Consumer Protection

  • January 18, 2021

    FTC's Chopra Gets Biden Nod To Become Next CFPB Director

    President-elect Joe Biden said Monday that he plans to nominate Rohit Chopra, a Democratic member of the Federal Trade Commission, to serve as the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a selection that consumer advocates are welcoming as a sign of tougher industry scrutiny ahead.

  • January 15, 2021

    OCC Defends Valid-When-Made Rule In State AGs' Suit

    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has urged a California federal court to reject an effort by California and two other states to block the agency's valid-when-made rule, arguing the rule was well within bounds as an attempt to mitigate legal uncertainty surrounding interest rate transferability.

  • January 15, 2021

    9th Circ. Judge Calls VW Dealers' Fraud Appeal 'A Little Odd'

    A Ninth Circuit judge appeared skeptical Friday of reviving franchised Volkswagen dealerships' proposed class claims that auto parts maker Bosch is liable for helping mastermind the 2015 "clean diesel" emissions-cheating scandal, saying their arguments are "a little odd" because it seems like they "in some ways, benefited from the fraud."

  • January 15, 2021

    Excellus To Pay $5.1M In HHS Deal Over Data Hack

    Excellus will fork over $5.1 million to the federal government and do a rigorous risk analysis as part of a deal to resolve a probe into a massive breach of health data, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Friday.

  • January 15, 2021

    NY, FTC Lead Charge To Expand Biometric Privacy Shields

    New York lawmakers and the Federal Trade Commission are the latest to step up pressure on companies to be upfront with consumers about the use of their biometric data, signaling that more laws and regulatory scrutiny are expected for the increasingly popular technology, attorneys say. 

  • January 15, 2021

    CFPB Accuses Mortgage Co. Of Lending, Consumer Violations

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sued mortgage company 1st Alliance Lending in Connecticut federal court Friday for alleged violations of lending and consumer laws, including misleading consumers about whether they would qualify for refinances and not informing them of credit denials.

  • January 15, 2021

    Ex-Insys Manager Frets Over 'Prison Parenting' In Delay Bid

    A former Insys executive asked a federal judge Friday to delay her prison sentence to avoid "prison parenting" her teenage son in the middle of the pandemic, when she says he needs her most.

  • January 15, 2021

    FCC Inks $10M Fine For Racist Political Robocaller

    After sending out thousands of racist robocalls in an attempt to sway public opinion against Black and Jewish political candidates, an Idaho white supremacist is being hit with nearly $10 million in fines from the Federal Communications Commission.

  • January 15, 2021

    Calif. Unemployment Recipients Sue Bank Of America

    A California unemployment insurance recipient on Thursday filed a proposed class action against Bank of America NA in San Francisco federal court, accusing the bank — the Golden State's partner in unemployment benefits administration amid the pandemic-linked economic downturn — of failing to protect benefits recipients from fraudsters.

  • January 15, 2021

    FTC Faces Steep Odds In High Court Restitution Case

    The Federal Trade Commission's chances for hanging on to its power to seek restitution for victims of consumer scams and antitrust violations in federal court look grim if sharp questions from several justices during Supreme Court arguments this past week are any indication, legal observers say.

  • January 15, 2021

    Snapple Looks To Escape 'Sorta Sweet' Tea False Ad Suit

    Snapple Beverage Corp. is urging a California federal court to throw out a proposed class action alleging the "Sorta Sweet" label on its iced tea misleads consumers into thinking it's low in sugar, saying the label merely refers to the drink's taste, not any particular level of sugar content.

  • January 15, 2021

    Starbucks Slams 'Preposterous' Emotional Distress Claim

    Starbucks Corp. is asking a New York federal court to end a lawsuit brought by two pest control contractors who claim they were emotionally distressed upon finding pesticide strips at one location, saying it's "preposterous" that they would have anxiety over the strips when they were contracted in part to remove them.

  • January 15, 2021

    Southwest Hits Travel Site With TM Suit Over 'Scraped' Fares

    Southwest Airlines, which doesn't allow online booking services to sell its tickets, is using trademark law to sue a website that allegedly "scraped" Southwest's reservation system to offer flights without authorization.

  • January 15, 2021

    Fruit Co. Must Destroy Juice In Deal To End FDA Suit

    A supplier that participated in a government lunch program to distribute millions of servings of apple juice to schools must destroy all of its remaining products in a deal to end litigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration alleging the supplier allowed the toxins arsenic and patulin to form in the juices at levels that could pose a health risk.

  • January 15, 2021

    2nd Circ. Won't Rehear Remand Of CFPB's RD Legal Case

    The Second Circuit has denied a request by litigation funder RD Legal to rehear a panel decision that remanded fraud claims by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and New York state, giving the agency a chance to revive the lawsuit before the same district court that tossed it on constitutional grounds.

  • January 15, 2021

    Wells Fargo Ex-GC Fined $3.5M In OCC Settlement

    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said Friday it has fined Wells Fargo's former general counsel $3.5 million as part of a settlement resolving the agency's claims against him over his alleged role in the banking giant's sales practices scandal.

  • January 15, 2021

    3 Benefits Takeaways From New Surprise Medical Billing Law

    A new federal law clamping down on surprise medical billing will likely trigger a short-term increase in employers' compliance spending, a long-term decrease in patients' out-of-pocket medical costs and an as-yet-unknown impact on employee health plans' overall price tag, experts say.

  • January 14, 2021

    Ariz. Payment Co. Exec Inks Deal With FTC Over $7M Scam

    An officer of Electronic Payment Solutions of America Inc. facing Federal Trade Commission claims that he took part in a $7 million scam told an Arizona federal judge Thursday that he has agreed to permanently stop engaging in payment processing and telemarketing in order to resolve the case.

  • January 14, 2021

    5th Circ. Erases $4M HHS Privacy Fine Against Texas Hospital

    The Fifth Circuit on Thursday axed a $4.3 million penalty imposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a trio of data breaches at Texas-based MD Anderson Cancer Center, finding the agency hadn't shown that the medical provider had failed to do enough to protect patients' health data from being unlawfully disclosed. 

  • January 14, 2021

    $110M Fees Probed In $650M Facebook Biometric Privacy Deal

    A California federal judge on Thursday questioned a $110 million fee bid by attorneys representing Illinois Facebook users in a "groundbreaking" $650 million proposed settlement of claims that the social media giant's facial recognition technology violated their biometric privacy rights, suggesting that a fraction of that might be more appropriate.

  • January 14, 2021

    NJ AG Warns Sportsbooks Against Delaying Withdrawals

    The New Jersey Attorney General's Division of Gaming Enforcement on Wednesday threatened sportsbooks with regulatory action over complaints that some are delaying bettors' requests to withdraw funds from their online betting accounts and in some cases soliciting bettors to put the funds into new wagers.

  • January 14, 2021

    AARP, UnitedHealth Judge Says Seniors Face 'Uphill Battle'

    A California federal magistrate judge said Thursday that senior citizens who have accused United Healthcare and AARP of unlawfully collecting millions of dollars in commissions on insurance sales face an "uphill battle" proving they were financially injured by the alleged misconduct.  

  • January 14, 2021

    Stock Tip Site Raging Bull Denies FTC's Fraud Accusations

    The subscription-based stock trade advice website Raging Bull is staunchly denying claims from the Federal Trade Commission that its stock experts are actually market losers who have defrauded their customers out of $137 million.

  • January 14, 2021

    Flint Water Charges Will Test Limit Of Officials' Accountability

    Indictments unveiled Thursday against nine current and former Michigan state and local officials accused of playing a role in the Flint drinking water contamination crisis send a strong message to elected officials that there is a limit to the leeway granted them as decision makers.

  • January 14, 2021

    Consumers Slam Cruise Co.'s Bid To Shake TCPA Suit

    A certified class of consumers has asked a California federal court not to dismiss its Telephone Consumer Protection Act case against a cruise company, arguing that a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a portion of the act does not make the TCPA unconstitutional.

Expert Analysis

  • FTC Authority To Obtain Monetary Relief May Be Under Threat

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    Although justices asked difficult questions of both sides at the recent U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments in AMG v. Federal Trade Commission, they expressed significant skepticism of the FTC's implicit authority to seek restitution and disgorgement of the proceeds of fraud and other misconduct, say attorneys at Sullivan & Cromwell.

  • Lessons From Economic Testimony In 2020 Merger Litigation

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    A look back at 2020 antitrust cases shows why economic evidence is likely to remain a key element in merger-enforcement litigation, despite the occasional anomaly, says Julie Elmer at Freshfields.

  • CFPB's Busy 2020 May Foretell Regulatory Uptick Ahead

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    The last year stood out for its marked resurgence in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau activity, suggesting 2021 will usher in even more vigorous enforcement, enhanced fair lending regulation, and renewed assaults on consumer arbitration and payday lending, says Richard Gottlieb at Manatt.

  • 4 Legal Industry Trends Litigation Financiers Are Watching

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    Some recent litigation developments demonstrate efforts by law firms and their clients to search for opportunities in the COVID-19 economic fallout, while others — such as the rise of contingency fee arrangements — reflect acceleration of tendencies that were already underway, says William Weisman at Therium Capital.

  • A Lawyer's Guide To Setting Well-Being Goals In 2021

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    In the face of rising client demands due to the pandemic and the changing regulatory environment, and with remote work continuing for the foreseeable future, lawyers should invest in their well-being by establishing inspiring yet realistic goals for 2021 — one month at a time, says Krista Larson at Morgan Lewis.

  • 4 Rulings That Will Shape Clickwrap Litigation In 2021

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    Clickwrap litigation is expected to increase this year, following several 2020 judgments that show the courts' growing sophistication on assessing online user agreements and a continued surge in user growth fueled by COVID-19, says Brian Powers of PactSafe.

  • Keyword Searches To Improve Your Privilege Doc Review

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    "Confidential" and other search terms commonly used to locate privileged documents during e-discovery are pretty ineffective, so practitioners should consider including specific types of keywords that are demonstrably better at targeting privilege, say Robert Keeling at Sidley and Rishi Chhatwal at AT&T.

  • 6 Advertising Law Trends To Watch In 2021

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    For the world of advertising, 2021 will bring new challenges and considerations shaped not only by the ongoing pandemic, but also by new legal developments regarding social media, cannabis and consumer privacy, say Jason Gordon and Casey Perrino at Reed Smith.

  • State AGs' 2020 Actions Offer Hints At 2021 Priorities

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    A review of state attorney general actions in 2020 addressing consumer concerns including data privacy, product safety and marketplace competition can help companies prepare for the expected regulatory enforcement wave in 2021, say attorneys at Troutman Pepper.

  • Opinion

    A Law Of The Digital Sea Could Expand Data Rights, Oversight

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    Democracies should implement a law of the digital sea that can balance innovation with individual rights and national security by mandating personal ownership of data, rigorously enforcing antitrust law, and empowering agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to grade cyberhygiene, says Luke Schleusener at QOMPLX.

  • Confusing Damages Issues In Florida 'Improper Fee' Case

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    The Eleventh Circuit's recent decision in Fox v. Ritz-Carlton highlights the open question of what damages are available in "improper fee" cases under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, says Aaron Weiss of Carlton Fields.

  • Food And Beverage Policy Trends To Monitor This Year

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    Companies can expect numerous changes to food and beverage regulation in 2021 — including new leadership at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more stringent enforcement efforts by the agencies, further use of virtual inspections, and progress in regulatory approvals for hemp and CBD products, say Robert Hibbert and Ryan Fournier at Wiley.

  • ABA Approves Remote Practice, But Questions Remain

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    Lawyers working remotely during the pandemic while physically outside the jurisdictions in which they are licensed will find some comfort in a recent American Bar Association opinion sanctioning such practice, but there is ambiguity regarding the contours of what's allowed, say attorneys at Harris Wiltshire.

  • 2 Calif. Rulings Offer Lessons As Foreclosure Crisis Looms

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    A pair of recent California state court decisions tied to homeowner protection laws foreshadow the kinds of litigation the mortgage industry may face if the pandemic leads to a wave of foreclosures, say Yakov Wiegmann and Matthew Lee at Riley Safer.

  • DOT Unfair Practices Rule Adds Clarity To Airline Regulation

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    The U.S. Department of Transportation's new rule clarifying how it decides that particular airline business practices are unfair or deceptive should bring much-needed clarity and objectivity to the department's enforcement proceedings, says David Heffernan at Cozen O'Connor.

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