Helen Zeldes



Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

About Helen

Nationally recognized class action attorney, Helen Zeldes, joined Coast Law Group as a partner on June 1, 2017 to launch the firm’s new class action practice group.  Helen has dedicated her 17-year legal career to representing consumers in complex cases involving fraud, deceptive business tactics, defective products, antitrust, insurance bad faith, mortgage lending and banking fraud, employment discrimination, wage and hour and human rights violations.  Helen is a fearless advocate for her clients who has demonstrated time and again for the millions of consumers she has represented over her career that she’s truly in it for the long haul, working tirelessly in the trenches to bring corporate wrongdoers to justice.



Never  shying away  from taking on  Goliath, Helen  routinely  leads the charge as  lead or co-lead counsel on high profile complex cases.  Some of Helen’s recent battles include:

  • Trump University.  Most recently, Helen initiated and was part of the team of attorneys who filed, prosecuted, and settled the well-publicized class action against Donald Trump andTrump University for $25 million on behalf of a nationwide class of consumers.  Initiating and investigating the case here in North County, Helen attended a local Trump University seminar and met with students who were taken for tens of thousands of dollars spent on worthless Trump University courses.  Helen served on and put together the litigation team for this groundbreaking case. Makaeff v. Trump University, LLC, et al., Case No. 3:10-CV-00940-GPC-WVG (S.D. Cal.),
  • The  Toll  Roads. Helen  currently  serves  as  Co-Lead  Counsel  in In  re  Toll  Roads Litigation, a statewide class action on behalf of millions of California drivers against the Transportation  Corridor  Agencies’  and a  handful  of  private  defendants  who  plaintiffs allege  improperly  and  unfairly  operate  the  toll  roads in  Southern  California,  violating their  privacy  and  collecting  excessive  and  unfair  fines  against millions  of  California drivers. In re Toll Roads Litigation, Case No. 8:16-cv-00262-AG-JCG (C.D. Cal).
  • Sony  VAIO.Helen  serves  as  Co-Lead  Class  Counsel  in In  re  Sony  VAIO  Computer Notebook Trackpad Litigation, a product defect and consumer class action on behalf ofmore  than  400,000  consumers  against Sony  Electronics,  Inc. alleging  that  fundamental flaws  in  the  design  and/or  manufacturing  process  in the  VAIO  Touchpad  Notebooks render  it  almost  impossible  to  use  because  the  touchpad  is prone  to cause  the  onscreen cursor  to  track  in  reverse,  freeze;  and/or  engage  in  erratic  behavior.. In  Re  Sony VAIO Computer  Notebook  Trackpad  Litigation,  Case  No.  3:09-CV-02109-BAS-MDD  (S.D. Cal.)(Class certified; Final approval of classwide settlement granted on August 7, 2017).
  • County  Supervisor  Dave  Roberts. Helen  represented  a  state  employee  who  brought claims for constructive discharge against the County of San Diego and County Supervisor Dave  Roberts, for misconduct including, among other things,  forcing  her to work on his campaign on county time and putting pressure on her to lie to investigators. Masukawa v. County of San Diego.
  • Apple, Inc.Helen served  as  Co-Lead Counsel  in two nationwide putative class actions against Apple, Inc. representing classes  of  many  millions of  consumers  alleging product defect and consumer claims that Apple’s power adapters were defectively designed. In Re Magsafe   Apple   Power   Adapter   Litigation,   Case   No.   5:09-CV-01911-EJD   (N.D. Cal)(settled)  and Gordon  v.  Apple  Computer,  Inc., Case  No.  5:06-CV-05358-JW  (N.D. Cal)(settled). Nationwide settlements valued in the hundreds of millions were reached in both cases.


Prior  to  starting  Zeldes  Haeggquist  &  Eck,  LLP  in  2008, Helen  worked  for  many  years  at  the nation’s largest plaintiff’s class action firm, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd (formerly “Lerach Coughlin” and “Milberg Weiss”) in its consumer and insurance fraud class action practice group. There,  Helen  was instrumental  in  litigating  a  series  of  nationwide  senior  annuities  fraud  class actions  in  which  her former  firm  was  appointed  Co-Lead  Counsel  against  insurance  giants  like AIG, Allianz and Midland National. Other nationwide class actions Helen litigated at her former firms   included:  a  wage/hour overtime  action   against  Cintas,  one  of  the   nation’s   largest commercial  laundries  for  violations  of  the Fair  Labor  Standards  Act  for  misclassifying  truck drivers as salesmen to avoid payment of overtime wages; race discrimination underwriting class actions  against  large  insurance  companies  for  their  practice  of intentionally  charging  African-Americans and other minorities more for life insurance than similarly situated Caucasians (cases that  collectively  recovered  over  $400  million  for  African-Americans  and  other minority  class members  as  redress  for  the  civil  rights  abuses  they  were  subjected  to);  race discrimination underwriting  class  actions  against  insurance  companies  based  upon  the  improper  use of credit scoring or geographical redlining to charge minorities higher premiums against insurance giants like Allstate  and  State  Farm;  a  statewide  consumer  class  action  over  the  propriety  of  a  private contractor operating “red   light   camera”systems   throughout   California, Red   Light   PhotoEnforcement Cases, JCCP No. 4305 (San Diego Super. Ct.), a case which Ms. Zeldes co-chaired at trial;  a  multi-state antitrust  action entitled In  re  Medical  WasteServices  Antitrust  Litigation, MDL No. 1546 (D. Utah), in which plaintiffs brought claims for defendants’ alleged conspiracy to allocate customers and territories  in the  market for the collection, transportation and disposal of medical waste, as well as for unlawful monopolization.

Helen  was  named  a  San  Diego  Super  Lawyer  in  2017, was  nominated  for  the  2016  National Association of Women Business Owners’ Woman Business Owner Of The Year award and was a 2016 finalist in the San Diego Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business Awards.  Helen is committed to giving back to the community – she currently champions sustainable farming as the Chair of the  Development Committee on the  Board of the Berry Good Food Foundation,  is on the Advisory Board of Think Dignity, and was on the Board of San Diego BayKeeper (now CoastKeeper), to name a few.

Ms.  Zeldes  is  licensed  to  practice  law  in  the  California  and  Hawaii  and  is  admitted  to  practice before all the federal district courts in both states.


B.A., University of California at Davis, 1988; J.D.,University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law, Honolulu, Hawaii, 2000 (cum laude).


University of Hawaii Law Review, Outside Articles Editor, Editorial Board Recipient, Edward H. Nakamura Memorial Public Interest/Service Scholarship; CALI Award for Highest Grade in Domestic Ocean & Coastal Law; Recipient, George Washington-Oxford International Human Rights Law Program Scholarship.


In her spare time, Helen owns super cool local artist galleries (in Encinitas and Hawaii), dreams about paddling in an outrigger racing team again and sneaks off to Bali when no one is watching.  If  you  ask nicely, she  might  even  offer  her  interior  design services  if  you  promise  not  to  tell anyone.

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