A Spencer Fane team of attorneys closed out a major case last year involving residential mortgage originator GMAC-RFC (ResCap).
After ResCap declared bankruptcy in 2013, Spencer Fane Minneapolis attorneys Donald Heeman, Randi Winter, Jessica Nelson and Laurie Quinn, and attorneys from two other firms prosecuted more than 100 lawsuits to recover money lost after ResCap’s clients misled the company during the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007 and 2008.
Last year saw ResCap’s legal team recoup $17.4 million in attorneys‘ fees, costs, and interest along with a $5.4 million liability judgment against lender Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. In total, ResCap’s attorneys recovered more than $1.4 billion for the client, with the 2021 trial victory against Primary Residential wrapping up the last remaining case at the trial court level.
The case created both challenges and excitement for the attorneys. Heeman says he will “miss the day-to-day, the hustle and bustle of these cases.”
“We’d have meetings with the defense group which had, at a certain point in time, 200 people on the call,” he says. “It was a lot of fun.”
Randi Winter says the case likely involved one of the first virtual federal witness examinations conducted by attorneys still in court. As the case closed, so did the courts. “It was the culmination of years of hard work,” she says. “It was a real team effort.”
Laurie Quinn says the case involved bench and jury trials, a rarity in civil proceedings. The key to winning “was to distill complex things down,” Quinn says. “That was relevant not only for the jury but the witnesses.”
Jessica Nelson adds that the judge told attorneys “that these were some of the most complex cases she’s presided over in her 20 years on the bench. Meeting these challenges was extremely rewarding for the legal team.”
Read more about Minnesota Lawyer’s superb class of Attorneys of the Year for 2021 here.
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