How has your practice evolved in the last few years?
Each year for the past four to five years, the number of consumer suits, both individual and class actions, has increased somewhat dramatically. This is due in large part to pro-consumer laws such as the FDCPA, and the nature of these laws as fee-shifting statutes providing for attorneys’ fees. It doesn’t appear as though this litigation is slowing down, but instead pro-consumer attorneys are pursuing claims under additional/other federal Acts such as the TCPA and FCRA. I would expect more governmental involvement and regulation geared towards consumer protection in coming years, which may affect the playing field and influence opinions handed down by federal judges in these cases.
If you could offer one piece of advice for young lawyers, what would it be?
I thought I was a young lawyer! But for those even younger than I, I would advise them to diversify their practice to do work in multiple practice areas if possible, and to take on more responsibility than they might feel ready for, rather than sitting on the sidelines.
What is the one technological device you could not function without daily?
Sadly, my laptop. Maybe I’m not a young lawyer after all.
How has civility made a difference in your practice of law?
In an area of the law that can often get contentious, civility makes a huge difference, and I think judges expect this of us. I don’t have a single great instance to share, but I have learned that wherever opposing counsel makes a request of me, for an extension or proposed scheduling, etc., I will inevitably have a similar request in the future, so if for no other reason, agreement is always the best policy. I’m always surprised when I get resistance to simple requests.
What do you do for fun?
I love to travel and try my best to get on a plane at least once every month or two, even if for a short trip.
Avanti D. Bakane joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP as an associate in 2009. She now serves as a Partner at Gordon & Reese. In 2014, Ms. Bakane was named a Rising Star by Illinois Super magazine. Ms. Bakane has served in various leadership positions with the Indian-American Bar Association, most recently as the President-Elect of Chicago. She is also an active member of both the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois and the Chicago Bar Association. To read her full bio, click here.