FTC Civil Investigative Demand (CID) Attorney

Richard is a leader in his profession.  Marketers turn to him to resolve investigations quickly and mitigate exposure when their vital interests are at stake. They look to Richard’s FTC investigation defense capabilities, insider’s perspective, advertising and marketing law sophistication, and ability to help find solutions to complex regulatory challenges.

With experience defending regulatory investigation at the local, state and federal level and a rare combination of industry knowledge and practical insight, he frequently serves as advertising compliance and defense counsel in high-stakes, complex FTC investigations and litigation matters.  His deep skill set, insight and breadth of experience across a range of advertising, marketing and privacy related matters gives Richard a unique ability to address clients’ legal and regulatory concerns, distinguishing him from other FTC defense lawyers and investigation defense attorneys.

See examples of Richard’s recent Representative Experience.

What the FTC Investigates

The Federal Trade Commission investigates and enforces violations of consumer protection laws.  It promulgates and enforces a variety of consumer protection statutes and regulations that govern specific advertising, telemarketing, financial and privacy and data security practices, including:

  • The Federal Trade Commission Act
  • The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act
  • The Do-Not-Call Implementation Act of 2003
  • The CAN-SPAM Act
  • The Restore Online Shopper’s Confidence Act
  • The Fair Credit Reporting Act

Richard is a prominent FTC investigation lawyer in matters ranging from sensitive government inquiries to high-stakes litigation matters.

FTC Investigation Lawyer for Regulatory Inquiries

If a consumer protection-related inquiry is triggered and the FTC opts not to seek immediate relief in court, it may contact a company formally to request information. A civil investigative demand (CID) or subpoena may be issued when the FTC believes that the company may be uncooperative.

While the FTC can use either subpoenas or CIDs in antitrust matters, the agency is restricted to the use of CIDs in consumer protection matters. A CID is similar to subpoena in that it can be used to require production of documentary materials or oral testimony.  A CID differs from a subpoena in that it may also require the recipient to file written reports or answers to interrogatories), and require production of physical objects.  The FTC can also take testimony at investigational hearings, which are similar to depositions in civil litigation.

The process is most often confidential.  Civil investigative demands may also be used to obtain verbal testimony from a witness.  Failing to respond to a CID can result in the initiation of formal court proceedings, including a motion to compel a response.

How to Respond to an Inquiry

An experienced FTC civil investigative demand lawyer, Richard possess years of experience defending marketers against high profile investigatory challenges asserted by regulatory agencies regarding advertising practices.  His knowledge and understanding of the internal organization of the FTC and personnel, agency policy and processes, and consumer protection laws and regulations allow him to:

  • Submit white papers with supporting evidence
  • Understand that nature of investigations
  • Obtain information regarding the FTC’s theories and concerns
  • Approach FTC staff and develop relationships of trust
  • Consider potential exposure
  • Minimize the expense and disruption to a company’s daily operations
  • Negotiate the scope and timing of requests
  • Negotiate the use of sampling techniques
  • Craft deliberate and persuasive responses to information requests
  • Ensure that ongoing conduct does not violate the law
  • Ensure that information provided remains confidential
  • Protect a company’s long-term business and financial goals
  • Evaluate whether to file a petition to quash

He is skilled at developing strategic alternatives to litigation and is able to quickly set the stage with the FTC for the remainder of process, including, but not limited to, laying the groundwork for why there has been no violation, providing substantive analyses of why the applicable marketing or advertising claims in question are substantiated, why laws and regulations relating to consumers’ privacy and security have been complied with, and why best practice requirements have otherwise been met.

Richard understands that each submission of information should be viewed as an opportunity to tell the company’s story and possesses years of experience preparing thoughtful, persuasive and analytical responses to information requests designed to effectively communicate the lack of any wrongdoing.

Closure of Investigations

If the FTC concludes that there has been no violation of law or that an enforcement action would not be in the public interest, the agency may close its investigation without seeking any remedy.  It may also request that respondent modify its practices.

Richard’s unique experience as a defense lawyer advocating the position of his clientele, coupled with his ability to design and implement effective compliance procedures, have resulted in his securing the amicable and outright closure of numerous FTC investigations into the activities of marketers and lead generators – with no further action.

His experience and knowledge of the Federal Trade Commission’s fundamental thought and recommendation process when deciding to close matters without law enforcement, and ability to extract key practical lessons from recent regulatory guidance and case closures, set Richard apart from other FTC compliance, investigation and defense attorneys.

Insider’s Perspective

As an FTC investigation attorney, Richard maintains strong relationships with the FTC’s staff, the Bureau of Consumer Protection and other regulatory agencies, affording him uncommon insight into how and why they pursue enforcement and investigations.  He brings value to his clients by harnessing a rare insider’s perspective and experience responding to civil investigation demands.

Where possible, Richard also assists clients to develop working relationships with regulators.  He is known for his leadership and ability to resolve such matters amicably whenever possible.

He has defended a broad range of advertising and marketing clientele, including, but not limited to, financial services, lead generators, publishers, lead aggregators, affiliate networks and technology entrepreneurs.  He also possesses cutting-edge experience defending privacy and data security-related FTC inquiries.

FTC Investigation Attorney Advocacy 

Richard’s representations have included interaction and advocacy before the FTC.  As a result of his wide-ranging knowledge of advertising laws and regulations, he has served as defense counsel on some of the highest-profile FTC investigations.

With his depth of experience responding to and defending FTC investigations, Richard can handle almost any consumer protection and related regulatory matter.  He is adept in virtually all areas of marketing and advertising and remains current on the ever-changing consumer regulatory landscape, including on such hot-button issues as:

  • Lead generation
  • Native advertising
  • Negative option marketing
  • Endorsements and Influencers
  • Disclosures
  • Telemarketing
  • Privacy
  • Data security
  • Behavioral marketing

Richard’s first-hand knowledge and experience in the complex consumer regulatory arena enables him to develop and implement strategic approaches aimed at resolving government investigations and inquiries efficiently and cost-effectively.

Contact an experienced FTC civil investigative demand attorney to discuss how to decrease vulnerability to an FTC inquiry or if your company has received a CID.