ALM Interviews New Shook Partner About Rise in BIPA Litigation

The American Lawyer (ALM) interviewed Shook Partner Melissa Siebert, who recently joined the firm with Erin Bolan Hines, Of Counsel, to handle a rise of class action lawsuits against businesses in Illinois under the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Under the Act, those who gather biometric information such as fingerprint scans are required to obtain consent and have a process for how the information will be used.

“We will be what I like to call the BIPA super group on the defense side,” Siebert said in the interview, "As Biometric Cases Surge, Shook Hardy Hires 2 From Baker & Hostetler." "It enables us to really give clients cutting-edge advice and to do so rally effectively and efficiently. This is not our first rodeo." Of the more than 150 BIPA class actions filed, Shook lawyers, with the addition of Siebert and Hines, have managed 24. 

A 2019 Illinois Supreme Court decision, Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp., allows a violation of BIPA to be sufficient grounds for a lawsuit even without proof of actual harm. 

"The issue of the law is so unsettled that there is no easy out," Siebert explained to ALM. “There have been a few settlements, and so much more is undecided.”