Consumer Class Action Defense
TCPA Litigation and Compliance
Privacy Litigation and Compliance
University of Florida, College of Law
J.D., magna cum laude
Order of the Coif
Florida Law Review, Board Member
Florida State University
- B. Finance, summa cum laude
- B. Phil., summa cum laude
State Bar of Georgia
State Bar of Florida
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Second, Sixth, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits
U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Middle Districts of Georgia and Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida
Georgia Supreme Court and Court of Appeals
Florida Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal
Ryan D. Watstein
Ryan Watstein is the partner in charge of KCO’s commercial litigation and consumer class action defense team. In this role, Ryan has successfully defended companies as lead counsel in a variety of litigation matters, including more than 100 national class actions. In none of those cases has a class been certified, for settlement purposes or otherwise. For these achievements, Ryan was recently ranked as a Band 1 litigator by Chambers USA alongside the practice he leads, which also received a Band 1 ranking (the highest designation, only awarded to a few practices and lawyers).
Ryan has developed particular and recognized expertise defending TCPA claims. In the past several years, Ryan has been lead counsel in hundreds of such lawsuits, often obtaining dismissals without any payment by his clients. A self-proclaimed “TCPA nerd,” Ryan reads virtually every TCPA decision published. This allows Ryan to efficiently and effectively advise companies in TCPA compliance and litigation-avoidance, in addition to defending them in court and in government investigations.
Ryan also has substantial experience litigating many other types of consumer claims and business disputes, including those involving privacy, contract, fraud, trade secrets, the FCRA, FDCPA, FCCPA, TILA, CIPA, Rosenthal Act, and other state consumer statutes. The disputes Ryan has litigated have involved billions in exposure and have spanned more than two dozen jurisdictions and arbitration tribunals across the country.
In addition to being ranked by Chambers, Ryan has been recognized by Law360 as a Top Class Action Attorney Under 40. He has also been consistently recognized as a “Rising Star” by Georgia Super Lawyers and as one of Georgia’s “Legal Elite—Best Lawyers in Georgia” by Georgia Trend Magazine.
Prior to entering private practice, Ryan attended law school at the University of Florida, where he served on the Florida Law Review, graduated magna cum laude, was inducted as a member of Order of the Coif, and received several awards for the highest grade in the class. Before that, Ryan attended Florida State University on scholarship, graduating summa cum laude with bachelor’s degrees in both philosophy and finance.
Ryan graduated from Leadership DeKalb and served on United Way’s DeKalb Advisory Board. Ryan also volunteers as a moot court competition judge, and regularly speaks on issues germane to his areas of expertise. He is a past Board Member of the Druid Hills Civic Association. Ryan is an avid skier, traveler, and—most importantly—proud father to two wonderful little girls.
- Obtained the first- and the second-in-the-nation rulings holding that the TCPA’s restriction on automated and pre-recorded calls—one of the most litigated statutory provisions—is unenforceable under the First Amendment for a five-year period. These have been recognized as two of the most financially impactful district court decisions ever because of the number of pending class actions they could ultimately end. Though the second of these decisions was reversed on appeal, we have a petition for certiorari to the US Supreme Court pending in that case.
- Obtained first-in-the-nation ruling denying class certification on adequacy grounds on early, affirmative motion of the defendant.
- Obtained the first-in-the-nation ruling dismissing an internal do-not-call claim at the pleading stage pursuant to an Article III standing challenge.
- Obtained one of the most detailed class certification denial orders ever published. The order contained rulings on multiple issues of first impression and has made it significantly more difficult to certify “wrong number” TCPA class actions.
- Obtained partial summary judgment in a nationwide class action on an issue of first impression. Then, obtained summary judgment on the remaining claim later in the case.
- Prevailed on numerous motions to dismiss nationwide class actions. Ryan’s victories on motions to dismiss include obtaining dismissal of several cases, with prejudice, at the pleadings stage for failure to adequately plead vicarious liability.
- Successfully defended numerous corporate clients against hundreds of putative class and individual lawsuits asserted under a variety of state and federal statutes, including the TCPA, FDCPA, FCCPA, TILA, Rosenthal Act, state privacy statutes, state call recording statutes, state debt collection statutes, and so on. In many cases, obtained voluntary dismissal with no payment by client or prevailed on dispositive motion.
- Represented a national telecommunications provider in a nationwide class action. Prevailed on a motion to dismiss and to transfer the case to a more favorable jurisdiction, then successfully bifurcated discovery. After oral argument, prevailed on a motion for summary judgment.
- Represented numerous companies in class actions filed by customers. In each instance, obtained dismissal by successfully litigating and enforcing the applicable arbitration provision and class-action waiver.
- Conducted audits of consumer-contact and advertising strategies to ensure compliance with various federal and state statutes and regulations. In connection with this, drafted arbitration clauses, indemnity provisions, provisions authorizing compliant consumer contact, and other provisions to minimize legal exposure.
- Counseled businesses in a variety of industries regarding litigation avoidance and compliance with a variety of state statutes that govern contact with consumers, such as the TCPA, FDCPA, CAN-SPAM, and California’s Invasion of Privacy Act.
- Retained by national bank to handle appeal involving “certified question of great public importance” before Florida Supreme Court. Prevailed on appeal, and published decision set standard applicable to motions to set aside judicial foreclosure sales in the State of Florida.
- After substantial evidentiary hearing, obtained nationwide injunctive relief in action between industry-leading competitors, enjoining opposing party’s trade secret theft and unfair competition.
- Obtained summary judgment in Fortune 50 client’s favor on all counts in lawsuit seeking millions in damages for breach of contract and alleged violations of Department of Housing and Urban Development Regulations. After oral argument, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed in a published opinion that contains favorable rulings on multiple issues of first impression.
- Defended company against breach-of-contract claims filed by client’s supplier. After filing counterclaims against supplier, filing third-party claims against another party, and prevailing on all motions filed in case, resolved case through favorable settlement that not only resulted in no payment by client, but required other parties to pay client significant sum.
- Retained by financial services company to challenge the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s final refusal to register one of their most valuable trademarks. On appeal, the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board reversed and ordered the United States Patent and Trademark Office to register the mark.
- Successfully litigated numerous trademark infringement, false advertising, and unfair trade practices claims in federal court in multiple jurisdictions.
- Prosecuted breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and other claims arising out of a significant Ponzi scheme in Georgia superior court. After oral argument, defeated defendant’s motion for summary judgment on eight of ten claims. The day before trial, obtained confidential settlement for clients.
- Retained by financial institution facing res judicata issues as a result of former attorney’s loss in North Carolina Court of Appeals. Re-filed action in federal court, obtained sanctions award against opposing counsel, forcing favorable settlement that allowed client to circumvent res judicata issue.
- Defended business client in multi-million-dollar breach-of-contract action. In federal district court, obtained dismissal of all claims with prejudice. On appeal, obtained settlement that resulted in dismissal of appeal without any payment by client.
- In action against materials supplier, obtained judgment in client’s favor. Thereafter, filed fraudulent transfer suit against insolvent judgment debtor, forcing favorable settlement for client.
- Defended commercial property owner against lawsuit alleging client tortiously interfered with company’s attempts to rezone adjacent property and build an energy plant by filing various administrative petitions. Obtained complete dismissal of claims on motion to dismiss.
- Successfully litigated a wide range of other disputes on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants across numerous industries, including disputes involving partnership and LLC breakups, breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, professional malpractice, theft of trade secrets, toxic torts, trademark infringement, and violation of various federal and state regulations and statutes.
- Julia Arciga, Another Court Finds 5 Years of TCPA Claims Invalid, Law360, October 30, 2020
- Allison Grande, Novel TCPA Ruling Lays Groundwork for Fresh Circuit Split, Law360, October 9, 2020
- Julia Arciga, Court Says It Can’t Rule on Alleged Charter TCPA Violations, Law360, October 6, 2020
- Alyssa Aquino, Rising Star: Kabat Chapman’s Ryan D. Watstein, Law360, July 15, 2020
- Law360 Names Top Attorneys Under 40, Law360, July 5, 2020
- Matt Bernardini, Charter Looks to Nix TCPA Suit Over Unwanted Calls, Law360, December 12, 2018
- Christopher Crosby, Feds Oppose Time Warner Appeal of TCPA’s Constitutionality, Law360, October 4, 2017
- Christopher Crosby, Feds Say Debt Collector’s TCPA Constitutional Fight Fails, LAW360, November 3, 2017
- Shayna Posses, Charter Customer Blasts Arbitration Bid in TCPA Spat, LAW360, August 29, 2017
- Adam Sage, Time Warner Unit Wants Opposing Atty, or Testimony, Barred, LAW360, December 10, 2015
- Greg Land, Injunction Bars TitleMax from DMV Records, Rivals’ Stores, FULTON COUNTY DAILY REPORT, June 10, 2015
- Greg Land, Greenberg Traurig is Disqualified in 2 TitleMax Suits, FULTON COUNTY DAILY REPORT, March 24, 2015
- Aebra Coe, Greenberg Traurig DQ’d For Conflict In Auto Title Loan Row, LAW360, March 4, 2015
- Natalie Rodriguez, Baby Food Packager Can’t Make Spoliage Suit Go Bye-Bye, LAW360, December 14, 2011
- Jeffrey Katz Chiropractic, Inc. v. Diamond Respiratory Care, Inc., No. 20-cv-04108, 2021 WL 5848075 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 9, 2021)
- Stewart v. Network Capital Funding Corp., No. CV 21-368, — F. Supp. 3d —, 2021 WL 3088011 (C.D. Cal. July 16, 2021)
- Valdes v. Nationwide Real Estate Executives, Inc., No. 20-01734, 2021 WL 2134159 (C.D. Cal. Apr. 22, 2021)
- Trujillo v. Free Energy Savings Company, LLC, No. 5:19-CV-02072, 2021 WL 757023 (C.D. Cal. Feb. 25, 2021)
- Moore v. Charter Communications, Inc., No. 20-cv-00980, — F. Supp. 3d —, 2020 WL 6287403 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 27, 2020)
- Trujillo v. Free Energy Savings Company, LLC, No. 5:19-CV-02072, 2020 WL 7768722 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 21, 2020)
- Lindenbaum v. Realgy, LLC, — F.3d —-, 2020 WL 6361915 (N.D. Ohio 2020)
- Creasy v. Charter Communications, Inc., — F. Supp. 3d —-, 2020 WL 5761117 (E.D. La. 2020)
- Whittaker v. All Reverse Mortgage, Inc., No. CV-20-08016, 2020 WL 2829785, at *1 (D. Ariz. May 29, 2020)
- Cristales v. The Scion Grp. LLC, 478 F. Supp. 3d 845 (D. Ariz. 2020)
- Nakai v. Charter Communications, Inc., No. 2:19-CV-8035, 2020 WL 1908949 (C.D. Cal. Apr. 15, 2020)
- Lindenbaum v. Realgy, LLC, No. 1:19-CV-2862, 2020 WL 1908639 (N.D. Ohio Mar. 19, 2020)
- Sliwa v. Bright House Networks, LLC, 333 F.R.D. 255 (M.D. Fla. 2019)
- Morgan v. Global Payments Check Services, Inc., No. 2:17-CV-01771, 2018 WL 934579 (E.D. Cal. Feb. 15, 2018)
- Law Offices of Shimshon Wexler, P.C. v. AICOM Solutions LLC, No. 1:17-CV-1084, 2017 WL 5047903 (N.D. Ga. Oct. 30, 2017)
- Reynolds v. Time Warner Cable, Inc., No. 16-CV-6165W, 2017 WL 362025 (W.D.N.Y. Jan. 25, 2017)
- Errington v. Time Warner Cable Inc., No. 2:15-cv-02196, 2016 WL 2930696 (C.D. Cal. May 18, 2016)
- In Re Brookwood Funding, LLC, No. 86162901, 2016 WL 1045682 (Trademark Tr. & App. Bd. Feb. 25, 2016)
- Brookwood Funding, LLC v. Avant Credit Corp., Inc., No. 1:14-CV-2960, 2015 WL 11504556 (N.D. Ga. July 28, 2015)
- Olin v. JPMC Specialty Mortgage, LLC, 175 So. 3d 296 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2015)
- Bates v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA, 768 F.3d 1126 (11th Cir. 2014)
- Arsali v. Chase Home Finance LLC, 121 So. 3d 511, 512 (Fla. 2013)
- Deutsche Bank National Trust Company v. Adams, No. 5:12-CV-00280, 2013 WL 12159091 (E.D.N.C. Jan. 4, 2013)
- Bates v. J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 4:12-CV-43-CDL, 2013 WL 5755583 (M.D. Ga. Oct. 23, 2013)
- Recognized as a “Band 1” litigator by Chambers USA (the highest designation)
- Recognized by Law360 as a Top Consumer Class Action Lawyer Under 40
- Recognized as one of Georgia Trend’s “Legal Elite – The Best Lawyers in Georgia”
- Consistently recognized as “Rising Star” by Georgia Super Lawyers and Atlanta Magazine
- Leadership DeKalb, Class of 2015
- Presenter on outbound telemarketing compliance at Energy Marketing Conference, 2019, 2020, & 2021
- Presenter of CLE entitled “How to Acquire Customers Via Telemarketing Without Getting Sued”
- United Way, DeKalb County Advisory Board Member (former Community Engagement Chair)
- Georgia Intrastate Moot Court Competition, Oral Argument Subcommittee Member
- Druid Hills Civic Association, Former Board Member
- University of Florida Levin College of Law Alumni Association
- Florida State University Alumni Association