Barry Goheen is a partner in King & Spalding’s Litigation Practice Group. He practices in the firm’s business litigation area and focuses on consumer class actions; credit-related, financial products and services; data breach and privacy litigation; and complex litigation.
Mr. Goheen has served as lead or co-counsel in over 50 class actions in all areas of the law, including antitrust, financial products and services, securities fraud, consumer protection, privacy/data breach, product liability and general commercial disputes in state and federal courts representing such clients as The Coca-Cola Company, SunTrust Banks, Countrywide, Equifax, Aaron’s, Chico’s, SCANA, Humana, Bank of America, Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation, Jefferson-Pilot Life Insurance Company, 3M, Wal-Mart, and Lockheed Martin Corporation.
His class action matters include:
- Participation in several phases of a multi-phase trial of a product liability class action in Miami, Florida.
- Lead counsel in the defense of a proposed nationwide RICO class action brought against automobile manufacturer alleging misrepresentation of horsepower in the vehicles.
- Lead counsel in over 20 class actions against consumer reporting agency alleging violations of Fair Credit Reporting Act, including entering trial of FCRA class action in 2010 in federal court in Pennsylvania, settling case on favorable terms for client after opening statements.
- Lead or co-counsel in defense of over 40 proposed class actions brought by consumers of cigarette products, obtaining dismissal or denial of class certification in all but two cases.
- Lead counsel in data breach class action arising from laptop theft exposing information of voters.
- Lead counsel in defending against proposed consumer class actions brought in cases involving financial products and services for clients such as SunTrust, Fifth Third, Bank of America, Countrywide, Advance America, and Harland Financial Solutions.
Singletery v. Equifax Info. Servs., LLC, 540 Fed. Appx. 939 (11th Cir. 2013) (affirming summary judgment and denial of class certification); Soutter v. Equifax Info. Servs., LLC, 498 Fed. Appx. 260 (4th Cir. 2012) (reversing class certification); Carvalho v. Equifax Info. Servs., LLC, 629 F.3d 876 (9th Cir. 2010), aff’g 588 F. Supp. 2d 1089 (N.D. Cal. 2008) (summary judgment in proposed class action); Anderson v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 112 Fed. Appx. 491 (6th Cir. 2004) (affirming dismissal of class action complaint); Perry v. American Tobacco Co., 324 F.3d 845 (6th Cir. 2003) (affirming dismissal of class action complaint); Jackson v. Equifax Info. Servs., No. 13-cv-2382 (N.D. Ga. Sept. 11, 2015) (granting summary judgment in proposed nationwide class action); Williams v. Citi Mortgage, Inc., 2014 WL 1406601 (W.D. Okla. Apr. 10, 2014) (granting motion to dismiss class allegations); Jones v. Bank of America Corp., 2013 WL 6198206 (M.D. Ga. Nov. 27, 2013) (granting motion to dismiss class complaint); Parker v. Midland Credit Mgmt., Inc., 874 F. Supp. 2d 1353 (M.D. Fla. 2012) (granting motion to dismiss class complaint); Schulte v. Fifth Third Bank, 2011 WL 3269340 (N.D. Ill. July 29, 2011) (approving class settlement); Rollins, Inc. v. Warren, 653 S.E.2d 794 (Ga. App. 2007) (decertifying class); Gardner v. Equifax Info. Services, 2007 WL 2261688 (D. Minn. Aug. 6, 2007) (denying class certification); Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc., 945 So. 2d 1246 (Fla. 2006) (appeal of class action trial); Parker v. Brush Wellman, Inc., 377 F. Supp. 2d 1290 (N.D. Ga. 2005) (granting motion to dismiss class complaint); In re Motorsports Antitrust Litigation, 112 F. Supp. 2d 1329 (N.D. Ga. 2000) (approving class settlement); Insolia v. Philip Morris Inc., 186 F.R.D. 535 (W.D. Wis. 1998) (denying class certification).
In addition to the class trial identified above, Mr. Goheen has extensive trial experience in business litigation matters arising in varied areas of the law.
- Lead counsel in jury trial in case brought under Fair Credit Reporting Act, obtaining defense verdict (affirmed on appeal) in case where plaintiff sought $25 million.
- Lead counsel in the two-week bench trial of a RICO case asserted against one of the firm’s clients in federal court in Louisiana.
- Lead counsel in the defense of a franchisor-franchisee dispute in the Southern District of Georgia, in which the jury returned a defense verdict that was affirmed by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Co-counsel for plaintiffs in fraud and civil RICO case that obtained $6 million verdict against defendants, with damages tripled to $18 million.
Morris v. Equifax Info. Services LLC, 289 Fed. Appx. 708 (5th Cir. 2008) (affirming defense verdict); Maiz v. Virani, 253 F.3d 641 (11th Cir. 2001) (affirming jury’s RICO verdict); Coffee v. General Motors Acceptance Corp., 30 F. Supp. 2d 1376 (S.D. Ga. 1998) (granting partial summary judgment), 218 F.3d 746 (table) (11th Cir. 2000) (affirming jury’s defense verdict).
Other Representative Litigation
Mr. Goheen has experience litigating a broad array of business and commercial matters for such clients as The Coca-Cola Company, Priority Payment Systems, Trustmark National Bank, Sprint Corporation, Xerox Corporation, GMAC, Home Depot, Equifax, and Royal Oak Enterprises, Inc. including:
- Assisted in defense of antitrust action brought by competitor of soft drinks manufacturer, obtaining summary judgment.
- Lead counsel in defense of civil RICO action in case brought account debtor against factor, obtaining summary judgment.
- Lead counsel in defense of trade secrets case brought by majority shareholders of company against minority shareholders.
- Lead counsel in antitrust and unfair competition case brought by telecommunications provider.
Okocha v. Trans Union LLC, 488 Fed. Appx. 535 (2d Cir. 2012) (affirming summary judgment); Aclys Intern. v. Equifax, 438 Fed. Appx. 689 (10th Cir. 2011) (affirming dismissal); Ex parte King, 59 So. 3d 21 (Ala. 2010) (granting writ of mandamus); Wadley v. Equifax Info. Services LLC, 2008 WL 4542842 (4th Cir. 2008) (affirming denial of post-judgment relief); Intera Corp. v. Henderson, 428 F.3d 605 (6th Cir. 2005) (affirming dismissal of complaint); Versa Products, Inc. v. Home Depot, USA, Inc., 387 F.3d 1325 (11th Cir. 2004) (dismissing plaintiffs' appeal); Priority Payment Sys., LLC v. SignaPay Ltd., No. 1:15-cv-04140 (N.D. Ga. Jan. 25, 2016) (granting preliminary injunction in trade secret case); Novartis Animal Health US, Inc. v. Earle Palmer Brown, LLC, 424 F. Supp. 2d 1358 (N.D. Ga. 2006) (granting summary judgment), aff’d, 2007 WL 906446 (11th Cir. 2007); PepsiCo, Inc. v. Coca-Cola Company, 114 F. Supp. 2d 243 (S.D.N.Y. 2000) (granting summary judgment), aff'd, 315 F.3d 101 (2d Cir. 2002).
Experience, Education, and Community Service
- Mr. Goheen frequently writes and speaks on privacy and data breach issues, including: panelist, Cybersecurity Law & Policy In-House Summit, Global Law Forum, Washington, D.C., January 2014; panelist, “FCRA Class Actions in Employment on the Rise: Avoiding and Defending Claims,” Strafford, March 2015; author, “Expert Q&A on Standing in Data Breach Class Actions,” Practical Law, April/May 2015; author, “Supreme Court Prepares to Weigh FCRA and ‘Actual Injury,’” Corporate Counsel, www.corporatecounsel.com, June 23, 2015; speaker, 24th National Conference on Consumer Finance Class Actions & Litigation, American Conference Institute, January 2016.
- Mr. Goheen frequently writes and speaks on class action and financial services issues, including: Co-author, “Cybersecurity Considerations for Real Estate Investment Firms,” PREA Quarterly, Spring 2016; “FACTA and the Dodd-Frank Act: What You Must Know” (speaker, November 2012); “Consumer Finance Class Actions: FCRA and FACTA” (panelist, March 2012); “The Credit Card Accountability and Disclosure Act of 2009 and Other Recent Developments Affecting Consumer Class Actions in the Financial ServicesIndustry,” Journal of Taxation and Regulation of Financial Institutions, Vol. 25, No. 1 (Sept./Oct. 2011); “Disproportionate or Bankrupting Liability in FCRA Class Actions Remains an Uncertain Class Certification Issue,” Consumer Fin. Services Law Report, Vol. 14, Iss. 24 (1/19/11).
- Mr. Goheen is a 1994 graduate of the Vanderbilt University School of Law where he was a member of the Vanderbilt Law Review, served as the Executive Associate Justice of the Vanderbilt Moot Court Board, and was recognized in the 1993-94 edition of Who’s Who Among American Law Students.
- Mr. Goheen graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1989 with a B.A. in Communication Studies. At Vanderbilt, he was a member of the school’s varsity basketball team and was selected to the All-Southeastern Conference teams in 1988 and 1989 and was named honorable mention All-America in 1989. He was named to the academic All-SEC team in 1987, 1988, and 1989.
- Mr. Goheen is Chairman of the Atlanta Tip-Off Club.
- Mr. Goheen is admitted to practice before numerous United States District Courts as well as the United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits, and the Tennessee and Georgia state courts.
- Mr. Goheen is an adjunct professor at Emory Law School.