John Houlihan represents banks, finance companies, insurance companies, leasing companies and real estate developers in courts and arbitration proceedings across the country. Over the course of his career, John has developed particular knowledge in auto finance, credit card and mortgage product litigation. John has also defended financial institutions in consumer class actions involving alleged violations of consumer protection and unfair business practices statues in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maryland, California and New York.
- Currently leads a team of attorneys representing counterparties in two different derivatives rate swap disputes.
- After a four-day bench trial, a team of attorneys led by John recently obtained a judgment for a national life insurance company dismissing breach of contract and bad faith claims grounded on a dispute over the cash surrender value of a re-instated variable life insurance policy.
- Led a team of attorneys that obtained a settlement of claims alleging a violation of the Fair Housing Act on behalf of an insurer and its managing general agent.
- Led a team of attorneys that obtained the dismissal of claims asserted against a national bank for an alleged violation of the Expedited Funds Availability Act and common law negligence, and subsequently defended the judgment in the First Circuit.
- Following a Fourth Circuit ruling on the issue of whether filing an answer and engaging in limited discovery activities resulted in a waiver of an arbitration provision, a team of Firm attorneys led by John obtained a non-class settlement of a putative class action pending in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland in which the plaintiff asserted claims under Maryland’s Credit Grantor Closed End Credit Act and Consumer Debt Collection Act as well as related common law claims arising in connection with an alleged policy requiring the inclusion of additional products as a requirement of a finance company's agreement to take an assignment of a consumer installment sales contract.
- Led a team of attorneys that obtained a settlement for the Firm's client in a Massachusetts State Court action in which the plaintiff alleged violations of the Massachusetts Securities Act in connection with the alleged sale of residential mortgage backed securities.
- Led a team of attorneys that obtained the dismissal of claims asserted against a national bank for an alleged violation of the Electronic Funds Availability Act and common law negligence, and subsequently defended the judgment in the First Circuit.
- Led a team of attorneys which obtained a non-class based settlement of a putative class action pending in the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island in which the plaintiffs asserted violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.
- Led a team of attorneys which achieved a non-class settlement of a putative Massachusetts class action in which the plaintiffs alleged violations of Massachusetts’ Retail Installment Sales Act and the Uniform Commercial Code, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 106 §9-614 and 9-616 in connection with the calculation of debtor balances following the post-repossession sale of collateral.
- Led a team of attorneys that obtained a summary judgment order dismissing claims asserted in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio for breach of contract, fraud and violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act in connection with floor plan financing provided to an Ohio automobile dealership.
- Was part of a team of attorneys that represented a government authority in three related cases that arose in connection with the construction of a commuter rail system in which the authority defended claims for delay and extra work in excess of $200 million. All three cases ultimately settled.
- Was part of a team of attorneys that negotiated and obtained a settlement of a putative New York class action in which the plaintiff alleged violation of New York’s consumer protection statute and breach of common law obligations in connection with the alleged failure to estimate fairly the anticipated fees and expenses associated with residential real estate transactions. The case settled after the defendant moved to strike the plaintiffs' class claims.
- Negotiated the settlement of claims asserted against a national financial institution relating to a dispute concerning the proper allocation of losses arising as a result of a data uploading error in a supplier early payment program. The case settled after a motion to strike portions of an expert’s report put the plaintiff's ability to establish the bulk of its damage claim in jeopardy.
- Led a team of attorneys that obtained the dismissal of both a Massachusetts and a California federal court class action challenge to the manner in which credit card companies adjust the applicable rate of interest charged on credit card accounts and defended the Massachusetts judgment in the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
- Negotiated settlements of multiple New Hampshire and Maryland consumer class action claims asserting violations of state statutes governing the installment sale of automobiles.
- Obtained a settlement of claims for breach of a purchase and sale agreement and a servicing agreement that arose in connection with the sale of $109 million portfolio of credit card receivables.
- Led a team of attorneys in the representation of a bank holding company and its affiliates in related Delaware Chancery Court and Rhode Island Superior Court actions concerning alleged breaches of contract and business torts arising in connection with the transfer of a $12 billion credit card portfolio. Our client prevailed on three separate motions for partial summary judgment and at the three week trial of the remaining claims, all of which resulted in a judgment that, after deducting conceded offsets, exceeded $63 million.
- Obtained a settlement on behalf of a financial institution in a Pennsylvania federal court ERISA action in which former employees alleged that they were wrongfully denied severance benefits.
- Obtained summary judgment in a New Hampshire federal court action on behalf of an ERISA health and welfare benefit plan charged with wrongfully denying benefits to a plan participant.
- After obtaining a partial summary judgment for the leasing subsidiary of a financial institution in a Massachusetts state court action, which resulted in the dismissal of the Lessee's claims concerning the end-of-lease purchase of liquefied natural gas storage facilities, John mediated his client's claims by achieving the execution of a lease extension agreement with a present value that exceeded the Lessee's original settlement offer by more than 770%.
- Defended a financial institution in a Rhode Island federal court action in which the plaintiff alleged violations of the Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act and the Bulk Transfer Act as well as common law fraud. The Court's directed verdict in favor of John’s client was upheld on appeal to the First Circuit.
Professional Affiliations and Recognitions
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, Boston Bar Association
- Member, Massachusetts Bar Association
- Member, New Hampshire Bar Association
- Member, Rhode Island Bar Association
- Selected, Massachusetts Super Lawyers