Billy Howard has been fortunate to work with some of the greatest legal minds of our time. He is a true Florida boy, born in Miami and raised in Winter Haven. Mr. Howard loves fighting the “little guy” against corrupt corporations.
Mr. Howard’s career journey began in the 1980’s working in his father’s law firm and assisting in Bob Graham (one of Florida’s greatest public servants) in his successful campaign for Florida’s Governor. Mr. Howard was taught at an early age that you should vote for the person who is trying to “do the right thing” not just because of someone’s party. He founded “Gators for Graham” at the University of Florida and in his Senior year worked as a Legislative Assistant to then Senator Bob Graham in Washington D.C., Mr. Howard has first-hand knowledge of how political leaders can shape public policy and protect people.
In 1992, Mr. Howard’s first year in law school, he worked for one of Florida’s premier plaintiff’s law firms, Lytal & Reiter. He also had the opportunity to work for Cooney Halizer, a very well-respected defense firm. Working for a defense firm and a plaintiff’s firm at the beginning of his career gave him an early understanding how the personal injury game was played and won.
Mr. Howard had the honor of interning with the Honorable Edward Rodgers, Palm Beach County’s first black prosecutor, its first black judge and its first black chief judge. Judge Rodgers was a civil rights pioneer and famously said, “I look forward to the day when we stop noticing when a black person is the first black in whatever appointment or profession.” In Mr. Howard’s last year in law school, he was approved by the Florida Supreme Court as a Certified Legal Intern and prosecuted numerous cases for the West Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office, and actually tried the first jury trial in the new Palm Beach County court house to a guilty verdict. Mr. Howard was interviewed that day by the local news concerning his trial victory, the first of hundreds of interviews to come.
Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Howard opened his own practice, and obtained a million dollar verdict in a complex civil theft bench trial. He worked as a sole practitioner in Fort Lauderdale, focusing mostly on personal injury and fighting insurance companies.
When Mr. Howard moved to Tampa, he worked for Nationwide Insurance Company briefly. While working for Nationwide, he went to trial numerous times and most importantly, he learned the inter-workings of insurance companies and how to beat them from the inside out.
In 2002, Mr. Howard became a managing partner at the law firm of Morgan & Morgan, America’s largest personal injury law firm. He not only handled personal injury cases and insurance dispute but also founded their Consumer Protection Department that focused on “robocalls,” collection harassment and helping people fix their credit. He represented people in almost every state in the country and with the help of his friend and partner John Morgan, grew the Consumer Protection Department into the largest one in the country, helping a wide-range of people from those who have suffered identity theft to debtors that were the target of unscrupulous and abusive debt collection behavior. He brought his trial skills to the debt collection arena and has successfully tried and settled hundreds of “collection harassment” cases.
Mr. Howard obtained a punitive damage jury verdict against a national debt collector, one of the few such awards ever in the country. Mr. Howard has the largest debt collection verdict and has repeatedly gone to trial and arbitrations against these mega-banks and beat them every single time.
Based upon his success, Mr. Howard has become a recognized national figure and has been interviewed most likely more than any attorney ever on these consumer issues. Mr. Howard is a nationally recognized expert in the field of consumer rights and was called upon to testify in front of a Congressional Banking Committee about the banking industry’s attempt to exempt themselves from Florida’s consumer protection laws. He has successfully defended the constitutionality of Florida’s Consumer Collection Practices Act. He was also asked to testify in Washington D.C. by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) concerning his expertise and experience fighting abusive debt collectors.
Mr. Howard has an intense passion for helping people hold debt collectors and banks responsible for their egregious conduct and was one of the first attorneys in the country to sue for unwanted “robocalls.” He is committed to making sure that banks and debt collectors do not get away with their abusive techniques that often devastate families.
While at Morgan & Morgan, Mr. Howard went to trial with some of the most talented lawyers in the country and was part of trial teams that received over 10 million dollars numerous times in personal injury, including one medical malpractice jury verdict for over 26 million.
In 2016, Mr. Howard founded The Consumer Protection Firm, a law firm with dedicated to helping people with a variety of legal problems from robocalls to car crashes. Currently, The Consumer Protection Firm is spear-heading the class action litigation against landlords throughout Florida that are profiting off the COVID-19 pandemic and refusing to give families a partial refund like all the State Universities did. Additionally, The Consumer Protection Firm is involved in local and nation-wide data breach class action as this is one of our country’s biggest problems for consumers.
The Consumer Protection Firm is a powerhouse boutique law firm that has had incredible success protecting consumers around the country and in Tampa Bay.
In the local Tampa Bay community, Mr. Howard attends Hyde Park United Methodist Church, where he began teaching youth classes, had a leadership role in the Greeting Ministry and co-founded the very popular ministry known as “Running to Make God’s Love Real.”
Mr. Howard has more published opinions in the area of consumer protection law than any lawyer in Florida including:
- McCaskill v. Navient and Student Assistance Corporation, 2016. Order defendants to pay $363,500 on a summary Judgement for robo-calling 727 times without “express consent.”
- Swaney v. Regions, 2016. Summary judgement granted for Plaintiff and finding their system is a “robo-dialer” and to believe Defendant’s position that their system is not a robo-dialer but still texts over 19 million per month ” would require the suspension of reason.”
- Page vs. Regions Bank, 2012 WL 6913593 (N.D. Ala.). This first case in the 11th Circuit to find the “called party” had standing to bring a TCPA lawsuit.
- Kathy Clements v. DSM Supply LLC, 2014 WL 560561 (M.D. Fla. 2014). Lead counsel default judgment in which, after notice of incorrect calls was made, each subsequent call was considered “willful and knowing” and thus worth $1,500.00.
- Gambon v. R & F Enterprises, Inc., 2015 WL 64561. Lead counsel default judgment in which, after notice of incorrect calls was made, each subsequent call was considered “willful and knowing” and thus worth $1,500.00.
- Coniglio v. Bank of America, N.A., 2014 WL 5366248 (M.D. Fla. 2014). Default Judgment awarded totaling $1,051,000.00 which found each call after verbal revocation was “willful and knowing” and thus worth $1,500.00.
- Desmond vs. HSBC Card Services, Inc., WL 2436582 (M.D. Fla. 2009). Motion to amend for Punitive damages granted concerning almost one-thousand phone calls to the plaintiff, although he did not owe the money.
- Green Tree vs. McLeod, 15 So. 3d 682 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009). Lead counsel in case considered to be one of the seminal appellate opinions on waiver of arbitration.
- Strominger vs. Amsouth Bank, 991 So. 2d 1030 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008). Lead counsel in case involving banks waiver of arbitration.
- Laufman vs. Phillips & Burns, Inc., WL 190604 (M.D. Fla. 2008). Motion to Allow Punitive Damages granted in case alleging debt collector threatened daughter with the arrest of her father and to take away her mobile home.
- Jones v. Bank of America, Florida Circuit Court 2012. Motion to Allow Punitive Damages granted in a case alleging the bank was falsely reporting information on client’s credit and repeatedly called her for a debt she was not responsible for.
- Nugent v. Wolpoff and Abramson, Florida Circuit Court 2010. Motion to Amend for Punitive Damages granted in a case alleging deceptive and corrupt arbitration scheme, abusinve debt collection and false credit reporting.
- Lacen v. Wells Fargo, Florida Circuit Court 2008. Motion to Allow Punitive Damages granted in a case alleging a bankruptcy was being falsely reported on client’s credit report.
- Lamboi v. Van Ru Corporation, Florida Circuit Court 2007. Motion to Allow Punitive Damages granted in a case alleging debt collector called the client the “N-Word.”
a. Swaney v. Regions Bank, United States District Court, Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division, Case No. 2:13-cv-00544; (settled). $2,805,200
b. De Leon v. Bank of America, N.A., United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division, Case No. 6:09-cv-1251-Orl-28KRS (settled). $10,000,000
c. Cook v. Palmer Riefler & Associates, P.A., United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division, Case No. 3:16-cv-673; (settled). $3,500,000
d. Clark v. Macy’s Credit and Customer Services, Inc., United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division, Case No: 6:17-cv-692; (settled). $1,500,000
e. Sawyer v. Intermex, United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, Miami Division, Case No. 1:19-cv-22212; (settled). $3,250,000
f. Glasser v. Hilton Grand Vacations, United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, Case No. 8:16-cv-00952. (appeal)
g. Morgan v. Orlando Health, Inc., United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division, Case No. 6:17-cv-1972
h. Murray v. Gatestone & Co., United States District Court, District of Arizona, Phoenix Division, Case No. 2:19-cv-05674; (PHV)
i. Mey v. John Doe, et al, United States District Court, Northern District of West Virginia, Wheeling Division, Case No. 5:19-cv-00237
j. Stephens v. Availity LLC, United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Ocala Division, Case No. 5:19-cv-00236
k. Ahmed v. Comenity Bank, United States District Court, Central District of California, Southern Division, 8:20-cv-00453; (PHV pending)
l. Corinti v. Asset Plus Corporation, United States District Court, Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee Division, Case No. 4:20-cv-00173
m. Mitchell v. Nursecon, United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, Miami Division, Case No. 1:20-cv-21503
n. Perna v. American Campus Communities, United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division, Case No. 1:20-cv-0391
- Florida Bar
- Southern, Middle and Northern District of Florida
- Hillsborough County Bar
- Florida Justice Association
- National Association of Consumer Advocates
- University of Florida, Bachelor of Arts in Economics, 1990
- Nova Southeastern University, Juris Doctorate, 1995
Bucknell University, Bachelor of Arts, Environmental Studies, Cum Laude, 2008
Villanova University School of Law, Juris Doctor, 2011
Amanda Allen was born and raised in St. Petersburg, FL. She attended Saint Petersburg High school, obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University and earned her Juris Doctor from Villanova University School of Law. While in law school Amanda clerked for Judge Linda Carpenter in Philadelphia Criminal Court of Commons Pleas, as well as the US EPA Region 3 Headquarters focusing on environmental justice. Through Villanova’s Farmworker Legal Aid Clinic, Amanda represented local migrant workers in a wide variety of issues ranging from wage claim disputes to immigration, and sexual harassment to workers compensation.
Before opening The Consumer Protection Firm with Billy Howard, Ms. Allen worked for several years in Morgan & Morgan’s Consumer Protection department focusing on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA) and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). While holding banks, debt collectors, credit card companies and loan servicers accountable for harassing and abusive conduct, Amanda has received countless favorable rulings in federal and state courts. Recently, she successfully brought a class action lawsuit against Walmart and Palmer, Reifler & Associates and achieved a $3.5 million dollar settlement on behalf of class members across the country who received automated calls to their cellular telephones without their consent. Ms. Allen continues to remain on the front lines of developing consumer protection case law.
Amanda is proud to relentlessly represent consumers in Florida, and across the country, against creditors and debt collectors who put corporate bottom lines, before consumer rights.
McCaskill v. Navient and Student Assistance Corporation, 178 F. Supp. 3d 1281 (M.D. Fla. 2016). Order defendants to pay $363,500 on a summary Judgement for robo-calling 727 times without “express consent.”
Williams v. Educational Credit Management, 88 F.Sup.3d 1338 (M.D.Fla. 2015). Order finding the dispute notice provision and illegitimate collection provision of the FCCPA was not preempted by the HEA.
Buchholz v. Valarity, LLC, 2014 WL 5849434 (E.D.Mo). Case of first impression recognizing the availability of oral revocation under the TCPA.
Neptune v. Whetstone Partners, LLC, d/b/a eTitleLoan, 2014 WL 3734549 (S.D.Fla). Order recognizing sufficiency of pleading requirements in TCPA and FCCPA where Defendant called Plaintiff 45 times, using prerecorded messages to collect a debt not yet owed.
Freeman v. SmartPay Leasing, LLC, 771 F. App.x 926 (11th Cir. 2019). Affirmed the District Court’s Order finding the Defendant acted inconsistently with its contractual right to arbitrate, breached its own arbitration agreement and therefore waived its right to proceed in arbitration.
Quinn v. Branch Banking and Trust Company, No. 5:19-CV-433-OC-30PRL, 2019 WL 7567812, at *1 (M.D. Fla. Dec. 20, 2019), report and recommendation adopted, No. 5:19-CV-433-OC-30PRL, 2020 WL 136636 (M.D. Fla. Jan. 13, 2020). Order denying Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss finding that Plaintiff’s Complaint included sufficient allegations to support the claim that the 700 calls at issue were autodialed or prerecorded.
Cook, Bermudez, et al. v. Palmer Reifler & Associates and Walmart Stores, Inc., No. 3:16-cv-00673-BJD-JRK, (M.D. Fla. June 20, 2020). $3.5 Million dollar settlement on behalf of nation-wide TCPA class.
New Jersey Bar
The United States District Court, District of New Jersey
The United States District Court, Middle District of Florida
The United States District Court, Northern District of Florida
The United States District Court, Southern District of Florida
The United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
The United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania
Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals