Financial Services Litigation: Banking and Mortgage Servicing
- Eric represents national banks and mortgage servicers in various litigation matters, including wrongful foreclosure claims and claims under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA), the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (ICFA), the Kansas Consumer Protection Act (KCPA), the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA).
- Eric argued before the Missouri Supreme Court in December 2016 and convinced the Court to vacate a multi-million dollar judgment against a national bank and remand the case for a new trial on damages.
- In August 2017, Eric prevailed in an appeal before the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District on behalf of one of the nation's largest mortgage servicers in a declaratory judgment action in which plaintiffs sought to avoid a $1 million obligation on their property based upon various Uniform Commercial Code arguments. Eric was lead trial counsel in the underlying trial victory.
- Eric obtained a precedent-setting ruling in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals that made fraud and negligent misrepresentation claims more difficult to assert against financial institutions.
- Eric obtained summary judgment in the Western District of Missouri federal court on an MMPA claim following the 8th Circuit decision referenced above. The Court's dismissal was one of the first rulings in favor of a mortgage servicer on an MMPA claim following Missouri Supreme decisions that expanded MMPA liability to servicing activities.
- Eric obtained a dismissal of a federal class action suit regarding the type of notice that a foreclosure sale purchaser must provide. The Court relied on the Wilson decision, explained in the next bullet point.
- In Federal National Mortgage Association v. Wilson, 409 S.W.3d 490 (Mo. App. 2013), Eric convinced the Missouri Court of Appeals, in an issue of first impression, to overturn a trial court ruling and established that a foreclosure sale purchaser was entitled to immediate possession without further demand.
- Eric persuaded the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm the dismissal of the borrower's claims and sustain heightened standards for asserting fraud claims.
- Eric obtained summary judgment in a federal class action in the Eastern District of Missouri challenging the securitization of asset backed securities and a national bank's loan modification procedures.
- In 2013, Eric represented a financial services company in a successful settlement of a class action involving alleging UCC violations relating to sales of vehicles following repossession.
- In September 2012, Mr. Martin obtained a defense verdict in a jury trial in Jackson County, Missouri for a national bank in a dispute with the world's largest property restoration company.
- In 2012, Mr. Martin represented a national bank in a successful settlement of class action involving the Second Mortgage Loan Act in the Western District of Missouri.
Financial Services Litigation: Broker-Dealer and Securities
As a member of the firm’s Securities Litigation and Enforcement Group, Mr. Martin represents broker-dealers in class action litigation, customer litigation and arbitrations, and intra-industry disputes.
Eric has obtained numerous Awards in promissory note cases for broker-dealers. For example, in Waddell & Reed v. McGaffey, 2016 WL 4537833 (Aug. 23, 2016), the FINRA Panel awarded Eric's client the full amount sought in a promissory note case despite the respondent's vigorous assertion of various defenses.
Eric successfully represented a national broker dealer in a two week arbitration on a multi-million-dollar defamation claim that resulted in a defense verdict.
Eric defended a federal class action involving an alleged $150 million shortfall in a pre-need funeral trust in a case that concluded successfully for his client.
Eric successfully represented a broker-dealer in a two week multi-million dollar FINRA arbitration involving a raiding claim brought by a rival broker-dealer.
Eric successfully represented a broker dealer in a federal trial in the Southern District of Illinois involving the timing of the sale of an unregistered security.
Eric obtained a directed verdict in a FINRA arbitration involving “selling away” claims.
Eric obtained a favorable award in defending a broker-dealer and two financial advisers in a FINRA arbitration involving non-compete and tortious interference claims brought by another broker-dealer.
Eric has regularly appeared before appellate courts and obtained favorable decisions overturning trial courts on the issue of whether disputes are arbitrable.
- In Schwarz v. Gierke, 788 N.W. 302 (N.D. 2010), Eric convinced the North Dakota Supreme Court to reverse a trial court decision regarding the arbitrability of a dispute.
- In a pair of appellate decisions in the same case--Hollingshead v. A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc., 396 Ill.App.3d (5th Dist. 2009) and 2012 IL App (5th) 120095-U--Eric successfully argued that the trial court entered erroneous orders denying motions to compel arbitration.
Real Estate Litigation
Eric has an extensive background in real estate litigation such as condemnation, lease enforcement, radius restrictions, and adverse possession. Eric's background is distinctive in this area in that he has successfully tried real estate disputes to verdict in both the jury and bench trial contexts and has obtained significant appellate victories.
In Hemsath v. City of O’Fallon, 261 S.W.3d 1 (Mo.App. E.D. 2008), Eric convinced the appellate court to reverse a million dollar plus verdict involving an alleged breach of a real estate covenant and enter judgment in favor of his client.
Eric has represented both condemning authorities and property owners in eminent domain actions.
- For example, he has represented landowners in a high profile condemnation matter involving a prominent building in downtown St. Louis, a matter which was covered by The St. Louis Business Journal.
- Eric represented a municipality affected by numerous condemnation actions arising out of the expansion of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
- In a rarely used condemnation proceeding, Eric represented a building owner in a condemnation of a leasehold interest brought by the federal government.
Eric obtained a defense verdict for a property owner in a Madison County, Illinois jury trial involving an adverse possession claim.
Eric obtained a verdict in favor of a high-end shopping center seeking to enforce radius restriction in St. Louis County.
Eric successfully represented the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in an injunction action involving the development of a parking garage.
Eric assists telecommunications carriers and tower leasing companies in obtaining permits for cell towers. When litigation is required, Eric has extensive experience in litigating challenges to telecommunications permits in federal court under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (“TCA”) and state court certiorari proceedings.
In USCOC of Greater Missouri, LLC v. County of Franklin, Missouri, 636 F.3d 927 (8th Cir. 2011), Eric convinced the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a federal district court decision and order that barriers to the construction of a telecommunications tower be removed. The resulting opinion is one of the strongest TCA decisions in the nation.
Apart from permitting issues, Eric has broad experience representing telecommunication clients in a variety of contexts. For example, Eric obtained a defense verdict for a national telecommunications carrier in a St. Louis County jury trial involving revenue sharing.