Avanti D. Bakane

Partner

  • Office Contact Info
  • Biography

    As a lawyer by day and travel blogger by night, Avanti Bakane has global perspective that allows for understanding of diverse viewpoints and the value of her clients’ time. Publicly traded and smaller companies alike retain Ms. Bakane in areas such as complex class action, antitrust, breach of contract, and general commercial litigation with a focus upon consumer class action defense.

    As a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) and co-chair of the firm’s Privacy, Data & Cybersecurity group, Ms. Bakane's practice consists of representing businesses and creative professionals in software and e-commerce development, data privacy, data loss, licensing, and copyright infringement disputes. Additionally, Ms. Bakane has experience representing clients in the cannabis space. With experience in federal and state courts across the country, she is a key asset in pre-suit negotiations, litigation, and compliance. She understands the importance of responsiveness, efficiency, and effective results to her clients.

    Serving as co-chair of the firm’s South Asian Affinity Group and member of its Diversity Committee, Ms. Bakane also dedicates her time outside of the office to the community. She serves as VP of Communications for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and a member of Leading India's Future Today's (LIFT) Board of Governors. Ms. Bakane is a past President of the South Asian Bar Association of Chicago, past Honorary Board Member for the Asian American Bar Association of Chicago (AABA), and volunteers with several non-profit organizations to provide opportunities for underprivileged youth, end gender violence, and find homes for rescue dogs.

    Prior to joining Gordon & Rees, Ms. Bakane was with a major law firm in Chicago.  During law school, Ms. Bakane served as an extern for two semesters to the Honorable Irwin J. Solganick, Law Division, Circuit Court of Cook County. She also worked as a research assistant to DePaul Professors Steven H. Resnicoff and Song Richardson. Ms. Bakane was a member of DePaul’s International Moot Court team for two years.

    Ms. Bakane is proficient in Spanish and Marathi and was a consulting academic tutor for the University of Veritas in San Jose, Costa Rica, where she tutored, translated and taught Spanish for International University students learning the language.

    Admissions

    California
    Illinois
    U.S. Supreme Court
    U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
    U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
    U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
    U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
    U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
    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 Eastern District of Wisconsin
     

    Memberships

    International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC): Member
    National Asian Pacific American Bar Association 
         •    VP of Communications (2018-present)
         •    Central Regional Governor (2016–2018)
    Asian American Bar Association of Chicago
         •    Honorary Board Member (2016-2017)
    South Asian Bar Association of Chicago (formerly the Indian-American Bar Association of Chicago), Member
         •    President (2015)
         •    President-Elect (2014)
     

    Community Involvement

    Apna Ghar, Annual Taste for Life event, Host Committee (2014-2019), Volunteer
    Leading India's Future Today (LIFT Foundation)
         •    Board of Directors, Member (2018-2019)
         •    Associate Board of Directors, President (2017-2018)
    Cause for Paws, Volunteer (2008-present)
     

  • Practice Areas
  • Representative Experience

    Examples of Avanti's extensive experience include the following:

    • Served as the sole outside counsel to a collection company based in Chicago, handling all of their consumer litigation and advising on compliance issues.
    • Settled a TCPA class action at one percent of the potential exposure to the firm’s client, and in an early stage of the case before the client's internal procedures were made public and put under scrutiny.
    • Obtained favorable result at trial involving claims brought under FDCPA and FCRA, serving as second chair.
    • Successfully obtained decision in 8th Circuit Court of Appeals affirming summary judgment for debt buyer on claims brought under FDCPA.
    • Successfully defeated class certification in FDCPA letter case by calling into question class representative's adequacy based upon defenses unique to him.
    • Argued criminal case in Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals' pro bono case.
    • Successfully secured dismissal of FDCPA class action claims at pleadings stage on claims involving time-barred debt disclosures in collection correspondences.
    • Successfully defended claims involving sufficiency of state court collection complaints, documentation required to file collection lawsuits, and standard for good faith filing of suits at summary judgment stage.
    • Successfully obtained rulings in favor of debt buyers and debt collectors in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan at summary judgment stage where claims involved numerous oral and written communications and fact intensive claims.
    • Successfully secured dismissal of debt buyer at pleadings stage on claims involving deceptive and misleading statements made in collection correspondence.
    • Successfully secured dismissal of debt collector at pleadings stage on claims involving overshadowing.
    • Successfully compelled arbitration in FDCPA class action based upon collection correspondences sent to debtors.

    Selected Decisions

    • Caw v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs., LLC, 538 F. App'x 739 (8th Cir. 2013) (FDCPA)
    • Zelner v. ATG Credit, LLC, No. 17-8007 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 12, 2019) (FDCPA)
    • Cooper v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs., LLC, No. 16-12969 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 15, 2017) (Fraud, FDCPA, MCPA, MOC)
    • Paz v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs., LLC, No. 15-10145 (N.D. Ill. June 24, 2016) (FDCPA)
    • Mark v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs., LLC, No. 14-5844, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54498, at *3 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 27, 2015) (FDCPA)
    • Vance v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs., LLC, No. 14-3641, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41969 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 30, 2016) (FDCPA and ICFA)
    • Juarez v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs., LLC, No. 14-5928, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105746 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 12, 2015) (FDCPA and ICFA)
    • Pantoja v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs., LLC, No. 13-7654, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36511, 2015 WL 1396609 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 24, 2015) (FDCPA and ICFA)
    • Boone v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs., LLC, No. 14-12281, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152022 (E.D. Mich. Oct. 27, 2014) (FDCPA)
    • Andree v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs., LLC, No.12-882, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137188 (W.D. Mich. Sep. 25, 2013) (FDPCA, MCPA, MOC)
    • Mino v. Credit Prot. Ass'n, LP, No. 12-01446, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111359 (S.D. Ind. Aug. 7, 2013) (FDCPA)
    • Sanford v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs., LLC, No. 12-11526, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101806 (E.D. Mich. July 22, 2013) (FDPCA, MCPA, MOC)
    • Rollins v. Portfolio Recovery Assocs., LLC, No. 11-00665, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180485 (W.D. Mo. Apr. 25, 2012) (FDCPA)
  • Publications & Presentations

    Presentations

    • Featured speaker at PRA’s LEDTalks - Recent uptick in consumer and class action claims across state lines (April 1, 2020)
    • Featured Panelist at National Asian Pacific Bar Association’s (NAPABA) webinar: Scamming gone viral – Maintaining your company’s cyber hygiene in the wake of COVID-19 (March 31, 2020)
    • Featured Panelist at Loyola Law, Interviewing Like a Pro: Advice from Chicago-area Attorneys & Judges (February 2, 2020)
    • Featured Panelist at DePaul College of Law, The Business of Law (January 22, 2020)
    • Featured Panelist at DePaul College of Law Women's Bar Association and Women of Color Collective Diversity Week Panel (October 16, 2019)
    • Featured Panelist at Gordon & Rees Chicago CLE conference, "Cybersecurity and Data Privacy" (October 3, 2019)
    • Delivered board governance presentation to West Humboldt Park Development Council nonprofit board. (September 23, 2019)
    • Featured Panelist at National Asian Pacific Bar Association’s (NAPABA) Indianapolis Regional Conference, Missed Opportunities in the Legal Profession: Recognizing Implicit and Affinity Biases and Implementing Sustainable Diversity Practices to Develop our Next Generation of Leaders (August 24, 2019)
    • Featured Panelist at Gordon & Rees Hartford and New York CLE conferences, "Cybersecurity and Data Privacy" (May 7&9, 2019)
    • Featured Panelist at Illinois State Bar Association's 6th Annual Minority Bar CLE Conference, "Advancement to Partner: Tiers, Taxes & Tracks" (June 21, 2018).
    • Featured Panelist at Diversity Scholarship Foundation’s “Why Diversity Matters: How Far Have We Come, And How Can We Be More Inclusive?” (June 8, 2018)
    • Featured Panelist at Chicago Bar Association’s Ethical Dilemmas in Law Firm Management (Ethics of Social Media and Marketing) (December 8, 2017)
    • Featured Panelist at Coalition of Women's Initiatives in the Law’s “Advancement to Partner: What You Need to Know” (November 9, 2017)
    • Featured Panelist at SABA Chicago’s Panel regarding Lateral Moves (September 6, 2017)
    • Featured Panelist at Chicago Law Student Career Forum held at the John Marshall Law (February 25, 2017)
    • "The Pending Proceeding Limitation to Rule 2004 Discovery," Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, (December 2009)
    • Ms. Bakane participated in a round table discussion with other law students that was captured and published as "Law Student Roundtable," in the September 11, 2008, edition of Chicago Lawyer.

    In the Media

    • "Diversity Scholarship Foundation - Legal Leaders," CAN TV21, July 25, 2017.

    Publications

    • "Domestic Violence in India," DePaul Women's Law Caucus, 2009 Digest.
    • "Recent Litigation on Out of Statute Debt," MAPbulletin, ACA International, September 2012.
  • Education

    Education

    J.D., DePaul University College of Law, 2009

    • CALI Award, Litigation Lab

    B.A., Anthropology / Spanish, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2005

    Honors

    Recognized as Outstanding Young Alumna by DePaul University College of Law Alumni Association (2020)

    Recognized in Crain’s 2019 Notable Minorities in Accounting, Consulting, and Law

    Recognized as Emerging Lawyer by Leading Lawyers (2016-2019)

    Recognized as a "Rising Star" by Illinois Super Lawyers (2014-2020)

    Recognized as Advocate for Diversity by Diversity Scholarship Foundation (2017)

    Lawyers of Color's Inaugural Hot List Issue 2013

  • Honors

    Spanish
    Marathi