Overview

Elizabeth Sperling is a litigation partner and Glaser Weil’s co-office managing partner in San Diego. Elizabeth focuses her practice on the representation of financial institutions and other consumer-facing businesses (including in the food and beverage, consumer products, retail, and gaming spaces), real estate companies, property owners and high net worth individuals in high-stakes and consumer litigation. 

Elizabeth has extensive trial, arbitration and appellate experience in class actions, business torts, unfair business practices and related consumer protection actions (Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA)), unfair debt collection practices, loan workouts, state attorneys general investigations and litigation, and products liability and complex toxic tort cases.

Elizabeth has vast experience and is sought after for:

  • Complex commercial litigation
  • Financial services and real estate disputes
  • Consumer litigation
  • Class actions

Elizabeth is licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in California and Arizona as well as in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. She was consistently recognized for many years as a “Rising Star” by Southern California Super Lawyers and was previously named to Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Most Influential Minority Attorneys” list.

Before joining Glaser Weil, Elizabeth was a partner for nearly two decades at an Am Law 50 firm. She is actively involved in diversity and inclusion efforts at the firm level and within the broader legal community.

Results

Elizabeth’s recent notable experience includes her representation of:

  • Fannie Mae and James B. Nutter & Company in two putative class-actions-turned-mass-actions filed by hundreds of Puerto Rico residents against numerous banks and mortgage servicers. Elizabeth and her team defeated class certification and obtained the dismissal of hundreds of borrowers’ claims related to their mortgages. She successfully defended both judgments on appeal to the First Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • James B. Nutter & Company, a nationwide mortgage lender, in numerous notable matters, including:
    • Successfully securing a dismissal of a lawsuit alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
    • Winning summary judgment in a complex real estate case in Hawaii involving a reverse mortgage.
    • A highly complex and publicized foreclosure case litigated in the Hawaii Supreme Court.
    • The successful and swift defeat of a case in which plaintiffs alleged fraud, breach of contract, exploitation of the elderly, equitable accounting, conversion, civil theft, unjust enrichment, negligent misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • A minority shareholder in a complex arbitration brought against another shareholder related to the denial of shares, with our client being frozen out of the company and being deprived of his interest in the company right after it secured a nearly nine-figure government contract.
  • A California-based manufacturer in litigation in China, working alongside Chinese counsel, arising out of representations made to Chinese consumers who seek to finance their purchases.
  • An international developer and its receivers, owners of both residential and commercial properties, in a high-profile lawsuit brought by the San Diego City Attorney’s Office.
  • The operator of over 200 check-cashing locations across the U.S. in consumer financial litigation related to the terms and fees charged to consumers for its consumer check-cashing services.
  • An automobile manufacturer in a putative class action lawsuit involving the company’s high-line luxury model.
  • A leading payments software program in a putative class action for violation of the California Unfair Competition Law.

Additional Experience

Commercial Litigation
  • Lead litigation counsel representing owners and operators of private golf country clubs and business clubs in massive unclaimed property litigation brought by the California Attorney General’s Office. Co-counsel in a companion False Claims Act and unfair business practices action also brought by the attorney general’s office.
  • Lead litigation counsel in an action for damages against the state of Delaware and private companies for wrongful seizure and liquidation of stock that cost millions of dollars in lost value to foreign clients.
  • Lead litigation counsel defending a large consumer retailer in high-profile, bet-the-company litigation brought by the California Attorney General’s Office. Defeated the attorney general’s application for a preliminary injunction that would have destroyed the client’s business.
  • Lead litigation counsel representing a national retailer in an action for damages against the controller of the state of California, represented by the California Attorney General’s Office. Prevailed on summary judgment.
  • Represented a major multinational petroleum company in complex franchise disputes involving the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act. Defeated all franchisee motions for preliminary and injunctive relief at the district court and Ninth Circuit.
  • Represented a private equity firm in arbitration initiated by a former managing member.
  • Obtained terminating sanctions on behalf of a major multinational petroleum corporation in large-scale, complex environmental litigation.
Class Action Litigation
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice for one of the country’s largest ATM owner-operators in an unfair competition class action.
  • Representing a gaming company in putative class action for Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) and wage-and-hour violations.
  • Secured two orders granting motions to dismiss a major class action against one of the world’s largest vehicle manufacturers, resulting in the dismissal of the action.
  • Negotiated pre-suit settlement of a large threatened class action for CLRA and false advertising claims against one of the world’s largest vehicle manufacturers.
  • Represented a university in a fraud and false advertising class action brought by a former student.
  • Obtained dismissal of a fraud and breach of contract class action against a business debt renegotiation service.
Financial Services Litigation
  • Counsel to major national banks in numerous actions filed throughout California alleging false, unfair and fraudulent debt collection and business practices (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Rosenthal Act, TILA, FCRA, ECOA, EFTA, Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Section 17200 of the California Unfair Competition Law (UCL), Section 17500 of the California False Advertising Law (FAL), CLRA, California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act, etc.).
  • Represented many banks, mortgage servicers and lenders in consumer financial services litigation involving wrongful foreclosure, the California Homeowner Bill of Rights, the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), UCL Section 17200 and FAL Section 17500, unfair business practices claims, and assorted common law claims.
  • Outside general counsel to community bank and mortgage lenders handling nationwide portfolios of consumer litigation brought under various state and federal laws from Hawaii to Puerto Rico.
Real Estate Litigation
  • Tried a forcible entry and detainer – eviction action, representing the tenant, in a commercial lease dispute. Negotiated favorable settlement for the tenant.
  • Defeated summary judgment in a breach of lease action brought by a commercial landlord against the fintech client-tenant.
  • Co-chaired a trial resulting in a defense verdict for a client arising from a claim for prescriptive easement over the client’s property. Safeguarded the defense verdict on appeal.
  • Handled numerous easement disputes in California, Arizona and Hawaii; adverse possession cases; quiet title litigation; residential and commercial foreclosure litigation; lease disputes; and title curative actions.
  • Represented developers and homeowners in property litigation and prelitigation against city and state government entities.
Products Liability and Toxic Torts Litigation
  • Represented one of the world’s largest retailers in several actions involving claims for wrongful death and severe catastrophic injuries resulting from bacterial contamination of household products. 
  • Litigated and settled numerous Prop 65 cases for food, beverage, household and consumer products.
  • Counsel to a pharmaceutical manufacturer in nationwide opioid litigation.
  • Counsel to a multinational Fortune 100 company in numerous strict products liability and toxic tort actions, including benzene exposure claims, with millions of dollars in alleged damages. Obtained dismissals for the client from several complex actions for no payment following the filing of motions for summary judgment.
  • Co-chaired a three-week jury trial in an occupational benzene exposure case. Secured a settlement for the client during trial after obtaining key evidentiary rulings on pretrial motions.
  • Defended an international appliance company in a wrongful death action in which an individual sustained second- and third-degree burns over 95 percent of his body. Secured complete dismissal of the action for an extremely low settlement.
  • Drafted motions obtaining dismissals of global product manufacturers from complex products liability and breach of warranty actions brought in California and Nevada.

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Insights

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “Gen X: Career Blueprint: What Your Next 10 Years Should Look Like,” Corporate Counsel Women of Color 17th Annual Career Strategies Conference, September 25, 2021
  • Speaker, “Navigating: Biglaw Firm Experience and the Path to Law Firm Partner, In-House Counsel to General Counsel,” 16th Annual Career Strategies Conference, hosted by Corporate Counsel Women of Color, September 30, 2020
  • Speaker, “Build an Internal Network to Drive Diversity,” sponsored by the California Minority Counsel Program and the Legal Marketing Association of Southern California, July 16, 2019
  • Speaker, “Moving Beyond Bias,” 2019 California CLE Seminar, co-sponsored by the Association of Corporate Counsel SoCal, January 15, 2019
  • Speaker, “How to Make the Most Out of Your End-of-the-Year Performance Evaluation When Meeting with Senior Management,” Corporate Counsel Women of Color, October 10–12, 2018
  • Speaker, “Recent Trends in the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP),” American Conference Institute, August 2018

Thought Leadership

Awards and Recognition

Awards and Recognition

“500 Leading Litigators in America,” Lawdragon, 2024

“Leaders of Influence: Thriving in Their 40s,” Los Angeles Business Journal, 2023

“Most Influential Minority Attorney,” Los Angeles Business Journal, 2019

“Rising Star,” Southern California Super Lawyers, 2007-2018

Leadership and Community

Member, Arizona State University Los Angeles/San Diego Leadership Councils

Former President and Chair, Ark Theatre Company

Member, Association of Business Trial Lawyers

Member, California Minority Counsel Program

Member, Corporate Counsel Women of Color

Member, Lawyers Club of San Diego

Member, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

Member, ProVisors, San Diego Metro 1

Member, Rotary Club of Downtown Los Angeles (LA5)

Member, San Diego Chamber of Commerce, SNAP Business Alliance Group

Member, San Diego County Bar Association

Member, State Bar of California, Committee on Federal Courts

Mentor, Thrive Scholars (fka South Central Scholars)

Member, University of Arizona College of Law Dean’s Economic Council

Education

University of Arizona, J.D.

Arizona State University, B.A.

Admissions

  • California
  • Arizona
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