Seth Lesser is a named partner at Klafter Olsen & Lesser LLP, and a recognized class action practitioner who has prosecuted cases in a particularly wide variety of contexts – securities, consumer, employment, civil rights and privacy – from MDLs to substantial state and federal cases. Mr. Lesser is a graduate of Princeton University, A.B., summa cum laude (1983); Oxford University, D.Phil. in Modern History, recipient of a Marshall Scholarship (1985); and Harvard Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, where he was an editor of the HARVARD JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW and of the HARVARD ENVIRONMENTAL LAW REVIEW. In addition, he was the coxswain of the victorious Oxford Blue Boat in the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race in 1984 & 1985.
Mr. Lesser primarily represents businesses and individuals in complex contingency fee matters, including as plaintiffs in individual, class and collective actions. He has been the lead plaintiffs’ counsel in cases across the country in the areas of securities claims, consumer fraud, privacy violations, employment law, and breach of duty cases.
The cases where he personally has served as a sole lead or co-lead plaintiffs’ counsel have settled for more than $500 million. In addition to many class actions where he was lead plaintiffs’ counsel but which cases were not Federal Multidistrict Litigation proceedings, the MDLs where he has served as lead counsel have including, among others, MDL-1346 (In re Amazon-Alexa); MDL-1352 (In re Doubleclick); MDL-1708 (In re Guidant Implantable Heart Devices); MDL-1739 (In re Grand Theft Auto Video Game Consumer Litigation); MDL-1903 (In re Pepsico, Inc. Bottled Water Sales Practices); MDL-2025 (In re Staples, Inc. Wage & Hour Employment Practices Litig.). He has also served on numerous MDL Executive/Steering Committees, including the Executive Committee in MDL-1845 (ConAgra Peanut Butter Products Liability Litigation), and serving as Law & Briefing Co-Chair of the Government Actions Committee in MDL-1657 (Vioxx Products Liability Litigation). Among other things, he was the lead New York class counsel in the Fen/Phen diet drug litigation and in that case obtained the first certification under New York law for a medical monitoring class, and was the New York class counsel in the settlement with American Home Products. In 2009, as part of his active representation of employees denied payment of overtime wages, he successfully tried to a verdict one of the first Fair Labor Standards misclassification cases ever taken to a jury, resulting in a judgment of $5 million on behalf of 342 collective action plaintiffs, Stillman v. Staples, Inc., No. 07-cv-849 (D.N.J.), a result which has led to the $42 million nationwide settlement of MDL-2025.
Mr. Lesser was the National Association of Consumer Advocates’ Attorney of the Year in 2005 and is presently Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of that organization. From 1998 through 2001, he served as the representative of the American Council on Consumer Interests to the United Nations. At present, he is on the Second Circuit Courts Committee of the Federal Bar Council and is active in the Members Consultative Group of the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law Third, Restitution and Unjust Enrichment project. In the recent past he was on the Amicus Committee of the American Association for Justice, was the Co-Chair of the Food-Borne Illness Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice. He is a member of, inter alia, the American Law Institute; the American Bar Association; the Second Circuit Federal Bar Council; the Bar Association of the City of New York; the National Association of Consumer Advocates; the American Association for Justice; and the National Employment Lawyers Association.
Other professional organizational appointments have included being the Chair of American Bar Association’s Business Law Section’s Environmental Litigation Subcommittee (1995-2002); the Co-Chair of the ABA’s Business Law Section’s Annual Review of Litigation (1995-1998); a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Committees on Consumer Affairs (1995-1998) and Federal Courts (1998-2001); a member of the Federal Bar Council’s Second Circuit Courts Committee (2006 to date) and Co-Chair of the American Association for Justice’s Food-borne Illness Litigation Group (2007-2010). He also was the Chair of the National Association of Securities and Consumer Attorneys’ Consumer Committee from 2003 to 2005. He was asked to draft revisions to New York State’s class action law (2002-2003; Report, 2003), as well as having been involved in the drafting of numerous recommendations, testimony, reports, and other materials for various professional organizations. His election to the American Law Institute was in 2008 and he actively participated in the Members Consultative Group to the ALI’s 2009 adoption of the Principles of Aggregate Litigation. In addition, Mr. Lesser has been on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Class Action Law Monitor.
Mr. Lesser has been repeatedly chosen as a Superlawyer (2008 to date), both as a Superlawyer in the New York Metropolitan Area in the area of class actions and also as one of the 25 best attorneys in Westchester County, N.Y. (2011-2012).
Prior to joining KOL in 2008, he was a partner at two plaintiffs-oriented law firms, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann and Locks Law Firm
enjoyed the enthusiasm of the presenter
Exceeded my expectations. The speaker made this topic much more interesting than I expected.
Enthusiastic speaker/presenter; excellent program.
Outstanding explanation of FLSA and its litigation burdens.
Fantastic primer on FLSA - engaging and informative presenter
Fantastic lecture. Great information. Energetic and engaging presentation. Would love to see another course on FLSA from this instructor!
This presenter was great, very passionate and easy to listen to.
Great course - terrific instructor
good speaker - I liked the case law explanations along the way
very knowledgeable speaker and provided great introduction to subject
I feel like I learned a lot.
Instructor was excellent.
Excellent presenter with a lot of energy and knowledge of the subject.
Very good. I plan to watch it again a second time to make sure I didn't miss anything.
Excellent use of case experience in interpreting statute.
Very good presenter
The presenter was a joy to watch (and I do not normally find regulatory work that interesting). His comments and insights were cogent and helpful.
Great intro to the FSLA.
very informative speaker
I really enjoyed the speaker's pace and anecdotes.
Great introduction to the topic.
Very informational. Ill look out for any CLEs by this individual again.
Very open to answer questions. Informative.
Another excellent presentation.
Great course to get a better understanding of overtime, etc.
Seth does a great job.
Good introduction to flsa
Just what I needed. In-house counsel with no labor law background
Great Intro to FLSA
Interesting, fast moving and easy to follow
Excellent practical presentation. Thank you.
Enjoyed his energetic presentation.
Mr. Lesser was excellent--fine presentation....and I have been a defense/employer counsel/rep.
Very informative program! Enjoyed it.
Very informative program.
Good conversational style - held my attention!!!
Excellent overview of FLSA!
Great overview from a very engaging speaker.