FTC defense attorney Richard B. Newman is nationally recognized as one of the leading government and regulatory defense-focused attorneys in the country. His practice focuses exclusively on matters of marketing compliance and consumer-protection law. That focus, and the in-depth experience that comes with it, allows him to provide his clients with sound advice, creative strategies and advantageous outcomes.
Richard’s advertising litigation and government investigations practice covers a wide range of federal and state investigations (CIDs and subpoenas), civil litigation, enforcement actions and regulatory inquiries. He is a seasoned advertising compliance and consumer protection defense lawyer who is among the leaders in his profession, acknowledged by peers and clients alike.
Richard’s strong regulatory litigation defense background includes successfully resolving marketing-related investigations and enforcement actions initiated by the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S Department of Justice, state Attorneys General, Departments of Consumer Affairs, and other state and local agencies.
The Federal Trade Commission Act
The Federal Trade Commission Act is the primary statute of the FTC. Under the Act, as amended, the FTC is empowered, among other things, to:
• Prevent unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce;
• Seek monetary redress and other relief for conduct injurious to consumers;
• Prescribe rules defining with specificity acts or practices that are unfair or deceptive, and establishing requirements designed to prevent such acts or practices;
• Gather and compile information and conduct investigations relating to the organization, business, practices, and management of entities engaged in commerce; and
• Make reports and legislative recommendations to Congress and the public.
A number of other statutes are also enforced under the FTC Act.
Generally speaking, claims in advertisements must be truthful, cannot be deceptive or unfair and must be evidence-based. Similarly, endorsements have to be truthful and not misleading. An endorsement must reflect the honest opinion of the endorser and cannot be used to make a claim that the product’s marketer could not legally make. Native ads cannot mislead consumers about their commercial nature.
State Consumer Protection Laws
Every state has a consumer protection law that prohibits deceptive practices, and many prohibit unfair or unconscionable practices as well. These statutes, commonly known as Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAP) statutes, provide bedrock protections for consumers.
UDAP laws provide state AGs with sweeping authority to address improper business practices.
UDAP statutes in each of the fifty states and the District of Columbia constitute the main lines of defense protecting consumers from predatory, deceptive and unscrupulous business practices.
The effectiveness of UDAP laws varies widely from state to state. Legislation or court decisions in a number of states have narrowed the scope of UDAP laws or granted sweeping exemptions to entire industries. Other states have placed substantial legal obstacles in the path of officials charged with UDAP enforcement, or imposed ceilings on civil penalties.
Forefront of Advertising Litigation
Richard focuses first on resolving a client’s problem and securing the prompt and outright closure of investigations. He quickly and effectively gets to the heart of the matter and leverages his solid relationships and credibility with the enforcement community on behalf of his clients.
When litigation is unavoidable, Richard possesses two decades of litigation experience. His clients include manufacturers, advertisers, affiliate networks, publishers, lead purchasers and generators, list managers, email marketers, entrepreneurs among many others. He also serves as outside general counsel to clients to clients that have been recognized as being amongst the fastest growing performance marketing networks and technology companies, ranked on Magazine’s Annual 500/5000 List.
Richard works closely with his clients to design and implement preventative corporate compliance programs, from the ground up, that help marketers prevent potential problems before they occur. Doing so reduces the likelihood of intrusive and burdensome investigations and enforcement actions.
Richard utilizes his extensive knowledge of the evolving regulatory landscape to emphasize practical solutions for marketers that allow clients to minimize potential liability while effectively maximizing revenue. He also negotiates and drafts the full range of marketing agreements and conducts compliance reviews of advertising materials to ensure compliance with FTC requirements.
FTC Defense Attorney With a Proven Track Record
From allegations of false or misleading advertising and unlawful billing practices, to lead generation, telemarketing compliance and privacy violations, Richard represents individuals and businesses in all stages of investigations and enforcement actions brought by federal, state and local regulatory agencies.
- Optimal resolution positioning (e.g., pre-enforcement investigation closure or pre-suit settlement negotiation);
- Strong relationships with the enforcement community;
- Advertising compliance clearance programs that effectively walk the line between commerce and compliance;
- Strategic opposition to the imposition of injunctive relief (e.g., preliminary injunctions);
- Practical asset freeze modification (e.g., living expenses and attorneys’ fees);
- Negotiation of reduced reporting and monitoring requirements;
- Negotiation of asset retention and favorable settlement terms;
- Secure partially or fully suspended judgments;
- Full-service litigation defense; and
- Preparation of strategic and educated Civil Investigative Demand and subpoena responses.
Contact an FTC defense attorney if you are interested in learning more about the design and implementation of preventative compliance measures, or if you are the subject of regulatory investigation or enforcement action.
Richard B. Newman is an Internet marketing compliance and regulatory defense attorney at Hinch Newman LLP focusing on advertising and digital media matters. His practice includes conducting legal compliance reviews of advertising campaigns, representing clients in investigations and enforcement actions brought by the Federal Trade Commission and state Attorneys General, commercial litigation, advising clients on promotional marketing programs, and negotiating and drafting legal agreements.
ADVERTISING MATERIAL. These materials are provided for informational purposes only and are not to be considered legal advice, nor do they create a lawyer-client relationship. No person should act or rely on any information in this article without seeking the advice of an attorney. Information on previous case results does not guarantee a similar future result. Hinch Newman LLP | 40 Wall St., 35thFloor, New York, NY 10005 | (212) 756-8777.