Watch": Litigation - Banking and Finance (2024)
Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star: Class Action (2018-2020)
Recipient of Public Counsel Law Center Children's Rights Project Award