Founders Bio

Azra Mehdi, the principal at The Mehdi Firm, is a 24 year veteran in class action litigation in the antitrust, securities, consumer fraud practice areas, among others.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Juris Doctor from DePaul College of Law in Chicago (class of 1995).
  • Bachelor of Arts with High Honors in English Literature and German, from the University of Illinois at Chicago (class of 1992)
  • Member of the Honors College; spent a year studying German Literature at the University of Vienna, Austria.
  • Ms. Mehdi clerked with the international law firm of Ortner, Pöch & Foramitti in Vienna, Austria.
  • Selected to participate in a private shareholder group of international companies bidding to acquire the contract to provide telecommunications services as the Austrian government moved toward privatizing the Austrian telecommunications industry.
  • Fluent in German, Hindi with conversational ability in French.

ADMISSIONS

  • State of New York (1996)
  • State of California (2002)
  • The United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York (1997)
  • United States District Court for the Northern, Central and Southern Districts of California (2002)
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (2004)
  • United States District Court for the District of Colorado (2003)
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Washington (2005).
  • The Bar Association of the State of California
  • The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights (2006 – 2014)

 

PRIOR NOTABLE CASES

Antitrust Actions
  • In re NASDAQ Market Makers Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1023 (S.D.N.Y.): Antitrust action alleging that NASDAQ market-makers set wide spreads based on an industry-wide conspiracy. After more than three years of litigation, the case settled for over $1 billion.
  • In re Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation, Case No., 96-5238 (E.D.N.Y.): Represented the world’s largest discount shoe retailer in antitrust class action against Visa and MasterCard, alleging that defendants created an unlawful tying arrangement in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act by requiring merchants who accepted their credit cards to also accept their debit cards. After over 6 years of litigation, the case settled for over $ 3 billion.
  • In re Motorsports Merchandise Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 97-2314 (N.D. Ga): Represented consumers in an antitrust class action alleging price fixing of race-related merchandise sold at motor sports events.
  • In re Ocean View Capital v. Sumitomo Corp,. Case No. 98-4067 (S.D.N.Y.): Ms. Mehdi represented a private party in an antitrust action against Sumitomo Copper in connection with allegations of fixing prices in the copper market. The action settled in a private resolution.
  • Stewart v. GoGo, Inc., Case No. 12-5164 (N.D. Cal): Represented consumers in an antitrust class action alleging that GoGo had unlawfully maintained monopoly market power in the United States market for inflight internet connectivity on domestic US travel. The action resulted in a private settlement.
Securities Actions
  • Jaffe v. Household International, Inc., Case No. 02-05893 (N.D. Ill): Ms. Mehdi was the lead litigation partner on in this complex securities fraud case for seven years, where over 5 million documents were produced. In addition to drafting the operative complaint, Ms. Mehdi led the entire pre-trial phase of the lawsuit, including designing the litigation and discovery strategy, selecting the experts, overseeing all motion practice, fact and expert discovery. A Chicago jury returned a verdict in favor of the investors represented by Ms. Mehdi against the company and its senior executives, in May 2009 with a potential recovery between $1- $3 billion in damages. This verdict was appealed and the case went back to district court for a second trial. On the eve of the second trial, almost 14 years after initiation, the case settled for $1.575 billion.
  • Luther v. Countrywide Home Loans Servicing LP, et al. Case No. BC380698 (Ca. Sup. Ct. L.A): The Mehdi Firm PC was counsel to MashreqBank, psc, a large, foreign institution in the Luther class action, which names as defendants several Countrywide subsidiaries and affiliated individuals, multiple loan trusts, and Countrywide’s offering underwriters. The complaint asserted claims on behalf of purchasers of billions of dollars of mortgage pass-through certificates issued between June 2005 and June 2007 and alleged that the defendants violated Sections 11, 12 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 by misrepresenting the risk of investing in the mortgage pass-through certificates was much greater than represented by the registration and prospectus supplements. This case settled for $500 million, the largest mortgage-backed-securities class action recovery in history.
  • In re WorldCom Sec. Litigation, Case No. 03-8269 (S.D.N.Y.): Ms. Mehdi was one of the lead lawyers in the WorldCom private actions, brought on behalf of institutional investors who opted out of the class action case and sued WorldCom’s bankers, officers, directors, and auditors for losses related to WorldCom offerings. Ms. Mehdi’s supervised motion practice, discovery, and settlement processes for a number of California-based City and County pensions plans, and certain unions and entertainment funds. These actions resulted in a recovery of over $650 million for the institutions.
  • In re IMPAX Labs., Inc. Secs. Litigation, Case No. 04-04802 JW (N. D. Cal).: Ms. Mehdi represented investors in this securities fraud class action complaint against Impax Laboratories, Inc. a specialty pharmaceutical company that develops, sells and markets generic pharmaceuticals for violations of Section 10(b) and 20(a) and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The case settled for just over $9 million.
Other Private Actions
  • MashreqBank, psc v. ING Investment Management Co. LLC et. al., Case No. 13-cv-2318-LGS (S.D.N.Y.): Ms. Mehdi was counsel to MashreqBank, psc, the second largest commercial bank in the United Arab Emirates in a private breach of contract lawsuit [LINK to Ex. 1] against ING. ING was MashreqBank’s investment manager during the 2006-2007 period and breached its contract with MashreqBank by investing in illiquid investments such as CDO’s, CBO’s, CLO’s and other structured investment products, thereby causing losses of over $60 million. The action settled privately in May 2014 after completion of fact and expert discovery.
Consumer Actions
  • HSBC California Call Recording Lawsuit, Fanning et al. v. HSBC Card Services Inc. et al., (C.D. Cal. Case No. 12-cv-00885 JVS (RNBx)) and Lindgren v. HSBC Card Services Inc. et al. (C.D. Cal. Case No. 14-cv-05615 JVS (RNBx))The Mehdi Firm, PC is class counsel in the above cases currently pending before the Honorable Judge James V. Selna. These cases allege that HSBC violated California’s Invasion of Privacy Act, Cal. Penal Code §§630 et seq., (“CIPA”) by recording telephone conversations with account holders concerning their HSBC credit card accounts without the account holders’ consent. On October 19, 2016, the Court granted preliminary approval of a $13 million settlement with final approval granted on October 23, 2017.
  • Bank of America Access Checks Litigation, Case No. 06-03723: Ms. Mehdi represented California consumers in an action against Bank of America and MBNA Corporation: Nobles v. MBNA Corp., No. 06-03723 (N.D. Cal) arising from allegations of false representations in defendants’ “live check” loan solicitations (i.e., access checks, convenience checks or balance transfer checks). This case resulted a recovery of over 80% of the compensatory damages, and led to a mandated change in Bank of America’s business practices to provide additional disclosures relating to such solicitations.
  • O’Brien v. Bloomstoday, Case No. 12-cv-30041-MAP (D. Mass): Ms. Mehdi represented consumers in this nationwide consumer action alleging violations of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (“EFTA”), 15 U.S.C. §1693, et seq., and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. §1962(c) and unfair trade practices under Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act (“MCPA”), Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 93A. The complaint demanded recovery for harm caused by defendants’ false and misleading marketing campaign for a 50% discount on flowers for same day delivery, where defendants’ real objective was to automatically enroll consumers in a rewards program resulting in monthly billing and charging of consumers’ credit cards or debiting their bank accounts without their knowledge or consent. Parties entered into a private confidential resolution after the complaint was upheld.
  • Townsend et al. v. Monster Beverage Corp. et al., Case No. 12-cv-02118-VAP-KKx (C.D. Cal.): The Mehdi Firm was Lead Counsel in this consumer class action brought against Monster Beverage Corporation and Monster Energy Company alleging that certain of their Monster Energy® branded drinks were mislabeled. The action alleged that Monster failed to appropriately warn consumers of the health risks inherent in these energy drinks. The case was dismissed by the lower court, but The Mehdi Firm briefed and argued the case before the Ninth Circuit and obtained a partial reversal of the dismissal.

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