Practices
-High Stakes Litigation
-Complex Commercial Litigation
-Class Actions-Mass Torts
-Insolvency & Bankruptcy

John W. Barrett

John has long been driven by the desire to make a difference, to help ensure that people are treated fairly. As a lawyer, this led him to devoting his career to protecting the rights of consumers and employees wronged by unethical and unlawful business practices. Early in his career, he represented consumers in individual cases against auto manufacturers, car dealers, mobile home companies and others who had caused them harm. Now he represents the same type of clients in class action suits, often involving thousands of victims of corporate lawbreaking, such as illegal telemarketing. John joined Bailey & Glasser in 2005 and has played a leading role in expanding the firm’s successful class action and mass tort practice. “I happen to really like the people I practice with, and I enjoy supporting them however I can,” John said. John concentrates in class actions and complex litigation. John is the President of the firm, and he also leads the firm’s contingent practice area, which litigates individual, class, and mass actions in fields ranging from ERISA, to antitrust violations, to consumer class actions and product liability class actions. John is experienced in appellate and trial work, and has tried complex mass and class actions to juries in state and federal court. Most recently, John was co-lead trial counsel in a certified class action alleging TCPA violations against DISH Network in the Middle District of North Carolina. After a five-day trial in January 2017, the jury handed down a $20.5 million verdict, finding DISH liable for more than 51,000 telemarketing calls placed by a defunct DISH dealer to persons whose telephone numbers were on the National Do Not Call Registry. The presiding judge has since trebled the jury’s damages award, bringing the judgment to $61.5 million for all violations. He has achieved an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating for legal ability and ethical standards. John chairs the Development Advisory Group for Legal Aid of West Virginia, where he helped devise and lead its successful “Just One” fundraising campaign, which encourages all Bar members to donate the cash equivalent of one billable hour to support legal services for low-income West Virginians. He is president of the board of Our Vote, Our Future, a nonprofit organization devoted to registering and empowering voters and working on issues affecting childhood poverty in West Virginia. He serves on the visiting committee of the West Virginia University College of Law, and on the board of the Childhood Language Center, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help children communicate and succeed by providing high-quality speech therapy services. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Charleston. In 2018, he was named a Fellow of the West Virginia State Bar Foundation, an honor recognizing those lawyers whose professional, public, and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and honorable service to the legal profession. Bar Admissions
  • West Virginia, 1997
  • Massachusetts, 2014
Government Experience
  • Law Clerk, Chief Judge Charles H. Haden II, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, 1996-1998
Memberships and Affiliations
  • Fellow, West Virginia Bar Foundation (2018)
  • Trustee, University of Charleston
  • Member, Visiting Committee, WVU College of Law
  • Past President, West Virginia Land Trust
  • National Association of Consumer Advocates
  • West Virginia and American Associations for Justice
  • Public Justice
  • ABA, Litigation Section, Class Actions and Derivative Suits Committee
  • Director and Secretary, Dickinson Fuel Co., Inc.
  • President of Our Vote, Our Future, a West Virginia anti-poverty organization
  • Board Member, Childhood Language Center, Charleston
  • Chair of the Development Advisory Group, Legal Aid of West Virginia, Inc.
Prior Experience
  • Executive Director, Common Cause West Virginia, 1990-1993
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Cases

  • Krakauer v. Dish Network, L.L.C. -  Obtained a $20.5 million verdict in a class action trial against Dish Network. The class, led by class representative Dr. Thomas Krakauer of Bahama, North Carolina, alleged Dish was liable for more than 51,000 telemarketing calls placed by a defunct DISH dealer to persons whose telephone numbers were on the National Do Not Call Registry. The jury found DISH liable for all calls, and awarded $400 per violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The Court then increased the jury award to $61.34 million because we proved willfulness.
  • Carter v. Taurus Int’l Mfg., et al., Taurus Pistol Unintended Discharge Case - The firm serves as co-lead counsel in a nationwide product liability class action against firearm manufacturer Taurus alleging design defects in nine pistol models that can result in unintended discharge if the pistol is dropped. Granted final approval from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on July 22, 2016, the settlement’s total possible value has been assessed to be $239 million. The terms of the settlement include a buyback or replacement of almost one million pistols, as well as additional safety training with regards to the defects alleged in the suit. The case is currently on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit by three objectors to the settlement.
  • Cummins v. H&R Block, Inc.- In a case litigated for five years in venues ranging from the West Virginia trial and appellate courts, to federal district courts in West Virginia and Illinois, to the United States Supreme Court, our lawyers served as lead counsel in winning a $62.5 million multistate class action settlement against H&R Block. The case involved first-impression claims relating to the application of West Virginia’s credit-services organization statute to Block’s refund anticipation loan product. Other firms across the country litigated cases against Block alleging similar claims, without success, for more than ten years. West Virginia’s share of the settlement was $32.5 million.
  • State of West Virginia v. Microsoft Corporation - Our lawyers served as special assistant attorneys general for the State of West Virginia in antitrust and consumer protection action against Microsoft Corporation; the case settled for a total value of $21 million.
  • Anderson v. National City Bank - We were brought in by a respected legal services firm six months before trial as co-lead counsel in a certified predatory-lending class action in West Virginia state court. The case settled for $8.1 million, a sum that completely paid off more than fifty mortgage loans, and made additional cash payments to class members of up to $34,000 each.
  • Mey v. Herbalife Int’l, Inc. - We were brought in by a team of lawyers to help prosecute class action claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The case settled for $7 million, at the time one of the largest TCPA robocall telemarketing settlements since the statute was enacted in 1991.
  • Spencer v. Rent-A-Center, Inc. - We brought the first ever case under West Virginia’s rent-to-own statute. After the lawsuit, filed in federal district court, was sent to the West Virginia Supreme Court on certified questions, the case settled for more than $3.5 million, plus injunctive relief.
  • Shonk Land Company, LLC v. SG Sales Company - We brought and settled ($2.4 million) a nationwide class action alleging illegal fax advertising under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
  • Muhammad v. National City Mortgage, Inc. - We filed and settled ($700,000) a West Virginia loan servicing class action alleging National City Bank charged late loan-payment fees in violation of state law.
  • Brailsford v. Jackson Hewitt, Inc. - Brought class action against Jackson Hewitt, Inc. for class of California consumers who purchased the tax preparer’s refund anticipation loan product; settled for $672,000.
  • Dillon v. Chase Bank - Our lawyers were class co-counsel with the public interest firm Mountain State Justice, and won a $3.3 million class action settlement for West Virginia borrowers who alleged illegal loan-servicing claims.
  • Desai v. ADT Security - We served on a team of lawyers that won one of the largest ever vicarious-liability TCPA settlements – $15 million for a nationwide class of consumers subjected to nuisance telemarketing calls.
  • Casto v. City National Bank - $5.5 million settlement in West Virginia class action alleging improper overdraft-fee practices.
  • Triplett v. NationStar Mortgage - Won $1.5 million loan-servicing settlement alleging illegal assessment of mortgage loan default-fees.
  • Dunlap v. Wells Fargo Financial West Virginia, Inc. - We litigated and obtained class certification of predatory lending claims for over 100 West Virginia mortgage borrowers. The case, brought under West Virginia's consumer protection statutes, settled for just over $9 million, a sum that wrote down more than $4.9 million in mortgage balances, paid $4.15 million in cash, and helped borrowers repair damaged credit.
  • Brooks v. City of Huntington - Our team won a 2011 jury trial for 40 Huntington residents whose homes and properties were flooded by a municipal stormwater control system; the total recovery exceeded $1 million. When the City’s system again caused flood damages, we sued again in 2012, and, after another jury trial, obtained a second million-dollar judgment. In 2014, the firm won an appeal at the WV Supreme Court when the court ruled that monetary damages awarded to homeowners and cut by the judge be restored. This decision altered the measure of damage for real property loss that had been in place for more than 40 years and provided that a homeowner could recover both the cost to repair damage and diminution of value damages.
  • Ooten v. Massey Coal - Our lawyers were co-lead counsel in a two-phase, six-week jury trial alleging a Massey Coal subsidiary damaged the groundwater supplies of coalfield residents; total cash recovery was $3.2 million, plus injunctive relief. The case was virtually unprecedented, both in the sheer numbers of plaintiffs involved and the claims alleged.

Education

  • J.D., 1996, cum laude; Edward F. Hennessey Distinguished Scholar, Exec. Editor, Public Interest Law Journal, Dean's Scholar in Labor Law - Boston University School of Law
  • B.A. English, 1988 - University of Pennsylvania