Michael W. Sobol

Michael W. Sobol

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Consumer Law Attorney in San Francisco, CA

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
 | 275 Battery Street, 29th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415-956-1000
Fax: 415-956-1008
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2012 - 2020
Licensed Since: 1998
Practice Areas:
  • Consumer Law
    Attorney Profile

    One of the Nation’s Premier Consumer Protection Attorneys

    As the chair of Lieff Cabraser’s Consumer Protection practice group for the past sixteen years and chair of the firm’s Cybersecurity & Data Privacy group since its inception in 2016, Michael W. Sobol leads novel and challenging consumer protection class action lawsuits of first impression. Within the last few years, Michael’s cases have recovered over one billion dollars and have reformed the business practices for the benefit of tens of millions consumers nationwide. In late 2017, the National Law Journal named Michael a “Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Trailblazer” for doing work of particular significance “in the fight against criminal cyber activity and towards adding much needed layers of data security in an increasingly digital world of commerce.”

    The Consumer Attorneys of California have repeatedly honored Michael as a finalist for the organization’s Consumer Attorney of the Year Award. In 2011, the CAOC recognized Michael for Gutierrez v. Wells Fargo, a class action trial that proved Wells Fargo deceptively represented its accounting of debit card transactions. Those findings were affirmed on appeal, and a $203 million judgment for restitution has been entered on behalf of a class of over one million California consumers.

    In 2012, the CAOC recognized Michael for his work in the Yourke v. Bank of America overdraft fees case which resulted in a $410 million settlement for customers nationwide. In 2013, the CAOC recognized Michael as part of the team that led the multidistrict litigation, In re Chase Bank Check Loans, which produced a $100 million settlement of claims that Chase Bank violated the covenant of good faith and fair dealing in special check loan deals with its credit card customers.

    In 2012, Michael was named as a finalist for Trial Lawyer of the Year by Public Justice for his work on the Plaintiff Executive Committee in the multidistrict In re Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, where over 100 cases against 35 of the nation’s largest banks were coordinated. The cases have resulted in several hundred millions of dollars in settlements providing direct payments to class members.

    Michael has also taken on the automobile financing industry for allowing local auto dealers to impose discriminatory interest rate markups against African-American and Hispanic customers. The settlements in these cases included the refinancing of billions of dollars in car loan debt.

    Michael was also Co-Lead Counsel in a case against the credit reporting industry, where he helped obtain a much-lauded injunctive relief settlement that for the first time required the industry to take measures to verify the accuracy of certain credit information from otherwise reliable sources. Michael has also successfully settled or tried numerous other cases involving financial fraud, false advertising, or unfair business practices against banks and finance companies, credit card companies, insurers, manufacturers, and sellers.

    Michael currently represents consumers asserting that Facebook violated their privacy rights by scanning private email messages, and residents of Detroit, Michigan in a class action lawsuit against Morgan Stanley for actively ensuring the proliferation of high-cost, high-risk mortgage loans to bundle and sell mortgage-backed securities to investors.

    Other Awards and Activities

    Recognized as both a Super Lawyer and Best Lawyer, the Daily Journal selected Michael as a top 100 lawyer in California for 2012 and 2013. Michael regularly participates in numerous conferences on consumer litigation, including the National Consumer Law Center’s Annual Consumer Rights Litigation Conference, Class Action Symposium, and he is a co-author of the NCLC treatise on Consumer Class Actions.

    About Michael Sobol

    Admitted: 1998, California

    Professional Webpage: http://www.lieffcabraser.com/attorneys/michael-w-sobol/

    Honors/Awards:

    • Selected for inclusion by peers in The Best Lawyers in America in fields of "Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Plaintiffs" and "Product Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs," 2013 - 2021; "Super Lawyer for Northern California," Super Lawyers, 2012 - 2020; “Top Cyber/Artificial Intelligence Lawyer,” Daily Journal, 2018-2019; “MVP for Cybersecurity and Privacy,” Law360, 2017; "Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Trailblazer," The National Law Journal, 2017; "California Litigation Star," Benchmark Plaintiff, 2013-2015; "Top 100 Northern California Super Lawyers," Super Lawyers, 2013; "Top 100 Attorneys in California," Daily Journal, 2012-2013; "Trial Lawyer of the Year Finalist," Public Justice, 2012;  "Consumer Attorney of the Year Finalist," Consumer Attorneys of California, 2011; "Lawdragon Finalist," Lawdragon, 2009; "New York Litigation Star," Benchmark Plaintiff, 2014.

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Bar Association of San Francisco; Consumer Attorneys of California (Board of Governors, 2007 - 2010); National Association of Consumer Advocates; State Bar of California.

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Panelist, National Consumer Law Center’s 15th Annual Consumer Rights Litigation; Conference, Class Action Symposium; Panelist, Continuing Education of the Bar (C.E.B.) Seminar on Unfair Business Practices—California’s Business and Professions Code Section 17200 and Beyond; Columnist, On Class Actions, Association of Business Trial Lawyers, 2005 to Present; The Reach of Statutory Damages, 2008; Proposition 64’s Unintended Consequences, 2007; The Rise of Issue Class Certification, 2006; The Fall of Class Action Waivers, 2005
    • Michael also contributes to Google+ and the Lieff Cabraser civil justice blog.
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    Office Location for Michael W. Sobol

    275 Battery Street
    29th Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94111

    Michael W. Sobol:

    Last Updated: 4/24/2020

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