PorterKatherine Porter
California Monitor, National Mortgage Settlement
UC Irvine

Professor Porter specializes in commercial and consumer law, including bankruptcy, mortgage foreclosure, and credit cards. Her research focuses on empirical studies of consumer bankruptcy and has been published in journals including the Texas Law Review, the Georgetown Law Journal, the American Bankruptcy Law Journal, and the Cornell Law Review. She is a frequent speaker at judicial education and continuing legal education programs and blogs about credit and debt issues at www.creditslips.org.In March 2012, Professor Porter was appointed by California Attorney General Kamala Harris to be the state’s independent monitor of banks in a nationwide $25 billion mortgage settlement. As Monitor, Prof. Porter oversees the banks’ implementation of the settlement reforms, conducts community outreach and education, and manages a program to assist homeowners. Under her leadership, the California Monitor Program has reviewed and responded to over 4,000 complaints. Professor Porter also founded a Consumer Protection Clinic at UCI Law to involve students in the Monitor’s work. In 2012, she was recognized as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California and was awarded the Champion of Consumer Rights Award by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. In 2013, she received an InnovAction Award from the College of Law Practice Management and was named one of Orange County Metro’s Hot 25.Professor Porter was previously on the faculty at the University of Iowa College of Law and has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, UC Berkeley Law, and other schools. She practiced bankruptcy law in Portland, Oregon, and clerked for the Honorable Richard S. Arnold of the Eighth Circuit. She earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her B.A. from Yale University.

TaraTwomeyLowresTara Twomey

Tara Twomey is currently Of Counsel to the National Consumer Law Center and the Project Director for the National Consumer Bankruptcy Rights Center.  She has been a Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School, Harvard Law School and Boston College Law School.  Ms. Twomey is a former Clinical Instructor at the Hale and Dorr Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School where her practice focused, in part, on sustainable homeownership for low- and moderate-income homeowners. This practice area included foreclosure prevention and chapter 13 bankruptcy.  Ms. Twomey is a contributing author of several books published by the National Consumer Law Center, including Foreclosures: Defenses, Workouts and Mortgage ServicingMs. Twomey earned her J.D. from Boston College Law School, summa cum laude and received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego. After law school, she served as a law clerk for Chief Justice Herbert P. Wilkins of the Massachusetts Supreme Court. Subsequently, Ms. Twomey received a two-year Skadden Fellowship to work at the Legal Services Center.

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Timothy G. Blood
Attorney, Plaintiff Corvello
Blood, Hurst & O’Reardon, LLP

Timothy Blood is the lead counsel in Corvello v. Wells Fargo.  He is the managing partner of Blood Hurst & O’Reardon, LLP in San Diego, California. His practice has focused on complex litigation, including class action litigation, since the early 1990’s. Mr. Blood has tried class action cases and is highly regarded in the field of consumer protection law, including California’s Unfair Competition Law and Consumers Legal Remedies Act.

Mr. Blood has represented millions of mortgagors, homeowners, borrowers, retail consumers, holders of life, automobile and homeowner insurance policies, credit card customers, and victims of race discrimination. He practices in both state and federal courts throughout the country, and has represented the interests of consumers formally or informally before the Federal Trade Commission, the California Department of Justice, the California Legislative Analyst’s Office and the California Department of Insurance. He has worked with the Federal Trade Commission to obtain record setting recoveries for consumers. In In re Skechers Toning Shoes Prods. Liab. Litig., Mr. Blood’s work with the Federal Trade Commission resulted in the largest consumer recovery in a false advertising action in FTC history.



GretcGretchen_Carpenterhen Carpenter
Attorney, Plaintiff Lucia
Strange & Carpenter

Gretchen Carpenter is an experienced class action litigator, having successfully analyzed, drafted, and argued numerous class certification motions. Ms. Carpenter has extensive knowledge of Rule 23 and state class action procedures, and her superior drafting and analytical skills have brought her to the forefront in numerous complex class certification issues, including certifying a nationwide class under California law in Talwar, et al. v. Creative Labs, Inc., United States District Court for the Central District of California, Case No. CV 05-3375 FMC (AJWx). Ms. Carpenter also has extensive experience with class certification in the context of the firm’s many settlements, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Ms. Carpenter has been involved in litigating a wide variety of complex class actions, including cases against hospitals relating to their billing practices for uninsured patients, cases against banks relating to credit card and mortgage practices, cases against cellular telephone companies relating to early termination fees, defective product cases for a wide range of products, deceptive advertising cases, class actions relating to pharmaceuticals and other harmful products, and an employment meal break class action. She has successfully analyzed, drafted, and argued numerous complex motions and appeals, including obtaining a published Ninth Circuit decision in Lucia v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 728 F.3d 878 (9th Cir. 2013), upholding claims against a mortgage servicer relating to the Home Affordable Modification Act and obtaining a published California Court of Appeal decision in Hale v. Sharp Healthcare, 183 Cal. App. 4th 1373 (2010), upholding claims brought under California’s consumer protection statutes relating to a hospital’s unfair and deceptive billing practices with respect to its uninsured patients.

As a complement to her class action experience, Ms. Carpenter also has extensive knowledge and experience concerning arbitration issues and class action bans, and has litigated numerous arbitration motions, including being part of the team that obtained the seminal California Supreme Court decision in Discover Bank v. Superior Court, 36 Cal. 4th 148 (2005), which held that class action bans in arbitration clauses were unconscionable and unenforceable under California law.

Ms. Carpenter has lectured on both class action and arbitration-related topics before several CLE and other organizations. Ms. Carpenter was chosen as one of Southern California’s Super Lawyers in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.


Barbara J. Forde
Attorney, Plaintiff Steinberger

Barbara J. Forde attended Arizona State University College of Law, graduating in 1990.   Ms. Forde is admitted to practice before the Arizona state courts, the Arizona federal district courts, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.  Ms. Forde has worked for a number of small law firms in the  commercial litigation arena, and then went in-house for an insurance company, where she gained trial skills, winning defense verdicts in 75% of her cases.  She was then in-house counsel for a multi-state cottonseed oil mill and cotton ginning operation based in Chandler, Arizona.

After getting the run-around from her own mortgage loan servicer for several years during attempts to obtain a loan modification, Ms. Forde realized she would have to sue those seeking to enforce her loan.  After a very successful settlement of her own case, Ms. Forde took up the gauntlet for homeowners across the state of Arizona, and began her own practice bringing lawsuits against companies claiming the right to foreclose, based on violations of tort and contract law.   Ms. Forde has now convinced the Arizona Court of Appeals, in Steinberger v. Superior Court, that borrowers in default do have rights and claims against purported lenders, servicers and foreclosure trustees.  She currently has a Petition for Rehearing pending at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals based in part on the groundbreaking Steinberger opinion; her goal is to get the federal courts to recognize that they must enforce Steinberger in the many foreclosure cases before them.

Mary Ellen2 
Mary Ellen Natale
Deputy Director – Housing, Legal Aid Society of Rockland County

Mary Ellen Natale was the founding director of the Homeowner Advocacy Unit of the Civil Justice Clinic at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.  For the past several years, her practice has centered on foreclosure defense on behalf of lower-income homeowners.  She instituted the Foreclosure Project of Legal Aid of Western Ohio where she had served as Foreclosure Project Director and Managing Attorney for Housing.   In addition, she has been an Adjunct Professor at St. John’s University School of Law.  Ms. Natale has presented at national and regional conferences on topics concerning housing advocacy and foreclosure defense.  She has served on the faculty of the Management Information Exchange and is a certified trainer with the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA).  She received her B.A. from Colgate University and her J.D. from Boston College Law School.  Ms. Natale continues to advocate on behalf of homeowners in her current position as the Deputy Director of the Legal Aid Society of Rockland County, New York.

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