Debra Bogo-Ernst is the Office Managing Partner for Mayer Brown’s Chicago office and is co-lead of the firm's nationwide Consumer & Class Action practice. She was previously the Chicago office lead for the firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice. She represents national and multinational corporations in a wide range of business sectors, with particular emphasis on the defense of commercial and consumer-based litigation and enforcement actions in the financial services and insurance industries. Debra was recognized as Illinois/Local Litigation Star for General Commercial in 2019 and Health Care and Securities in 2019 and 2020 by Benchmark Litigation. She has also been recognized in Emerging Lawyers in the categories of Banking & Financial Institutions Law and Commercial Litigation. Debra is currently on the Mortgage Bankers Association's Legal Issues & Regulatory Compliance Committee.
Debra represents a number of financial institutions, including national banks, federal savings banks, mortgage lenders, automobile finance companies, and investment advisors and in class and individual actions across the country and serves as national and regional consumer class action defense counsel for bank clients. Debra has successfully defended individual and class action suits arising under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Truth In Lending Act, Fair Housing Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act, and various state and federal unfair and deceptive trade practices statutes.
Debra also has an active practice advising financial services clients on various regulatory matters, internal investigations, and enforcement matters initiated by federal and state government agencies. In other general commercial matters, Debra's work includes class action defense, insurance-related litigation, product liability litigation, noncompetition litigation, contract disputes, and insurance disputes.
Debra has practiced in Mayer Brown's Chicago office since joining the firm in 2000 and became a Partner of the firm in 2008. Debra also practices in Mayer Brown’s New York office.
- Successfully defended global financial institution in defeating nationwide Telephone Consumer Protection Act proposed classes, consisting of wrong number class and individuals contacted by text and telephone allegedly without consent.
- Successfully defended global financial institution in defeating class action litigation in MDL and on appeal to the 9th Circuit, consisting of dozens of cases filed throughout the country, concerning the Home Affordable Modification Program and related claims relating to breach of contract, promissory estoppel, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, unfair and deceptive trade practices statutes, and related claims.
- Represented global financial institution in several nationwide, class action cases related to the foreclosure and interest rate provisions of the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act.
- Successfully defended global financial institution in defeating proposed nationwide class action litigation, both on class certification and summary judgment as to the individual claims, related to recurring property inspection fees in district court and on appeal to the 9th Circuit.
- Successfully defended global pharmaceutical company, both in district court and on appeal to the 6th Circuit, in defeating proposed nationwide class action related to facsimiles sent in purported violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
- Representing global life insurance company in proposed nationwide class action relating to text messages sent in purported violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
- Defending global financial institution in Ponzi scheme litigation relating to purported conspiracy to commit fraudulent transfers, aiding and abetting fraudulent transfers, common law fraud, negligence/negligent hiring and supervision, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duties, fraudulent transfers in alleged violation of state law, and unjust enrichment.
- Successfully defended global financial institution in purported CA class action challenging purported failure to pay interest on funds held in mortgage escrow account in alleged violation of CA law.
- Defending global financial institution in purported nationwide class action challenging failure to pay interest on property tax and insurance funds held in mortgage escrow account in alleged violation of law of 14 states.
- Defended global financial institution in proposed nationwide class action litigation related to calculation of interest in adjustable rate mortgages.
- Defended global financial institution in proposed nationwide class action litigation related to reimbursement of court costs to borrowers.
- Defended global financial institution in proposed nationwide class action litigation related to third-party foreclosure related services.
- Defending financial institutions in bankruptcy proceedings in two jurisdictions related to an alleged Ponzi scheme alleging billions of dollars in purported damages.
- Successfully defended financial institution in ten putative class action cases pending throughout the country on the facilitation of payments to payday lenders using ACH transactions.
- Defended two leading financial institutions against claims related to overdraft fees in connection with debit card transactions.
- Defended a leading global bank in Illinois state court in a multimillion dollar lawsuit alleging violation of a remarketing agreement, resulting in $0 judgment against the client following trial.
- Served as part of a team that secured a $100 million federal court jury verdict on behalf of a major international chemical company, against an insurer in a dispute over product liability insurance coverage.
- Defended multinational litigation on behalf of a pharmaceutical corporation involving marketing claims related to the safety and efficacy of a prescription drug, obtaining favorable settlements in both the United States and abroad.
- Successfully prosecuted litigation on behalf of a global pharmaceutical company to bar a state from enforcing its law prohibiting advertising of controlled substances, obtaining a permanent injunction based on the First Amendment and the Commerce Clause that prohibits the state from enforcement of the law.
- Represented various clients in all aspects of a complex, multimillion dollar case brought by a defunct hospitals largest creditor to recoup its investments, with claims in the case involving fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract arising from alleged Medicare and Medicaid fraud at the hospital.
University of Illinois College of Law, JD, magna cum laude
University of Illinois Law Review
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, BA, cum laude
Phi Beta Kappa
- US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- American Bar Association, Class Actions & Derivative Suits Committee
- Mortgage Bankers Association, Legal Issues & Regulatory Compliance Committee