Mark Goodrich

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California’s updated automatic renewal law (ARL) took effect on July 1, 2018.  We covered these changes in a 2017 client alert, but a reminder is important here because the new law is now “live” and we expect to see more enforcement efforts for alleged noncompliance with the law. The ARL sets rigid rules about transparency for subscription-based business models where the subscription is automatically renewed, and the subscriber is charged, on a recurring basis…
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the State of Maine recently delivered yet another “gut check” to businesses engaging in weight loss advertising, obtaining a $2 million dollar settlement against an advertising agency related to allegedly false claims. While challenges related to weight loss claims and related offers are all too familiar for brands, this settlement serves as a heavy reminder to ad agencies that they can also be held responsible for false…
On July 10, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released its much-anticipated Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) declaratory ruling, expanding on the positions announced at its June 18 Open Meeting on important TCPA issues.  The ruling resolves 21 requests for clarification, and, in particular, confirms that an “automatic telephone dialing system” (i.e., an autodialer) includes devices that do not “currently” or “presently” have the capacity to dial random or sequential phone numbers without human…
We all love a good bargain, but sometimes a good deal seems too good to be true.  In 2011, Cynthia Spann went bargain-hunting at a California J.C. Penney, and walked out convinced that she had saved over 30%.  However, she later discovered the products she bought at a “bargain” price had never really been sold at full price.  As we have written previously, pricing and discounting claims are a frequent target of FTC enforcement…
For over a year, telemarketers have anxiously awaited clarity on a number of issues relating to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), including the treatment of reassigned numbers and the definition of “autodialer.”  At the June 18, 2015, Open Meeting held by the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) to vote on updates to the TCPA, the FCC previewed its positions on a number of these issues.  Staying true to the language in the fact
While plaintiffs’ attorneys seek to streamline the filing of class actions under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), a recent court decision serves as a reminder that there are clear limits to a plaintiffs’ ability to recover statutory damages under a theory of vicarious liability. On May 18, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California awarded summary judgment to defendant UTC Fire & Security Americas Corporation, Inc. (“UTC”), finding the security…
The Supreme Court will decide whether a defendant can “pick off” the named plaintiff in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class action – and moot the putative class claims – by making a Rule 68 offer of judgment before the putative class representative files a motion for class certification.  Thus, the Supreme Court could streamline putative class actions by eliminating the need for plaintiffs to file “protective” motions for class certification at the same…
When preparing to run advertising that includes endorsements, our clients frequently ask whether any “magic words” are necessary and how disclosures should be made on space-constrained forums such as Twitter.  On May 29, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) staff announced it had addressed some of these questions by updating the FAQs to its Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (“Endorsement Guide”), providing some much needed clarity on a variety of endorsement-related…
After months of speculation and numerous petitions to the agency, Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Chairman Tom Wheeler issued a fact sheet on Wednesday, May 27, addressing two dozen petitions seeking clarity on FCC enforcement of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and proposing significant actions intended to strengthen consumer protections related to unwanted calls and text messages. In particular, the chairman’s proposal addresses the meaning of the ever-controversial definition of “autodialer,” the right…
Statutes such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), and Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) long have been favorites for class-action lawyers.  Plaintiffs’ attorneys leverage significant statutory damages to generate large judgments or settlements for persons who often experience nothing more than the inconvenience of receiving an unwanted call or text – in other words, no actual damages are present.  The United States Supreme Court recently granted certiorari