FTC Defense Lawyer
FTC defense lawyer Richard B. Newman of Hinch Newman LLP has served as advertising defense counsel on some of the highest-profile online marketing-related Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state attorneys general investigations (CIDs) and enforcement actions in recent years. He is a leader in defending FTC consumer protection agency actions – representing clients in regulatory matters involving deceptive conduct under Section 5 of the FTC Act and state UDAP laws. Exclusive focus on advertising law assists marketers walk the line between commerce and compliance.
If an investigation is launched, or if the Federal Trade Commission or a state AG has initiated an enforcement action against your company, it is imperative that you contact an experienced FTC defense lawyer and CID defense attorney with sophisticated regulatory litigation capabilities, and a long-established practice of implementing aggressive, winning strategies designed to successfully resolve agency inquiries and lawsuits on behalf of marketers.
- Consumer Protection Law
- Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAP)
- Section 5 of the FTC Act and “Little FTC Acts”
- Marketing and Advertising Compliance
- Risk and Liability Mitigation Strategies
- Remediation Plans
- Claim Substantiation Proceedings
- Government Investigations
- Civil Investigative Demands (CID)
- Compulsory Process
- Motions to Quash
- Investigational Hearings
- Pre-Suit Settlement Negotiations
- Optimal Resolution Positioning
- Government Litigation and Enforcement Defense
- Administrative Actions
- Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO) and Injunctions
- Asset Freezes and Modifications (e.g., Living Expenses and Attorneys' Fees)
Federal Trade Commission Definition
The FTC is an independent agency of the U.S. government. Its core mission is to prevent business practices that are deceptive or unfair to consumers or are anti-competitive.
FTC lawyers at the Bureau of Consumer Protection have a mandate to protect consumers. It conducts individual company and industry-wide investigations, administrative and federal court litigation, rulemaking proceedings, and consumer and business education. The Bureau of Competition prevents anticompetitive business practices and enforces antitrust laws.
The FTC seeks to ensure that consumers are better off in a manner that avoids hindering market-generated consumer benefits. Its first priority is bread and butter fraud enforcement. Its second priority is to ensure that enforcement actions address concrete consumer injury.
The FTC focuses upon financial remedies that are tethered to consumer harm. Its third priority is balancing investigational burdens and improving transparency.
Federal Trade Commission Authority
|Investigative Authority||Enforcement Authority||Judicial Enforcement||Civil Penalties|
|FTC can prosecute any inquiry necessary to its duties in any part of the United States via FTC Act Sec. 3, 15 U.S.C. Sec. 43||FTC can initiate an enforcement action if reason to believe that the law is being or has been violated||FTC can seek preliminary and permanent injunctions against deceptive advertising via Section 13(b) of the FTC Act||Judicially ordered civil penalties for violating cease and desist orders|
|Investigative powers defined in Sections 6, 9 and 20 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. Secs. 46, 49, and 57b-1||Section 5(a) (15 U.S.C. Sec. 45(a)(1) of the FTC Act declares unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce unlawful |
Section 5(b) of the FTC Act permits the FTC to challenge violations of consumer protection statutes via administrative adjudication
|Monetary equitable relief, asset freezes and receiverships under Section 13(b)||n/a|
FTC Regulatory Landscape Webinar
Learn Strategies for FTC Advertising Compliance, Responding to CIDs and Defending Enforcement Actions
In this recent program with Lawline - a leading provider of online continuing legal education offering intelligence to attorneys across the country - FTC defense attorney Richard B. Newman discussed advertising and promotional marketing campaign compliance, FTC CID investigations and FTC lawsuits.
Click on the thumbnail to check out a clip from the webcast.
Served an FTC CID or lawsuit? Need advertising compliance advice?
FTC Advertising Consumer Protection Enforcement + Investigation Defense
The firm’s core practice of FTC advertising law compliance and defense translates into a focus upon the complexities of this area of the law. It is this concentration that distinguishes the firm.
The firm has extensive experience representing clients in Federal Trade Commission, state Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Department of Consumer Affairs, Electronic Retailing Self-Regulatory Program and Public Utility Commission investigations and enforcement matters involving allegations of licensure, consumer fraud, false advertising and unfair business practices.
The firm possesses particular skills in order to negotiate and resolve a broad range of state and federal government investigations and litigation matters on behalf of our clients. What do you do first? How do you keep your options open? How do you limit disruption and minimize the damage? How do you ensure that your company’s concerns are considered and addressed? When faced with a government agency inquiry or complaint, selecting the right FTC CID lawyer and responding appropriately in order to condition a positive outcome is vital.
We have successfully defended a diverse client base, including performance marketing networks and technology companies ranked on Inc. Magazine’s Annual 500/5000 List, in high-stakes government investigations and enforcement proceedings, including:
- Product and service providers
- Affiliate networks
- FinTech providers
- Payment processors and service providers
- Pay-per-call networks
- Lead generators
- Email marketers
- Collections companies
- Home improvement contractors
- Health and fitness clubs
- Call centers
The firm's extensive representative experience with Internet, FinTech, data privacy and telecommunications-related legal matters, coupled with an impeccable reputation amongst local, state and federal regulatory bodies, have benefitted clients through insight into developing agency policies and the prompt closure of complex investigations (CIDs) amicably, rather than the initiation of formal enforcement proceedings.
National Law Review FTC Go-To Thought Leader Award Winner
In 2019, 2020 and 2021, FTC lawyer Richard B. Newman received the “Go-To Thought Leader Award” from the National Law Review. The awards recognize the unique talents of less than 1% of the publication’s 15,000 thought leaders and spotlights exceptional legal authors selected from a pool of over 100,000 news articles.
Mr. Newman received the awards as a result of his demonstration of a depth of legal knowledge pertaining to FTC enforcement, regulation and compliance.
You can count on the firm's formidable experience to navigate through government inquiries and investigations by FTC CID attorneys that may include lawsuits or proceedings, settlement discussions, consent decrees, assurances of voluntary compliance and asset freezes. Asset freeze orders are designed to prevent the dissipation of assets, are often issued without notice and can have potentially serious consequences because they make it difficult for defendants to pay necessary living expenses, taxes and legal fees. An experienced FTC defense lawyer can assist with the modification of onerous asset freeze orders via negotiation with FTC staff and, when necessary, via aggressive litigation.
If you have received an access letter, a subpoena or a civil investigative demand (CID) from a regulatory agency FTC CID lawyer or are otherwise the target of a government investigation, an audit triggered by a regulatory enforcement action or a defendant in state or federal court involving your business practices or advertising methods, contact an FTC lawyer for a free consultation to ensure that your matter is handled correctly and proactively, right from the start.
Swift and Affordable Protection of Vital Interests
The firm’s government litigation and compulsory investigation experience, coupled with its concentrated focus, translates into strong client service. The firm brings a wealth of knowledge about regulatory agency staff attorneys and senior management, courts, judges and receivers.
Clients are offered reasonable and reliable budgets, as well as optimal, cost-effective solutions that suit their business objectives. The firm also obtains and subscribes to sophisticated legal regulatory research, news and analytics services that help us win arguments, persuade decision-makers, secure favorable outcomes and protect assets.
The firm is an FTC investigation and litigation defense leader as evidenced by its representative experience, successful results, satisfied clients, recognition from peers and media, and awards. We represent and advise clients in the full range of government-plaintiff investigations, civil litigation, enforcement actions, and government inquiries.
Our first priority is always to resolve problems quickly with no charges filed, litigation, or adverse publicity by efficiently and effectively identifying the heart of an issue and leveraging our reputation with enforcement authorities on behalf of our clients. If litigation is called for, however, our solid defense experience enables the firm to minimize business disruption and cost-efficiently marshal facts and law to coordinate regulatory settlements and manage litigation risk.
Asset Freeze Modification and Zero Dollar Settlements
The firm has successfully negotiated exemptions with the FTC on numerous injunctions and asset freeze orders, including issues such as use of frozen funds for necessary living expenses, mortgage payments and attorneys fees, the scope of the asset freeze order, whether the asset freeze order applies to business activities generated after the date of the order's entry or unrelated thereto, and exemptions for homes, automobiles, retirement accounts, insurance policies, personal belongings, and spousal income and assets. When negotiation is not an option, the firm has successfully and zealously petitioned the court for relief.
The firm has also delivered settling defendants with the ability to avoid the imposition of permanent bans, pay a judgment as a suspended judgment based upon the truthfulness of personal and corporate asset disclosure forms, secure favorably modified injunctions and asset forfeiture provisions, and enjoy fewer and less burdensome reporting requirements,
If your assets have been frozen, it is imperative that you consult with experienced FTC defense counsel immediately and not violate the court asset freeze order..
Leveraging Relationships With FTC CID Attorneys
Much of the firm’s work focuses on handling regulatory inquiries by and requests for information from FTC CID attorneys pertaining to deceptive marketing and unfair trade practices, with a particular concentration upon defending corporate clients and individuals in the ad tech industry that have received an FTC CID, subpoena, access letter or demand to comply with an ex parte temporary restraining order..
As an FTC attorney, Mr. Newman has successfully resolved many FTC inquiries on behalf of Internet marketers and web-based businesses, from data privacy and lead generation inquiries, to telemarketing and Consumer Review Fairness Act information requests, to FTC CID lawyers investigations focusing upon claim substantiation compliance and the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (“ROSCA”).
The strength of the firm’s FTC CID investigation defense practice is its digital marketing industry in-depth knowledge and focus, professional leadership, ability to manage complex legal issues, attentiveness to time sensitive business matters, consistent delivery of positive results, innovative advice, diverse experience and familiarity with internal regulatory processes, all of which provide us with unique insights into understanding our clients’ businesses and allocating resources in a cost-efficient manner with the aim of investigation closure.
This experience proides the firm with a unique ability to anticipate FTC CID attorneys next steps, reduce the length and complexity of FTC civil investigative demands and subpoenas,, provide tailored advice, plan and execute efficient and comprehensive responses, and quickly pinpoint key issues identifying the optimal path forward with a focus upon achieving the most favorable resolution with minimal business disruption or reputational damage.
Federal Trade Commission CID law firm Hinch Newman is the go-to outside FTC CID attorney for the digital marketing and technology industries across a broad range of high-risk niches, from data aggregation to call center telemarketing operations.
FTC Compliance Lawyer for Preventative Reviews of Marketing Campaigns
Hinch Newman is able to impart preventative guidance on risk-minimization issues and develops strategic campaigns and corrective action plans that comply with applicable advertising and marketing laws, regulations and policies. We work side-by-side with our clients to anticipate industry developments and formulate strategic compliance measures that go a long way toward avoiding regulatory scrutiny in the first place.
FTC compliance attorneys can be an indispensable asset in connection with advertising, promotion and marketing activities. The firm regularly advises clients on a broad range of local, state and federal laws regulating advertising endeavors, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Compliance with industry-specific regulatory and consumer protection requirements
- Section 5 of the FTC Act
- Truth In Advertising Guidelines (misleading and deceptive claims)
- Health Claim Guidelines
- Claim Substantiation Guidelines
- Dot Com Disclosure Guidelines
- CAN-SPAM Guidelines and email marketing compliance
- Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) compliance
- Subscription-based and recurring revenue business models (ROSCA)
- Lead Generation Guidelines
- U.S. Origin ("Made in USA") Guidelines
- Business Opportunity Rule compliance
- Textile rules and labeling requirements
- Endorsement and Testimonial Guidelines
- Influencer and Review Guidelines
- Consumer Review Fairness Act Guidelines
- Environmental Claims and Green Guides
- Native Advertising Guidelines
- Deceptive Pricing Guidelines
- Guide Concerning Use of the Word "Free"
- Multi-Level Marketing Guidelines
- Data usage, privacy and security
- Comparative and competitor advertising
- Technology platform provider liability
Experienced FTC defense lawyers possess the ability to combine sharp knowledge of digital-oriented businesses and related technologies across a range of commercial advertising laws and regulatory issues, including applicable guidelines, into a single integrated approach, enabling the firm to leverage knowledge in one area to provide practical solutions in another.
Whether you are a manufacturer, seller, advertiser or an affiliate marketing network, an outsourced affiliate program manager, a lead generator or a publisher that markets products or services on the Internet – doing business online inherently presents both unique opportunities and risks. At Hinch Newman, years of Internet marketing compliance and regulatory defense experience in an ever-changing digital environment provides significant value to clients.
As a distinguished FTC and state Attorney General regulatory compliance, investigation and litigation defense law firm, we also have the experience to critically examine best business practices while effectively maximizing revenue.
We are prominent authorities on unfair business practices risk-analysis and compliance issues. You need an FTC attorney that concentrates on conducting detailed internal audits to confirm that applicable legal and regulatory standards are being met. We provide advice and qualitative risk-management counsel to individuals and corporations regarding new and existing regulatory initiatives, potential liability exposure, and subsequent recommendations for any necessary process changes or corrective actions to ensure compliance.
Extensive Telemarketing, Claim Substantiation and FinTech Counsel Experience
The firm possesses cutting-edge experience representing clients faced with government investigations and enforcement lawsuits such as those involving telemarketing activities. FinTech and consumer financial services matters, lead generation and aggregation campaigns, intermediary service providers (for example, payment processors), claim substantiation proceedings and data privacy matters. Hinch Newman has more than a decade of experience defending technology companies and in 2013, Mr. Newman served as co-chair of the Online Lenders Alliance Lawyers Council and Forum.
The firm also possesses a wide range of in-depth knowledge concerning marketing, advertising, lead generation best practices and promotion. Whether a client is launching a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign, managing complex social media marketing programs or building a distribution network, the firm has the experience advising clients how to mitigate risk and advance their business goals.
Internet Privacy Lawyer
Emerging privacy and data security compliance requirements are critical risk management components for digital advertisers and marketers. In addition to representing marketers, advertisers, media and Internet companies in connection with the legal aspects of their nationwide advertising campaigns, Hinch Newman advises clients on the design and implementation of protocols governing collecting, aggregating, disseminating and protecting user data.
The FTC has recently signaled that it intends to increase data privacy-related investigations and enforcement, including, but not limited to, its Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule and requirements surrounding verifiable parent consent. The FTC recently revamped its FAQ’s for complying with COPPA.
Mr. Newman is an Internet business lawyer and a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals. He possesses the foundational experience to provide guidance on emerging legislative and regulatory policy issues, as well as practical and creative solutions to complex operational problems. An equally significant portion of the firm’s practice includes defending clients in federal and state data privacy-related inquiries and enforcement actions.
FTC Defense Lawyer Solving Problems
Existing and potential clients look to Hinch Newman for its demonstrated success serving as an FTC attorney and agency defense practice counsel across a broad range of pre- and post-market advertising compliance and regulatory counseling services, including:
- Drafting and negotiating marketing agreements
- Developing internal compliance policies to mitigate the risk of unfair or deceptive advertising practices
- Designing and implementing appropriate remedial actions
- Critically examining privacy and data use protocols
- Critically examining dietary supplement promotional materials and underlying scientific literature
- Reviewing online training and business coaching programs for compliance with applicable laws, regulations and guidelines
- Reviewing email marketing campaigns for compliance with state and federal anti-SPAM legislation
- Reviewing telemarketing campaigns for compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the FTC Act
- Designing third-party marketer credentialing questionnaires
- Reviewing promotional materials and social media campaigns for compliance with applicable guidelines and defining various threats (e.g., FTC Endorsement Guides and FTC Staff Perspectives on Lead Generation)
- Determining the extent of vulnerabilities and consequences for non-compliance
- Structuring online commercial marketing programs in accordance with agency regulations with a view towards warding-off potential litigation, altogether
Regulatory investigations and enforcement actions alleging deceptive trade practices and false advertising are at an all-time high. Local, state, federal and international law enforcement partners remain extremely active in creating guidelines, and pursuing nationwide and international crackdowns that re-define how business is conducted both offline and on the Internet.
This is especially true with regard to important advertising and marketing regulatory issues such as:
- Lead generation
- Commercial emailing
- Online training and business coaching programs
- Billing practices
- Electronic commerce
- Website disclosures
- Claim substantiation
- Social media influencer campaigns
- Creative content
- Suppression list management
- Intellectual property
- Data protection
An FTC defense lawyer works closely with diverse clients that are engaged in the promotion of nutraceutical and dietary supplements, insurance services, and for-profit schools and career training programs on a wide array of issues, such as the design and implementation of promotional, pre-sale and landing page compliance strategies in order to mitigate liability exposure and maintain conversions.
Online and mobile marketing campaigns that potentially include elements of unfair business practices can potentially ignite an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, various state Attorneys General and local consumer protection agencies.
Guidelines pertaining to the use of testimonials and social media influencer campaigns are in sharp-focus within the Internet marketing sector. Additionally, the FTC’s ban on unfair and deceptive practices has allowed it to challenge harmful privacy and security-related violations. Businesses have found themselves in the crosshairs for deceptive representations concerning the collection, use and sharing of consumer data. See the FTC’s Privacy & Data Security Update (2019) and (2018).
When necessary, Hinch Newman acts as a strategic adviser to its clients in furtherance of devising countermeasures should an inquiry or lawsuit be initiated. Clearly, Internet and mobile based businesses must be wary of the risks and proceed only after consultation with an experienced advertising compliance lawyer.
Noted and Quoted
The firm is a go-to resource for journalists in search of poignant information relating to headline-grabbing advertising and marketing stories. Mr. Newman has been interviewed by and referenced across a number of media outlets, including AdExchanger, BBC News, National Law Review, The Chicago Tribune, Communications Daily, The Daily Journal, Forbes, Inside Edition, JD Supra, Law360, MSN, Native Advertising Institute, Newsday, Privacy Law Bulletin, The Star-Ledger, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times and Today’s Verdict. In July 2018, Mr. Newman was quoted by Communications Daily on the new leader of the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer protection unit.
In June 2018, FTC attorney Richard B. Newman was asked to present a continuing legal education webinar on advertising and marketing law for Lawline. You can view segments of the webinar here. He frequently writes on topics of particular interest to online advertisers and marketers. As a member of the Performance Marketing Association’s Compliance Council, he authored authoritative Blogging and New Media Disclosure Information.
Mr. Newman has also been cited as an FTC lawyer authority in conjunction with a petition for a writ of certiorari filed with the Supreme Court of the United States on the issue of whether the Federal Trade Commission is authorized to seek, and a district court to grant, monetary remedies against those that have violated the FTC Act.
Contact a law firm that focuses exclusively on Internet advertising and marketing compliance-related matters if you are the subject of a local, state or federal regulatory investigation or enforcement action, or if you are interested in implementing preventative measures.
The following are examples of select regulatory investigations (CIDs and subpoenas) and enforcement matters the firm has handled to successful resolution:
Represented developers of so-called mobile device and computer “stalking” apps in conjunction with a precedent-setting privacy and data security case brought by the Federal Trade Commission relating to such technologies. This first-ever investigation involved a number of cutting-edge, unsettled legal issues and was initiated by the FTC after a hacker was able to access the cloud storage account of the app developers. The FTC examined whether the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and/or Section 5 of the FTC Act had been violated. Drawing upon sophisticated knowledge of applicable advertising regulations, data privacy laws and FTC enforcement policy, the firm was able to successfully develop and implement a multi-faceted CID investigation defense strategy while productively liaising with a data security vulnerability penetration expert. As a result of these efforts, coupled with persuasive defense advocacy, this complex, highly-publicized investigation resulted in a non-monetary administrative settlement that avoided the initiation of enforcement proceedings.
- Represented an online lead generator in conjunction with a Civil Investigative Demand issued by the Federal Trade Commission examining deceptive acts and practices in connection with listings, descriptions, reviews, ratings, comparisons or endorsements of, or referrals to, providers of health-related services in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act. The firm successfully secured the prompt closure of the investigation with no monetary penalty.
- Represented an affiliate network in conjunction with a Civil Investigative Demand issued by the Federal Trade Commission examining deceptive acts or practices in connection with creation, sale and dissemination of online adult dating-related advertisements in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act. The firm significantly narrowed the scope of the investigation without the FTC ultimately seeking any remedy.
- Represented individuals and corporate defendants in a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit filed on the agency’s behalf by the Department of Justice alleging that the company and its telemarketer made illegal robocalls to consumers, including tens of millions of calls to numbers listed on the agency’s Do Not Call Registry. The firm successfully negotiated favorable settlement terms that included the exclusion of numerous physical assets and monetary relief that amounted to a fraction of damages sought by the FTC in civil penalties without protracted litigation, a finding of liability or any admission of culpability, premised upon the truthfulness of defendants’ financial information.
- Represented a lead aggregator in conjunction with a Civil Investigative Demand issued by the Federal Trade Commission examining deceptive and unfair acts or practices in the advertising, marketing, sale or servicing of products. The FTC was also investigating whether brokers, servicers and other marketers of products and services had engaged in acts or practices in violation of other federal legislation designed to protect consumers. The firm successfully secured the prompt closure of the investigation.
- Represented an online lead generator in conjunction with a Civil Investigative Demand issued by the Federal Trade Commission examining deceptive and unfair acts or practices in the advertising, marketing, sale or servicing of products. The FTC was also investigating whether consumer brokers, servicers and the other marketers of products and services had engaged in acts or practices in violation of the MARS Rule, 12 U.S.C. § 5538, and other federal legislation designed to protect consumers. The firm successfully secured the prompt closure of the investigation.
- Represented a leading software development academy in conjunction with a Civil Investigative Demand issued by the Federal Trade Commission examining deceptive and unfair acts or practices in the advertising, marketing or sale of secondary or post-secondary education products or services, or educational accreditation products or services in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act. The firm successful secured the prompt closure of the investigation.
- Represented leading industrial tool manufacturer in conjunction with an investigation initiated by the Federal Trade Commission examining the marking, advertising, labeling and other promotional activities relating to the use of unqualified domestic origin claims for products. The purpose of the investigation was to determine whether the company was engaged in unfair or deceptive acts or practices in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act and the FTC’s enforcement policy with respect to the use of “Made in USA” claims in advertising and labeling. The firm worked with the client to implement a remedial action plan to update and qualify its representations and ensure that the company did not overstate the extent to which its products are made in the United States. As a result, the firm successfully secured the prompt closure of the investigation.
- Represented owner of company in conjunction with a Civil Investigative Demand issued by the Federal Trade Commission examining alleged false and unsubstantiated representations about the health-related benefits of dietary supplements in violation of Sections 5 and 12 of the FTC Act. The firm worked closely with the client and a scientific expert to critically assess the physiological properties of product ingredients, as well as the nature and degree of data in the client’s possession prior to dissemination of claims, in order to construct persuasive legal arguments regarding a reasonable basis for advertising claims. As a result of these efforts, in addition to the persuasive utilization of cutting-edge legal precedent limiting the FTC’s judicial enforcement authority, the firm successfully resolved the matter without the initiation of litigation enforcement proceedings.
- Represented individual and corporate defendants in a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit alleging approximately $9M in consumer harm as a result of a purported products and services scam through Internet websites, telemarketing, and unsolicited emails and text messages. The FTC was prosecuting what it alleged to be deceptive acts or practices in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule (16 C.F.R. Part 310), the Consumer Review Fairness Act (15 U.S.C. § 45b) and other federal legislation designed to protect consumers. The firm successfully negotiated favorable settlement terms of nominal monetary value without protracted litigation, a finding of liability or any admission of culpability, premised upon the truthfulness of defendants’ financial information.
- Represented data broker defendants in a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit alleging in excess of $4M in consumer harm as a result of the purported collection of sensitive consumer data submitted by consumers to lead generation websites and the distribution thereof to unanticipated third-parties that, in turn: (i) utilized the information to withdraw millions of dollars from consumers’ accounts without their authorization; and (ii) conducted unauthorized marketing activities by email, text message and telephone calls. The firm successfully negotiated favorable settlement terms without any admission of culpability, premised upon the truthfulness of defendants’ financial information.
- Represented an affiliate marketer defendant in a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit prosecuting what the FTC described as deceptive acts or practices in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act and the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act, in connection with the marketing and sale of monitoring services. In doing so, the FTC alleged that defendant lured consumers with fake rental property ads and deceptive promises of “free” reports. The firm successfully negotiated extremely favorable settlement terms, including reduced compliance reporting and recordkeeping obligations, without protracted litigation or a finding of liability. Defendant paid only a small proportion of the damages alleged by the FTC and that an affiliate marketer co-defendant was ordered to pay, premised upon the truthfulness of submitted financial information.
- Represented online lead generators in a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit wherein the Commission sought millions of dollars in damages as a result of what the FTC described as fake blogs, fake news websites, fake testimonials, the failure to disclose material connections and bogus free trial offers in conjunction with selling Acai berry weight loss products. The firm successfully negotiated extremely favorable settlement terms without any finding of liability. Defendants paid only a small proportion of the damages that their network co-defendants were ordered to pay and an even smaller fraction of the damages sought by the FTC, premised upon the truthfulness of their financial information.
- Represented defendants in a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit prosecuting what the FTC described as deceptive acts or practices in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act in connection with the marketing and sale of document preparation services. The FTC alleged that defendants falsely claimed to be affiliated with the Department of Education and charged consumers illegal fees. The firm successfully negotiated extremely favorable settlement terms, including retention of funds, and reduced compliance reporting and recordkeeping obligations, without protracted litigation or a finding of liability. Defendants paid only a small proportion of the damages alleged by the FTC, premised upon the truthfulness of submitted financial information.
- Represented individual and corporate defendants in a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit alleging approximately $3M in consumer harm as a result of a purported products and services scam. The FTC was prosecuting what it alleged to be deceptive and abusive collection practices in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act and other federal legislation designed to protect consumers. The firm successfully negotiated favorable settlement terms of nominal monetary value without protracted litigation, a finding of liability or any admission of culpability, premised upon the truthfulness of defendants’ financial information.
- Represented affiliate marketers in conjunction with a Civil Investigative Demand issued by the Federal Trade Commission examining false and misleading representations about certification programs, as well as the failure to clearly and conspicuously disclose material connections within purported independent websites. The firm successfully negotiated favorable settlement terms of nominal monetary value without any finding of liability, premised upon the truthfulness of respondents’ financial information. The firm also successfully negotiated the exclusion of additional specific instances of alleged unlawful advertising conduct.
- Represented affiliate marketers in conjunction with a Civil Investigative Demand issued by the Federal Trade Commission examining false and misleading representations in conjunction with an alleged Internet business coaching scheme that purported resulted in more than $125M in consumer harm. The firm assisted the individual client regarding invocation of the 5th Amendment privilege and successfully negotiated favorable settlement terms of nominal monetary value without any finding of liability, premised upon the truthfulness of the individual client’s financial information.
- Represented affiliate marketers in conjunction with investigations by the Florida Attorney General into the promotion of weight loss and automobile insurance products/services. The firm successfully negotiated extremely favorable settlements where respondents paid only a nominal proportion of the damages alleged by the FL OAG. Both matters were resolved promptly and quietly, without any resulting litigation or admission of culpability.
- Represented a pay-per-call network in conjunction with a subpoena issued by the Illinois Attorney General. Specifically, the investigation focused upon potential violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act by various third-party publishers pertaining to the advertising, soliciting and generation of leads. The firm successfully secured the prompt closure of the investigation.
- Represented online marketers in a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit prosecuting what the FTC described as deceptive acts or practices in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act, in connection with the marketing and sale of academic degree and certification programs. In doing so, the FTC alleged that defendants misled consumers about their association with recognized high school equivalency programs through the use of deceptive metatags and website names designed to look like legitimate online high schools. The firm successfully negotiated extremely favorable settlement terms without protracted litigation or a finding of liability. Defendants paid only a small proportion of the damages alleged by the FTC, premised upon the truthfulness of their financial information.
- Represented a corporate officer defendant in a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit prosecuting what the FTC described as deceptive acts or practices in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act and the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act, in connection with the marketing and sale of personal care product trial offers. The firm successfully petitioned the court to modify a broad-sweeping asset freeze and allow distributions for personal living expenses and to fully-satisfy outstanding obligations. The firm also successfully negotiated extremely favorable settlement terms without protracted litigation or a finding of liability. Defendant paid only a small proportion of the damages alleged by the FTC, premised upon the truthfulness of financial disclosures.
- Represented a digital marketing network in conjunction with a Civil Investigative Demand issued by the Federal Trade Commission examining deceptive acts or practices in connection with the creation, sale, and dissemination of online dating advertisements in violation of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45. The firm dramatically narrowed the scope of the investigation which was promptly closed with no monetary remedy or enforcement.
- Represented a telemarketer in a Utah Division of Consumer Protection investigation regarding alleged violations of the Utah Consumer Sales Practices Act and the Telephone Fraud Prevention Act. The Utah DCP was focused upon whether consumers were contacted to make telephone solicitations while the telemarketers were not registered as a telephone soliciting business, whether the telemarketers informed consumers of the right to cancel and whether the telemarketers failed to furnish services after receipt of payment. The matter was resolved amicably and the investigation promptly closed after payment of an extremely nominal sum by respondent.
- Represented an email marketing company in an investigation by the New York Attorney General relating to alleged violations of the CAN-SPAM Act. The New York OAG was focused upon the company’s email marketing practices, related compliance considerations and third-party lead generation relationships.
- Represented an individual in conjunction with a subpoena issued by the Federal Trade Commission pertaining to a pending lawsuit alleging deceptive chain referral schemes involving cryptocurrencies. The FTC sought verbal testimony and documentation from the client. The firm successfully defended the subpoena without the client having to provide either. The matter was closed with no further inquiry or action.
- Represented an affiliate marketing network in conjunction with a subpoena issued by the United States Attorney’s Office regarding fraudulent “tech support” advertising campaigns. Specifically, the investigation focused upon alleged misrepresentations of affiliation with Microsoft, spoofed caller IDs, and the detection of viruses or other malware. The matter was concluded successfully with no further inquiry or action.
Represented merchant in conjunction with a subpoena issued by the Wyoming Attorney General examining misrepresenting the standard, grade, style, model, use, availability, value, price and discount of its merchandise; misrepresenting its approval, affiliation or sponsorship; and advertising under the guise of obtaining sales personnel when in fact the purpose of the advertisement is to sell merchandise to sales personnel applicants. The firm successfully negotiated extremely favorable settlement terms whereby respondent paid only a fraction of the statutory damages alleged and sought by the WY OAG. The firm also successfully negotiated terms that successfully minimized any negative publicity. The matter was resolved promptly and quietly, without any resulting litigation or admission of culpability.
Successfully defended full-service pharmacy located in New York City against highly-publicized consumer, New York State Office of the Attorney General and NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (n/k/a NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection) charges alleging the advertising or offering for sale certain necessary consumer protection goods during the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at unconscionably excessive prices. The New York AG alleged violation of section 396-r of the New York General Business Law and the Rules of the City of New York (6 RCNY §5-38). The NYC DCA alleged violation of 6 RCNY §§ 5-38 and 5-42, also mandating compliance with NYC Administrative Code § 20-700, et seq. proscribing unfair, deceptive or unconscionable trade practices. The firm successfully resolved the NY OAG matter with no monetary settlement while avoiding the initiation of enforcement proceedings. The firm also successfully resolved the NYC DCA investigation by negotiating extremely favorable settlement terms where respondent paid only a small fraction of the damages alleged by the DCA. All matters were resolved quietly and amicably without any resulting litigation, finding of liability or any admission of culpability.