People: Esther Slater McDonald, Senior Counsel

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Esther Slater McDonald

Senior Counsel

Atlanta
Direct: (404) 881-5424
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Ms. McDonald is senior counsel in the Commercial Litigation Practice Group of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. She represents clients in class actions and complex commercial litigation in federal and state courts across the country. Ms. McDonald has extensive experience helping clients resolve business and commercial disputes.  Ms. McDonald’s practice includes litigation on consumer protection, contract disputes, and employment matters.  She also has experience litigating financial services claims, products liability, and insurance disputes, including coverage and bad faith.

Ms. McDonald’s practice includes a special emphasis on the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and other consumer protection laws.  She regularly defends clients in single-plaintiff and class actions involving credit reporting and background screening. 

Ms. McDonald has represented clients before the United States Supreme Court, the federal appeals and district courts, and various state and local courts.  Before joining Seyfarth, she was a senior official at the U.S. Department of Justice. 

Ms. McDonald is the editor of and a frequent contributor to the Consumer Class Defense Blog.  She is a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners and serves on the Best Practices and Litigation Avoidance Committees.

Ms. McDonald is senior counsel in the Commercial Litigation Practice Group of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. She represents clients in class actions and complex commercial litigation in federal and state courts across the country. Ms. McDonald has extensive experience helping clients resolve business and commercial disputes.  Ms. McDonald’s practice includes litigation on consumer protection, contract disputes, and employment matters.  She also has experience litigating financial services claims, products liability, and insurance disputes, including coverage and bad faith.

Ms. McDonald’s practice includes a special emphasis on the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and other consumer protection laws.  She regularly defends clients in single-plaintiff and class actions involving credit reporting and background screening. 

Ms. McDonald has represented clients before the United States Supreme Court, the federal appeals and district courts, and various state and local courts.  Before joining Seyfarth, she was a senior official at the U.S. Department of Justice. 

Ms. McDonald is the editor of and a frequent contributor to the Consumer Class Defense Blog.  She is a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners and serves on the Best Practices and Litigation Avoidance Committees.

Education

  • J.D., University of Notre Dame Law School, summa cum laude (2003)
    Dean Joseph O’Meara Award
    Articles Editor, Notre Dame Law Review
    Dean’s Fellowship
  • B.A., Pensacola Christian College, summa cum laude (1996)

Admissions

  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia

Courts

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association

Representative Engagements

  • Palacios v. DBI Beverage Inc., No. 217CV00204JAMEFB, 2017 WL 6383408 (E.D. Cal. Dec. 14, 2017) (negotiated early class settlement of FCRA class action complaint against employer)
  • Boergert v. Kelly Servs., Inc., No. 2:15-CV-04185-NKL, 2016 WL 6693104 (W.D. Mo. Nov. 14, 2016) reconsideration denied in relevant part, 2017 WL 440272 (W.D. Mo. Feb. 1, 2017) (district court held that plaintiff lacked standing to bring FCRA class action complaint against employer)
  • Muir v. Early Warning Servs., LLC, No. CV 16-521 (SRC), 2016 WL 4967792 (D.N.J. Sept. 16, 2016) (district court granted consumer reporting agency’s motion to dismiss employee’s FCRA class action complaint)
  • Doe v. First Advantage LNS Screening Solutions, Inc., No. 2:16-cv-11373 (E.D. Mich.) (representation in putative class action alleging that defendant failed to comply with Sections 607 and 613 of the FCRA)
  • Blocker v. The TJX Companies, Inc., District of Columbia, Case No. 14-cv-1940 (D.D.C.) (represented employer in class action alleging that employer failed to comply with Section 604 of the FCRA) 
  • Kelly v. First Advantage Background Services Corp., No. 3:15-cv-5813 (D.N.J.) (representation in and settlement of class action alleging that employer failed to comply with Sections 607, 609, and 613 of the FCRA)
  • Huberty v. Wholesale Screening Solutions LLC, No. 15-cv-1689 (E.D. Va.) (representation in putative class action alleging that defendant violated Sections 605 and 609 of the FCRA)
  • Oliver v. FirstPoint, Inc., No. 14-cv-517 (M.D.N.C.) (representation in and settlement of class action alleging that defendant failed to comply with Sections 607, 611, and 613 of the FCRA) 
  • Kirchner v. First Advantage Background Servs. Corp., No. 2:14-1437 WBS EFB, 2016 WL 6766944 (E.D. Cal. Nov. 14, 2016) (district court granted consumer reporting agency’s motion to dismiss employee’s FCRA class action complaint for lack of standing)
  • Larroque v. First Advantage LNS Screening Sols., Inc., No. 15-CV-04684-JSC, 2016 WL 4577257 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 2, 2016) (district court held that plaintiff lacked standing to bring FCRA class action complaint against consumer reporting agency)
  • Tolbert v. TMG Financial Services, Inc., 1:15-cv-001131 (E.D. Va.) (representation in putative class action alleging that defendant failed to comply with Section 623 of the FCRA)
  • Henderson v. First Advantage Background Services Corp., No. 3:14-cv-00221 (E.D. Va.) (representation in and settlement of class action alleging that defendant failed to comply with Sections 605, 607, 609, 611, and 613 of the FCRA)
  • Lingle v. Chevron U.S.A. Inc., 544 U.S. 528 (2005)
  • Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic Industries Corp., 544 U.S. 280 (2005)
  • Crawford v. Marion County Election Bd., 472 F.3d 949 (7th Cir. 2007)
  • Cottenham v. Jamrog, 248 Fed. Appx. 625 (6th Cir. 2007)
  • Motionless Keyboard Co. v. Microsoft Corp., 184 Fed. Appx. 967 (Fed. Cir. 2006)
  • Blinson v. North Carolina, 2006 WL 6342964 (N.C. Super. Ct. 2006) 
  • Mount Vernon Fire Ins. Co. v. Nat’l Fire Ins. Co., Case No. 07-CV-01593 (M.D. Fla.)
  • Continental Insurance Co. v. Roberts, Case No. 8:05-CV-1658 (M.D. Fla.)
  • In re Barber, Case No. 07-60583 (S.D. Fla.) 
  • Nygard Holdings Ltd. v. Greer, Case No. 3:09-CV-135 (E.D. Va.)
  • Book Wholesalers Inc. v. District of Columbia, Case. No. 2009 SC3 002890 (D.C. Super. Ct.)

Presentations

  • Co-presenter, "Consero’s Corporate Litigation Executive Roundtable," Seyfarth Shaw LLP (May 10, 2018)
  • Speaker, "Investigate Consumer Reports: Litigation Trends and the Salary History Ban Movement," 2018 NAPBS Mid-Year Legislative & Regulatory Conference (April 16, 2018)
  • Speaker, “End-User FAQs: What Do I Say When My Client Asks ________?,” National Association of Professional Background Screeners’ Annual Conference (September 19, 2017)
  • Speaker, “Conducting Legal and Compliant Background Checks,” C4CM Events (May 9, 2017)
  • Speaker, “Don't Be a Target: How to Respond to Disputes to Reduce Your Risk of Being Sued,” National Association of Professional Background Screeners’ Mid-Year Legislative & Regulatory Conference (March 20, 2017)
  • Speaker, “What Consumer Reporting Agencies Should Know About Ban the Box Legislation and Its Impact on the Adverse Action Process,” National Association of Professional Background Screeners’ Annual Conference (September 20, 2016)

Publications