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Esteban Morales

Member

[email protected]

+1.310.226.7841

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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.

Experience

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. 

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 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. 
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viewpoints

In this month’s Telephone and Texting Compliance News, we cover an FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with proposed rules designed to strengthen consumers’ ability to revoke consent to receive robocalls and robotexts and a Third Circuit decision affirming an arbitration award of more than $286,000 to a credit card company for its fraud counterclaim in a TCPA case.
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Read about a Third Circuit decision affirming an arbitration award of more than $286,000 to a credit card company for its fraud counterclaim in a TCPA case.
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News & Press

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The Daily Business Review recently published an article written by Member Esteban Morales addressing the growing trend of litigation under the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA) concerning billing-related emails sent outside regular business hours.
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Mintz proudly announced the election of 13 attorneys to Members and the addition of a record-setting 22 new lateral Members in 2023, with 11 Partners in the newly opened Toronto office. This diverse group strengthens Mintz’s core areas, spanning Commercial and IP Litigation, Life Sciences, Tech, Private Equity, and Energy & Sustainability. The elevated Members and new lateral additions bring invaluable expertise to help clients navigate complex legal landscapes.
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Mintz is pleased to announce that 120 firm attorneys have been recognized as leaders by Best Lawyers® in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©.
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Managing Member of Mintz's Los Angeles Office Joshua Briones and Members Todd Rosenbaum and Arameh O'Boyle co-authored an article published by Corporate Counsel summarizing major developments for consumer class actions in 2021, many of which they wrote will carry over into 2022. The article included extensive contributions from Associates Crystal Lopez, Esteban Morales, and Adam Korn.
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Managing Member of Mintz’s Los Angeles Office Joshua Briones and Associates Esteban Morales and Adam B. Korn co-authored an article published by Corporate Counsel examining major developments in high-stakes class action litigation in 2020. Notably, the authors wrote that courts have also begun to lay the groundwork for additional developments in 2021.
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Managing Member of Mintz’s Los Angeles Office Joshua Briones and Associates Esteban Morales and Adam Korn co-authored an article published by Risk Management that examined how businesses collecting and/or utilizing individual’s biometric data in response to the COVID-19 crisis might prepare for and protect themselves from potential litigation.
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Managing Member of Mintz’s Los Angeles Office Joshua Briones and Associate Esteban Morales co-authored a Bloomberg Law Professional Perspective column on covid-19-related class actions.
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Law360 reported that a Mintz litigation team won a Motion to Stay on behalf of its client, software provider Citrix, in a putative class action case alleging that the company conducted illegal telemarketing calls. The decision will put the case on hold to await the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants Inc., in which oral arguments are scheduled to take place remotely on May 6.
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. 
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.
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Events & Speaking

Panelist
Apr
11
2023

Lawyer for a Day

Mintz Los Angeles Office

Panelist
Mar
5
2020

Lawyer for a Day

Los Angeles, CA

Speaker
Mar
6
2019
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

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Publications

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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

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