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Admitted to Practice

  • Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Washington

Ken Payson

PaysonKen
Partner
Co-chair, Class Action Defense Group; Chair, Hiring Committee
T206.757.8126
F206.757.7126
Ken Payson co-chairs the firm’s Class Action Defense Group. His practice focuses on class action defense, other complex commercial litigation and appellate work, particularly with respect to claims under state and federal statutes and regulations regarding privacy, consumer protection, employment, and product liability. He has repeatedly been selected as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” in commercial litigation by Best lawyers and as a "Washington Super Lawyer" by Thomson Reuters. Ken represents clients from a variety of industries, including financial services, telecommunications, software, and digital and print media companies. He has obtained numerous orders dismissing putative class actions or denying class certification and has successfully defended them on appeal. He serves as lead counsel in class actions across the nation. He has a particular practice focus defending so-called "blast text," "blast fax," and robocall class actions involving claims under the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and similar state laws restricting unsolicited faxes and the use of autodialer, prerecorded, or artificial voice to place texts or calls.

Representative Experience

Privacy Class Actions

Gragg v. Orange Cab Company, Inc. & Ridecharge Inc.

Represented mobile application developer and transportation company in putative class action alleging the companies sent text messages in violation of the TCPA, the Washington Commercial Electronic Mail Act, and the Washington Consumer Protection Act. Obtained order dismissing TCPA claim on summary judgment. 995 F. Supp. 2d 1189 (W.D. Wash. 2014). Motion to dismiss Washington Consumer Protection Act claim granted. 942 F. Supp. 2d 1111 (W.D. Wash. 2013). (W.D. Wash. Ongoing)

Friedman v. Nutribullet, LLC, & Tribune Broadcasting Co., LLC

Represented major broadcasting company in putative nationwide class action alleging the company sent text messages in violation of the TCPA. Settled favorably on individual basis. (C.D. Cal. 2014)

Willett et al. v. Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc. et al.

Representing nation’s largest vendor of automated red-light traffic cameras in putative nationwide class action alleging the company caused automated and prerecorded messages to be placed to cell phones in violation of the TCPA. Settled favorably on class basis. (D. N.M. 2016)

Hetherington v. Omaha Steaks, Inc. and Omaha Steaks Int’l, Inc.

Representing leading food manufacturing, marketing, and distribution company in putative nationwide class action alleging the company placed automated and prerecorded messages to cell phones in violation of the TCPA and state common law. Settled favorably on class basis. (D. Or. 2016)

Shorvoghlian v. Los Angeles Times Communications LLC

Represented media company in putative nationwide class action alleging the company placed calls in violation of the TCPA. Obtained voluntary dismissal. (C.D. Cal. 2015)

Nationwide TCPA putative class action for commercial lender

Representing commercial lender in putative nationwide class action, alleging the company placed calls in violation of the TCPA, and putative Washington statewide class action alleging the company placed automated and prerecorded commercial solicitation calls in violation of Washington's Automatic Dialing and Announcing Device Act, and Consumer Protection Act. Settled favorably on class basis. (W.D. Wash. 2016)

Nationwide TCPA putative class action for business lender

Representing business lender in putative nationwide class action alleging company placed calls in violation of the TCPA. Settled favorably on individual basis. (S.D.N.Y. 2015)

Bauman v. V Theater, LLC et al. / Razilou v. V Theater, LLC et al.

Representing independent entertainment production companies and related parties in putative nationwide class action alleging company sent text messages in violation of the TCPA and Nevada consumer protection law. (D. Nev. Ongoing)

Nationwide TCPA putative class action for medical services company

Represented medical services company in putative nationwide class action alleging company placed calls to cell phones in violation of the TCPA. Obtained voluntary dismissal. (N.D. Ill. 2015)

Washington State telephone commercial solicitation class action for financial services company

Represented financial services company in putative Washington statewide class action alleging the company placed automated and prerecorded commercial solicitation calls in violation of Washington Automatic Dialing and Announcing Device Act and Consumer Protection Act. Settled favorably on individual basis. (King Cnty. (Wash.) Super. Ct. 2014)

Nationwide TCPA putative class action for medical services company

Represented medical services company in putative nationwide class action alleging company placed calls to cell phones in violation of the TCPA. Settled favorably on class basis. (C.D. Cal. 2015)

Cudecki et al. v. Clearwire Corporation

Represented wireless communications company in putative class action alleging the company left prerecorded messages on cell phones in violation of the TCPA. Settled favorably on individual basis. (N.D. Ill. 2012)

Dancer v. Los Angeles Times Communications LLC

Represented Los Angeles Times Communications LLC in putative class action alleging the company left prerecorded messages on cell phones in violation of the TCPA. Settled favorably. (Los Angeles Cnty. (Cal.) Super. Ct. 2014)

Anderson v. Clearwire Corporation

Represented wireless communications company in action alleging the company left prerecorded messages on cell phones in violation of the TCPA. Settled favorably on individual basis. (M.D. Fla. 2012)

Kwan et al. v. Clearwire Corporation, Clearwire Communications LLC, Clearwire US, LLC, & Bureau of Recovery LLC

Represented wireless communications company in putative class action alleging the company and its contractors left prerecorded messages on cell phones in violation of the TCPA, the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, the Washington Consumer Protection Act, the Washington Commercial Telephone Solicitation Act, and other claims. Settled favorably. (W.D. Wash. 2014)

Nationwide TCPA putative class action for leading health product supplier

Represented health product supplier in putative nationwide class action alleging company's advertising violated the TCPA. Settled favorably. (Clark Cnty. (Nev.) Dist. Ct. 2014)

Lupei v. Clear Wireless, LLC & Manhattan Computer Products, Inc.

Represented wireless communications company in putative nationwide class action alleging company and its retailer sent unsolicited faxed advertisements in violation of the TCPA and Nevada consumer protection law. Obtained dismissal with prejudice. (Clark Cnty. (Nev.) Dist. Ct. 2011)

False Advertising and Deceptive Business Practices Class Actions

Advertised-pricing class action for national retailer

Defending national health and nutrition products retailer in putative California statewide class action challenging sale prices advertised for products on website as deceptive and misleading under California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL), Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), and False Advertising Law (FAL). (S.D. Cal. Ongoing)

Advertised-pricing class action for national retailer #2

Defending national retailer health and nutrition products in putative California statewide class action challenging sale prices advertised for products on website as deceptive and misleading under California’s UCL, CLRA, and FAL. (S.D. Cal. Ongoing)

Advertised-pricing class action for national retailer

Defending national retailer health and nutrition products in putative nationwide class action challenging sale prices advertised for products on website as deceptive and misleading under Pennsylvania, California, and other states’ consumer protection laws. (W.D. Pa. Ongoing)

Dennings v. Clearwire

Represented national wireless carrier in putative nationwide and six-state class actions in federal court alleging carrier breached its contracts and violated Washington, California, and other states’ consumer protection statutes by advertising engaging in network management practices. Resolved favorably through settlement. (W.D. Wash. 2014)

Newton v. Clearwire

Represented wireless communications company in putative class action alleging the company misrepresented its service quality and failed to adequately disclose its network management practices in violation of California’s UCL and CLRA, and other claims. Resolved favorably through settlement. (E.D. Cal. 2014)

Matsyuk v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company

Represented State Farm Fire in putative class action alleging violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act and other claims regarding State Farm's supposed breach of a duty to pay a share of its insureds' attorneys' fees. Resolved favorably through settlement. (King Cnty. (Wash.) Super. Ct. 2013) Read more

Stanphill v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company

Represented State Farm Mutual in putative class action alleging violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act and other claims regarding State Farm's supposed breach of a duty to pay a share of its insureds' attorneys' fees. Resolved favorably through settlement. (King Cnty. (Wash.) Super. Ct. 2013)

Minnick et al. v Clearwire US, LLC

Represented wireless communications company in putative nationwide class action challenging early termination fees as unlawful and asserting deceptive advertising claims under the Washington Consumer Protection Act. Motion to dismiss granted. Certified question to Washington Supreme Court answered in Clearwire’s favor. Resolved favorably through settlement. (W.D. Wash.)

Tavenner v. The Talon Group

Represented escrow service provider in putative class action alleging company misrepresented certain fees in violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act and other claims. Resolved favorably through settlement. (W.D. Wash. 2014)

Radonovich v. Amerititle, Inc.

Represented escrow service provider in putative class action alleging company misrepresented certain fees in violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act and other claims. Resolved favorably through settlement. (Kittitas Cnty. (Wash.) Super. Ct. 2014)

McKee v. AT&T Corporation

Represented telecommunications company in putative class action asserting Washington Consumer Protection Act claims regarding alleged tax overcharges and improper late fees. Resolved favorably through settlement. (Chelan Cnty. (Wash.) Super. Ct. 2013)

Blass et al. v. Flagstar Bancorp, Inc., et al.

Defended financial services company in putative class action alleging consumer protection and other claims regarding forced-placed flood insurance. Obtained dismissal with prejudice. (S.D. Fla. 2012)

Muniz v. Microsoft Corporation

Defended Microsoft in putative nationwide class action alleging consumer protection and other claims regarding online, stored-value system for purchasing products and services. Obtained dismissal with prejudice. (W.D. Wash. 2010)

Taber et al. v. Oasis Physical Therapy et al.

Defended physical therapy clinic in a Washington state class action alleging inappropriate contact with patients. Defeated class certification motion. (Franklin Cnty. (Wash.) Super. Ct. 2009)

Lozano v. AT&T Wireless et al.

Represented AT&T Mobility in California class action regarding roaming charges and a putative nationwide class case alleging 'cramming' in violation of California’s UCL and CLRA, and other state’s consumer protection laws. Obtained orders dismissing two claims on summary judgment and denying class certification on all but two claims, with the two certified claims limited to California subscribers only. 504 F.3d 718, 728 (9th Cir. 2007, C.D. Cal. 2008)

Odom et al. v. Best Buy Co., Inc. et al.*

Defended Microsoft in putative nationwide product liability class action alleging consumer protection claims regarding marketing of Internet access service. (King Cnty. (Wash.) Super. Ct. 2008)

Luna et al. v. Household Finance Corporation et al.*

Represented HFC against predatory lending claims throughout Washington. Successfully moved the case from state court in plaintiffs' lawyers' home county to a more favorable forum in federal court in Seattle. Defeated plaintiffs' request to bar HFC's foreclosure activity and obtained order denying class certification in federal court. (W.D. Wash. 2007)

Wakefield et al. v. The Disney Company et al.*

Defended video game publisher Square Enix Co., Ltd., in copyright infringement and California UCL action. Obtained dismissal on the pleadings. (C.D. Cal. 2007)

Ecker-Lombard v. United Services Automobile Association*

Defended insurance carrier in a putative class action alleging underpayment of certain underinsured motorist benefits payments. Settled favorably. (King. Cnty. (Wash.) Super. Ct. 2006)

Brantingham et al. v. Best Buy Co., Inc. et al.*

Defended Microsoft in putative nationwide class action alleging consumer protection claims regarding marketing of Internet access service. Given another pending class action involving similar issues, persuaded plaintiffs to voluntarily dismiss their complaint. (W.D. Wash. 2005)

Employment Class Actions and Litigation

Wage-and-hour class action for commercial bank

Representing commercial bank in putative multi-state class action alleging the company failed to pay overtime and improperly calculated commissions in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Washington, California, Oregon, Idaho, and Utah laws. (W.D. Wash. Ongoing)

Wage-and-hour class action for multinational banking and financial services corporation

Represented multinational banking and financial services corporation in putative Washington statewide class action alleging the company failed to pay overtime, minimum wage, provide rest and meal breaks, or wages owed in violation of Washington’s employment and consumer protection laws. Settled favorably on class basis. (W.D. Wash. 2014)

De Guzman v. Affordable Wireless Technologies & T-Mobile USA, Inc.

Represented wireless company in putative California class action alleging the company failed to provide adequate employee seating in violation of California law. Obtained voluntary dismissal. (Los Angeles Cnty. (Cal.) Super. Ct. 2013)

Drury v. Household Finance Corporation*

Defended home mortgage lending company in wrongful discharge case alleging company terminated plaintiff in retaliation for “whistleblowing.” Case settled on favorable terms. (King Cnty. (Wash.) Super. Ct. 2005)

Product Liability Class Actions

Greenwood et al. v. Jaguar Land Rover North America LLC

Defended automobile importer and distributor in a putative class action asserting claims for violations of the Washington Consumer Protection Act based on alleged defect in tire alignment in certain vehicles. Resolved favorably through settlement. (C.D. Cal. 2013)

Velez v. Microsoft Corporation*

Defended Microsoft in putative nationwide product liability class action regarding alleged defect in video game consoles. In light of earlier pending class action asserting similar claims, moved to dismiss under the 'first-filed' doctrine, after which plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their complaint. (W.D. Wash. 2006)

Espinoza et al. v. Identix Incorporated*

Represented technology company in a putative nationwide products liability class action involving biometric security technology. Dismissed on summary judgment. (D. Or. 2005)

In re Cadet Heater Litigation*

Represented a national distributor of home products in a nationwide product liability class action involving allegedly defective in-wall heaters. Case resolved favorably through settlement. Successfully defended collateral attack on the judgment. (King. Cnty. (Wash.) Super. Ct. 2002)
* Denotes experience completed at a prior firm

Additional Qualifications

  • Adjunct Professor, Seattle University School of Law, Seattle
  • Shareholder, Heller Ehrman LLP, Seattle
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Barbara Durham, Chief Justice, Washington State Supreme Court, Olympia, Wash.

Professional & Community Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Leadership Institute Advisory Board, 2007-2010; Executive Director Search Committee, 2007; Judicial Recommendation Committee, 1997-2000 – Washington State Bar Association
  • Board of Governors, 1999-2000; Alternate Governor, 2002-2005; Student Scholarship Committee, 2010-2014 – National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
  • Washington State Minority & Justice Commission, 1999-2005
  • Co-chair, Joint Committee on Law Firm Diversity, 2007-2009 – Minority Bar Associations of Washington
  • President, 2004; President-Elect, 2003; Vice President, 2002; Board of Directors, 1997-1999, 2002-2005, 2007-2008; Judicial Evaluations Committee, Chair, 1997-1999 – Asian Bar Association of Washington
  • President, 2015-2016; Board of Directors, 2013-2017 – Asian Bar Association of Washington Student Scholarship Foundation
  • Board of Directors, 2017 – Washington Initiative for Diversity
  •  Co-chair, Development Task Force – King County Bar Foundation Diversity Coalition, 2002

Professional Recognition

  • Named one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in Commercial Litigation by Best Lawyers, 2013-present
  • Named one of the "Best Lawyers Under 40," National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, 2002
  • Selected to "Washington Super Lawyers," Thomson Reuters, 2005-2017
  • Selected to "Washington Rising Stars," Thomson Reuters, 2004-2005
  • 2009 Excellence in Diversity Award, Washington State Bar Association