Seasoned trial lawyer Doug Meal defends clients targeted by litigation and government investigations stemming from major privacy and cybersecurity incidents. According to Chambers USA, clients select Doug because "[h]e is the premier expert in this field and knows how to run a breach response process from A to Z”; is “extremely experienced [and] can give immediate advice off the top of his head"; "has been in court through trials and negotiations, all aspects of the litigation, and is highly effective in all of them"; and "is good to work with, personable and very authoritative." This year, clients said, "I would trust him with my life if I ran into a litigation"; "Doug is extremely calm and has a way of presenting and explaining problems which makes you feel empowered to do your job"; and "He has great experience in this field and is a solid rock in litigation." Based on client assessments like these, Chambers USA has named Doug as the first and only “Band 1” litigator in the Privacy and Data Security category, describing him as the “market leader,” being “regarded by market sources as the leading privacy litigator in the USA” and “the dean of the data breach litigation Bar."
As the lead outside lawyer handling claims and/or regulatory investigations stemming from the data security breaches suffered by Target, Neiman Marcus, The Home Depot, Hilton Worldwide, Landry’s, Arby’s, Shopify, Chegg, Supervalu, Sally Beauty, Sony, Heartland Payment Systems, TJ Maxx, Hannaford Brothers, Aldo, Genesco, and Wyndham Hotels—some of the most highly publicized breaches in recent years—Doug has become the national leader in defending companies that suffer breaches involving consumer information against the ensuing claims and regulatory investigations. Doug’s recent successes include leading the team that prevailed in the closely watched LabMD v. FTC litigation, convincing the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to become the first court ever to overturn a cybersecurity enforcement action by the FTC.
Doug has been recognized four times as one of The Cybersecurity Docket’s Incident Response 40—a list of the top 40 incident response lawyers in the United States. He is also a five-time Law360 Privacy MVP.