Russell Kostelak

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Russell Kostelak is an associate in the Litigation Department. He focuses on complex litigation in federal and state courts with an emphasis on intellectual property, including copyright, trademark and advertising law. Russell has handled copyright infringement and ownership disputes on behalf of textbook and music publishing companies; trademark infringement, clearance and prosecution matters; and false advertising cases implicating consumer fraud allegations. He also has experience in securities litigation matters, including shareholder class actions and insider trading investigations.

In addition, Russell maintains an active pro bono practice, representing indigent clients in immigration and family court.

Latest Articles

Unlike a fine wine, a snack bar does not get better with age. Neither, apparently, does litigation. Last month, Judge William H. Pauley III in the Southern District of New York lifted a years-long stay in a lawsuit against KIND LLC concerning the allegedly false marketing of KIND snack products as “all-natural” and “non-GMO.” In re KIND LLC “Healthy and All Natural” Litigation, No. 15-MD-2645. As we blogged about previously, the “all-natural” claims…
On November 20, 2018, a years-long dispute before Judge Theodore Chuang in the District of Maryland over probiotics culminated in a gut-wrenching $18 million jury verdict against defendant pharmaceutical companies.  The case is De Simone v. VSL Pharmaceuticals, Inc. et al., No. 8:15-cv-01356. The dispute involved numerous claims and counterclaims, including both a claim and a counterclaim for false advertising under the Lanham Act. While the advertising-related issues appeared initially to be only a small…
Our readers may recall that last year, the Supreme Court ruled that a plaintiff in a putative class action cannot subvert the discretionary nature of Rule 23(f) interlocutory review by voluntarily dismissing his case after denial of class certification to obtain an appeal from the denial of class certification as a matter of right.  We blogged about that decision here. Earlier this summer, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in yet another Ninth Circuit case…
Recently, a plaintiff’s purported class action against Diet Dr. Pepper went flat when a California federal judge held that the term “Diet” alone on a soft drink label does not constitute a claim that the soft drink will assist in weight loss. In Becerra v. Dr. Pepper/Seven Up, Inc., Plaintiff Shana Becerra brought a putative class action in the Northern District of California against Dr. Pepper, claiming the prominent display of the term “diet” on…
The use of social media sites, like LinkedIn, can be a helpful tool to reach a customer base. But a recent district court case out of Minnesota exemplifies the need to ensure that LinkedIn usage complies with the user’s employment agreement. Specifically, in late July 2017, a Minnesota court in Mobile Mini, Inc. v. Vevea granted a preliminary injunction preventing a LinkedIn user from soliciting customers through the website in violation of non-solicitation clause in…
Through the help of artificial intelligence (“AI”), your smartphone can act as a GPS that adjusts its recommended route in real-time based on emerging traffic patterns. By adapting to changes in traffic, the smartphone is able to redirect a driver to a faster route. Now imagine these adaptive capabilities in the legal field. With the potential of AI growing rapidly, the use of AI technology, though still in its infancy, is gaining traction with law…
In May, the American Bar Association (“ABA”) released a Formal Opinion 477, providing guidance on attorney use of emails in communication with clients. In doing so, the ABA has promulgated a new standard when considering the level of protections necessary while using technology to converse about a legal representation. According to the ABA, a lawyer generally may transmit information relating to the representation of a client over the Internet when the lawyer has undertaken…
This month, the Coalition of Technology Resources for Lawyers (“CTRL”) released the results of its survey regarding the use of analytics by corporate legal departments. Data analytics is the use of specialized data systems or software that uncovers patterns in data that can aid in a company’s decision-making and reduce costs. According to the survey, in-house counsel are increasingly using data analytics for a variety of tasks and nearly all surveyed agreed that data analytics…
On September 9, 2016, the SEC filed a complaint against RPM International Inc. (“RPM”) and the company’s General Counsel/CCO. The SEC claims the company filed false and misleading SEC filings that failed to disclose any loss contingency relating to a DOJ investigation that the company eventually settled for $60.9 million.  The complaint also charged the GC/CCO, individually, for his failure to inform RPM and its auditors about material facts relating to a DOJ investigation. …
In early August, the D.C. Circuit refused to allow victims of terror attacks to take control of the Internet domain names of Iran, North Korea, and Syria as a means of satisfying previous money judgments awarded to the victims. In refusing this Internet domain seizure, the D.C. Circuit expressed concern about a “doomsday scenario” that could fundamentally disrupt the stability and accessibility of the Internet to the detriment of the general public. With this ruling