ROCKVILLE, Md. -- The Consumer Relations Consortium (CRC) is pleased to announce its Legal Advisory Board (LAB) members for 2022. In 2020, the Consumer Relations Consortium (CRC) launched its inaugural Legal Advisory Board (LAB), an exclusive membership group of outside counsel with expertise in the accounts receivable industry who have each pledged their time and resources to support the mission of the CRC. Throughout the year, the LAB serves as a legal resource to the CRC and iA Innovation Council membership and assists in fulfilling the mission of promoting forward-thinking approaches to the issues raised by regulatory policy and technology innovation in the accounts receivable industry.


Meet 2022 LAB Members:

John Bedard - Bedard Law Group 

John is an AV rated attorney and nationally recognized authority on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. He serves as counsel to several professional trade associations, including the Georgia Collectors Association.

Leslie Bender - Clark Hill 

Leslie C. Bender counsels financial services and healthcare clients on a broad range of privacy, data security, and consumer financial protection laws relying upon her strategic and legal experience as a general counsel.

Stefanie Jackman - Ballard Spahr

Stefanie H. Jackman is the leader of Ballard Spahr's Debt Collection Team and a member of the firm's CFPB, TCPA, Fair Lending, and Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency Teams. She devotes her practice to assisting financial services institutions facing state and federal government investigations and examinations, counseling them on complex compliance issues, as well as defending them in individual and class action lawsuits.

Jessica Klander - Bassford Remele

Jessica Klander defends businesses and professionals against liability and malpractice claims in the consumer law defense, professional liability, and general liability arenas. Also experienced in complex litigation, employment law, non-compete disputes, and class action lawsuits, Klander regularly represents clients in both state and federal courts across the United States.

Joann Needleman - Clark Hill

Joann Needleman leads the firm’s financial services regulatory and compliance practice and advises banks, financial institutions, and financial services entities on regulatory compliance matters.

Ethan Ostroff - Troutman Sanders LLP

Ethan Ostroff’s practice focuses on financial services litigation and consumer law compliance counseling. Ethan is part of the firm’s national practice representing consumer-facing companies of all types in defense of individual and class action claims and counseling them on compliance with federal and state laws.

John Rossman - Moss and Barnett, P.A.

In his national practice dedicated to the financial services industry, John has shaped the law in numerous landmark cases that preserved and expanded the rights of financial services companies, including national banks, automobile lenders, fintech companies, collection agencies, debt buyers, mortgage lenders, creditors, and fellow lawyers.

Jim Schultz-  Sessions, Israel & Shartle

Jim's primary role is to co-manage the firm's consumer defense practice group, defending creditors, debt buyers and debt collectors in cases brought under various federal and state consumer protection laws, such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

David Schultz - Hinshaw and Culbertson

David Schultz defends Fortune 500 companies, debt buyers, debt collection agencies, lawyers, lending institutions, and others in consumer litigation, and counsels organizations throughout the consumer financial services industry on risk management. He also defends lawyers and law firms in legal malpractice matters. Mr. Schultz is a member of the firm's Management Committee and past chair of the firm's Consumer & Class Action Litigation group.

Libby Shaffer - Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP

Known for her responsiveness to clients and her ability to resolve cases early with her writing skills, Libby focuses her practice on defending clients against allegations relating to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, Regulation E, and related state consumer protection laws. She works with some of the nation’s largest debt buyers, debt collectors, and collection counsel throughout the country defending and resolving class actions in federal and state consumer protection matters.

Brit Suttell -  Barron & Newburger

Brit brings a unique perspective of having grown-up in the debt collection and consumer financial services industry as Brit’s father started his own debt collection law firm in the 1980’s. Brit is a proud third-generation attorney.Prior to joining the firm, Brit was a shareholder at Burton Neil & Associates, P.C., where Brit served as Director of Compliance.

Congratulations to the 2022 LAB members!

About the Consumer Relations Consortium

The Consumer Relations Consortium (CRC) is an organization comprised of more than 60 national companies representing the diverse ecosystem of debt collection including creditors, data/technology providers and compliance-oriented debt collectors that are larger market participants. Established in 2013, CRC is evolving the debt collection paradigm by engaging stakeholders—including consumer advocates, Federal and State regulators, academic and industry thought leaders, creditors and debt collectors—and challenging them to move beyond talking points and focus on fashioning real-world solutions that actually improve the consumer experience. CRC’s collaborative and candid approach is unique in the market.  CRC is managed by The iA Institute.

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About the iA Innovation Council

The iA Innovation Council is a collaborative working group of product, tech, strategy, and operations thought leaders who envision the future of collections and map how to get there. Group members meet throughout the year to engage in substantive dialogue and whiteboard sessions with the creative thinkers behind the latest innovations for the industry, the regulators who audit and establish guardrails for new technology, and educators, entrepreneurs and innovators from outside the industry who inspire different thinking. 

Learn more at

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