J. Austin Moore

Kansas City - Associate | 816-714-7105 (Direct) | moore@stuevesiegel.com

Austin litigates high-stakes cases. He regularly takes on major corporations in nationwide class actions and represents businesses when their company is on the line. Austin has litigated cases in a wide variety of practice areas and is passionate about every case he takes. He has represented prisoners in civil rights cases and victims of sexual assault in cases against their perpetrators and other negligent parties. Austin is also a leader in the emerging field of data breach and privacy litigation, having represented consumers in several of the largest data breach class actions in U.S. history.

Austin practices in state and federal courts across the country, and has significant experience litigating complex cases under state and federal antitrust, privacy, and consumer protection statutes, including the RICO Act and Fair Credit Reporting Act. In 2015-2017, Austin was selected by Super Lawyers as a Missouri & Kansas “Rising Star” in class action litigation. Missouri Lawyers Weekly recognized Austin in 2016 as an “Up and Coming Lawyer.” 

Austin received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Mississippi, where he graduated summa cum laude and was selected as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Austin earned his J.D. from the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis where he was an editor and published member of the Washington University Journal of Law & Policy and the 2011 recipient of the Mary Collier Hitchcock Prize, awarded to one student annually for outstanding legal writing. 

Before joining Stueve Siegel Hanson in 2013, Austin was in private practice in St. Louis, Missouri, where he handled a number of complex commercial cases and maintained an active state and federal appellate practice.

  • EXPERIENCE
  • HONORS & AWARDS
  • EDUCATION
  • BAR ADMISSIONS
  • COMMUNITY

Current Cases

Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit (Jackson County, Missouri) – Austin is suing Uber and its driver on behalf of his client after she was sexually assaulted by her Uber driver. Not only was the driver a felon previously convicted of attempted first degree murder with intent to kill, but Uber had been warned nearly a month prior to the attack that the driver viciously assaulted another woman and had a warrant out for his arrest. Uber ignored these warnings and permitted the driver to remain working for the company. The lawsuit asserts claims for negligence, fraudulent concealment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, among other claims.

Anthem Data Breach Litigation (Northern District of California) – Austin is working with lead counsel representing consumers in multi-district litigation against Anthem, Inc. and affiliated entities after a data breach exposed the customer records, Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses and other personal information of approximately 80 million individuals nationwide. The cases are consolidated and currently being litigated before Judge Lucy H. Koh in the Northern District of California.

OPM Data Breach Litigation (District of Columbia) – Austin is working with lead counsel representing current, former and prospective government employees and contractors in multi-district litigation against the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and government contractor KeyPoint Government Solutions Inc. for failing to safeguard and secure the personal information of up to 21.5 million individuals. The stolen information includes names, addresses, Social Security numbers, mental health records and financial histories, as well as fingerprint data for up to 5.6 million individuals. The OPM data breach lawsuits are currently consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

NBEO Data Breach Litigation (District of Maryland) – Austin represents optometrists across the country in a class action lawsuit against the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) related to the breach of NBEO’s databases and subsequent use of that information to commit fraud. Affected individuals had given detailed personal identifying information to NBEO, including Social Security numbers and dates of birth, to register for its exams, some more than 15 years ago. The lawsuit alleges that NBEO was negligent in failing to secure or delete exam-takers’ personal information, and failed to timely notify victims of the breach.

Reyes v. Experian (Central District of California) (FCRA Litigation) – Austin filed a class action lawsuit against Experian, one of the “big three” credit reporting agencies, for reporting loan debts associated with the notorious Western Sky online lending scheme. The lawsuit alleges that Experian violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by publishing more than 125,000 accounts reported by Western Sky affiliates CashCall, Inc. and Delbert Services, for almost two years after Experian made the decision to delete those accounts.

ODFI Illegal Payday Loan Litigation (Business Litigation / RICO) – Austin has filed multiple class action lawsuits against banks that partnered with illegal online payday lenders to provide them direct access to borrowers’ bank accounts. The banks, known as Originating Depository Financial Institutions (ODFIs), used their role on the mainstream electronic payments network (known as the ACH Network) to provide a gateway for online lenders to directly debit payments on loans carrying interest rates as high as 900% or more. The lawsuits allege that the banks violate state law and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act by knowingly collecting unlawful debts for payday lenders in states that have outlawed payday loans. Cases are currently pending in federal courts in New York, North Carolina, and Georgia.

Recent Litigation Highlights

Home Depot Breach Litigation (Northern District of Georgia 2016) – Austin was a key member of the leadership group appointed to represent consumers in multi-district litigation against The Home Depot, Inc. following a massive data breach that compromised the payment card data and email addresses of more than 60 million U.S. customers. In August 2016, the Court approved a final settlement creating a $13 million cash fund for customers, providing 18 months of identity theft monitoring services, and requiring Home Depot to significantly upgrade its data security practices. The Court called the settlement an “exceptional result” and observed that it “appears to be the most comprehensive settlement achieved in large-scale data breach litigation.”

Target Data Breach Litigation (District of Minnesota 2015) – Austin was a member of the leadership team appointed to represent a class of consumers in multi-district litigation against Target Corp. following the announcement that hackers had stolen the personal and financial information of millions of Target customers. In November 2015, the district court approved final settlement providing for monetary relief of $10 million to consumers nationwide and injunctive relief requiring Target to significantly improve its data security practices, which is currently being considered on appeal. The settlement was recognized by Missouri Lawyers Weekly as one of the largest out-of-state settlements in 2015.

Torres v. Simpatico, Inc., et al., (Eastern District of Missouri 2014) (Business Litigation / RICO) – Austin helped obtain dismissal of a national class action brought by five franchisees of a national commercial cleaning franchise in federal court. Plaintiffs accused 179 defendants of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act through a scheme to defraud unit franchisees by engaging in a pattern of mail and wire fraud. The dismissal was affirmed on appeal and eliminated potential multi-million dollar exposure to the franchise operation.

Appellate Litigation

Moss v. First Premier Bank, 835 F. 3d 260 (2d. Cir. 2016) – Austin briefed and argued an appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit addressing whether Section 5 of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) permits appointment of a substitute arbitrator when the arbitrator designated in the parties’ contract declines to hear the dispute. In a published opinion, the Second Circuit agreed with Austin’s position and held that appointing a substitute arbitrator under these circumstances would be akin to rewriting the parties’ agreement, which would contradict the plain text of the FAA. The ruling permits a class action to proceed in federal court against two banks that helped facilitate illegal online payday lending.

Parm v. National Bank of California, 835 F. 3d 1331 (11th Cir. 2016) – Austin co-authored an appellate brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit arguing that a tribal arbitration agreement could not be enforced against his client and a class of payday loan borrowers because it required the arbitration to be conducted under non-existent law and procedures of an Indian Tribe. In a published opinion, the Eleventh Circuit agreed that the agreement was unenforceable because it required the parties to arbitrate before “an illusory and unavailable arbitral forum.”

Flagg v. First Premier Bank (11th Cir. 2016) – Austin co-authored an appellate brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit addressing the enforceability of loan agreement that required the parties to arbitrate before the National Arbitration Forum (NAF), an entity that stopped accepting consumer arbitration claims in 2009. The Eleventh Circuit agreed with Austin’s position that the arbitration agreement contemplated arbitration before a forum that could not hear the dispute, and thus affirmed the district court’s decision to deny arbitration.

Affordable Communities of Missouri v. Fed. Nat. Mortgage Ass’n, 714 F.3d 1069 (8th Cir. 2013) – Austin authored an appellate brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit on behalf of a Missouri real estate developer that was appealing the dismissal of its lawsuit against Fannie Mae for subjecting it to wrongful loan pre-payment penalties. In May 2013, the Eighth Circuit reversed the district court’s dismissal of the developer’s breach of contract claim against Fannie Mae finding that there was an ambiguity in Fannie Mae’s loan documents that gave the developer a valid basis for its cause of action.                                                               

Publications

The Impact of Scalia's Death on Forced Arbitration and Consumer Class Actions,  Missouri Lawyers Weekly (March 2016)

Securing Data-Breach Claims, Co-Author, Trial Magazine (April 2015)

Are Parens Patriae Suits Subject to Federal Jurisdiction under CAFA? Co-Author, DRI Feature Article (2012)

Resale Price Maintenance After Leegin: Why Treating Vertical Price-Fixing as “Inherently Suspect” Is the Only Viable Alternative to the Traditional Rule of Reason, 36 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol’y 289 (2011)

 

State Courts

Missouri

Illinois

U.S. Federal Courts

U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois

U.S. Courts of Appeals

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri, 2011, J.D

Honors: Dean's List (2009-2011); Mary Collier Hitchcock Prize (2011); CALI Award for Excellence in Legal Practice II: Advocacy (Highest Grade in Legal Appellate Writing)

Law Review: Washington University Journal of Law & Policy, Associate Editor, Published Member

University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, 2008, B.A.

Honors: Summa Cum Laude

Honors:  Chancellor's Honor Roll (2004-2008); Phi Beta Kappa; Phi Kappa Phi

 

Super Lawyers: Missouri & Kansas “Rising Star” in Class Action Litigation (2015, 2016). Selection reserved for no more than 2.5 percent of Missouri/Kansas attorneys 40 years old or younger or in practice 10 years or less.

Missouri Lawyers Weekly: “Up & Coming Lawyer” (2016). Honorees selected based on their demonstration of excellence and potential to make a difference in the legal profession and their communities. The award recognizes lawyers who are 40 or younger, or within the first 10 years of practice.

Committee Memberships

The Missouri Bar

Illinois State Bar Association

Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (KCMBA); Federal Courts Advocates Section CLE Committee Co-Chair (2016-2017)

Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys (MATA)

American Association for Justice (AAJ)

American Bar Association, Commercial & Business Litigation Division

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