Complex and Commercial Litigation
Erica L. Calderas has extensive experience representing commercial clients of varying sizes – both as plaintiffs and as defendants in complex matters in state and federal trial and appellate courts. Litigation includes a wide range of legal topics impacting businesses, including business torts, contract disputes, consumer protection claims, trademark infringement, employment disputes, fraud claims, enforcing and defending against claims regarding non-competition agreements and trade secrets, and claims under RESPA, TCPA, and TILA. Erica has had substantial first-chair and second-chair experience in jury trials, bench trials, arbitrations, mediations, and appellate arguments.
Class Action Defense
In class-action defense matters, Erica has had substantial first-chair experience in high-stakes, statewide and nationwide class actions across the United States, including victories in two multiweek class-action bench trials. Erica has a successful track record of early victories in class actions achieved through defeat of class certification, securing dismissal of or summary judgment on the claims of the class representatives, and negotiating favorable settlements.
Representative cases are as follows:
Chultem v. Ticor Title Insurance, Co., Cook County Illinois Circuit Court Case No. 06 CH 09488; and Colella v. Chicago Title Insurance, Co., Cook County Illinois Circuit Court Case No. 06 CH 09489 Took over the defense of two consolidated class actions after the classes were certified. (Prior counsel were Kirkland and Ellis and the Bartlit Beck firm.) Plaintiffs challenged the split of premiums between title insurers and their attorney agents as alleged illegal kickbacks of unearned fees to the agents in violation of RESPA as incorporated by the Illinois Title Insurance Act. Served as lead defense counsel in a two-week bench trial in September 2013 where plaintiff consumers sought damages in excess of $250 million, trebled. The trial court entered judgment in favor of defendants, the court of appeals affirmed, and the Illinois Supreme Court denied the plaintiffs’ petition for leave to appeal.
Villanueva v. Fidelity National Title, Co., Santa Clara County, CA, Superior Court Case. No. 1-10-cv-173356 Defended escrow holder in four-week bench trial of certified class action. Plaintiffs challenged, under California’s unfair competition law, the propriety of escrow consumers having to pay for overnight delivery fees and document preparation fees. Trial victory defeating claims seeking restitution of over $35 million and attorneys’ fees of $9 million. Prior to the bench trial, successfully eliminated, through dispositive motion practice, six additional claims for which plaintiffs sought millions in additional damages, including punitive damages, against the defendant and two additional, affiliated companies. Continuing in defense of appeal.
France v. Ticor Title of Washington, Inc., Superior Court, King County, Wash., Case No. 12-2-25688-8-SEA Defended escrow holder against certified class action where plaintiff consumers sought to recover reconveyance fees collected by an escrow holder. Obtained dismissal and summary judgment as to most causes of action pre-trial. Trial on final consumer protection claim resulted in a defense decision.
California Real Estate Software Class Actions Defending title insurers, escrow holders, and other real estate service providers in seven putative class actions filed throughout California alleging various state law claims in connection with an alleged kickback scheme involving sublicense fees for management software. In arbitration of individual claims of class representatives of one action, successfully obtained defense arbitration award and attorney fee award against individual plaintiffs in excess of $1.185 million.
Cornelius v. Fidelity National Title , U.S. District Court, W.D. Wash. Case No. 2:08-cv-00754 Defended escrow holder against claims by plaintiff consumers who sought to recover in excess of $5 million for reconveyance fees collected by the escrow holder. Obtained dismissal of some claims and then summary judgment as to the remaining claims, including a RESPA claim.
Donald Webster v. Freedom Debt Relief, U.S. District Court, N.D. Ohio Case No. 1:10-cv-01587 Defended debt resolution company in putative class action claims by consumers regarding debt resolution practices. Successfully moved to compel arbitration and obtained arbitration award that claims could not be arbitrated on a class-wide basis. When plaintiffs engaged in forum shopping by filing an action in the Southern District of Ohio to vacate the arbitration award, successfully transferred the action back to the Northern District where the court denied the petition to vacate the award.
Stakelum v. Zoom Tan, U.S. District Court, M.D. Fla., Case No. 6:12-CV-1120 and Rutherford v. Zoom Tan, U.S. District Court, M.D. Fla. Case No. 2:12-CV-00509 Defended tanning salon in two putative class actions by consumers alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act for alleged transmission of text advertisements. The cases settled favorably as individual claims and no classes were ever certified.
Fielder v. Penn Station, Inc. and Heartland Payment Systems, Inc., U.S. District Court, N.D. Ohio Case No. 1:12-CV-02166 Defended a credit card processor in a putative class action by consumers alleging damages caused by a data breach. The case settled favorably as an individual claim and no class was ever certified.
- Partner, Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP, 2003 to present. Member, Board of Directors, October 2006 to present; Chair, Recruiting Committee, 2004-06. Associate, 1994-2002; Summer Associate, 1993.
- Summer Associate, Thompson, Hine & Flory, 1992.
Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., 1994
Cornell University, A.B. with distinction in all subjects, 1991.
Cornell Club of Northeastern Ohio: Board Member, 2004-10.
Cornell Alumni Ambassador Admissions Network: Member.
Summer on the Cuyahoga: Board Member, 2005-09.
National Association of Women Business Owners: Former Corporate Partner Representative.
Arthritis Foundation of Cleveland: Member; Advisory Board, 2000-01.
American Bar Association Judicial Intern Opportunity Program: Volunteer.
AV® Preeminent Rated, Martindale-Hubbell.
Ohio Super Lawyers, 2011- 2017.
“Ohio Rising Stars,” Ohio Super Lawyers, 2005 - 2007.
Crain’s Women of Note 2017 Honoree.
Admitted to the Ohio Bar, 1994.
Licensed to practice in all Ohio courts as well as before the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio, the Eastern District of Michigan, and the Sixth Circuit and Third Circuit Courts of Appeals.
American Bar Association: Section of Litigation Leadership, 2003-2016
American Bar Association: Forum on Franchising, Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee.