Attorneys

Michelle Cohen Member

/ P (202) 524-4149

LinkedIn connect on LinkedIn / Twitter @MichelleWCohen

  • Michelle Cohen: Internet Privacy Lawyer on Internet Marketing

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  • Attorney Michelle Cohen: Increased Federal Enforcement of Mobile Commerce in 2013

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  • What to do if you think your company has had a data breach

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Michelle’s unfailing dedication to her clients is evidenced by the fact that her first client, whom she worked with as a first-year associate over 20 years ago, remains an active client. She establishes strong and lasting relationships by committing herself to client service. Michelle understands her clients’ business goals, guides them in their use of new technologies, and communicates with them as their business activities unfold.

Michelle’s practice is focused on helping her clients establish powerful and lasting relationships with their customers and prospects. Regardless of industry – technology, manufacturing or education – companies need to maintain contact with their clients and prospects while ensuring that their communications comply with the laws and regulations regarding marketing and privacy – whether through sweepstakes/contests, telemarketing, email marketing or beyond. Michelle’s communications experience includes licensing, enforcement, contracts, rulemaking and advocacy.

When clients find themselves involved in an enforcement matter with the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission or state agencies, Michelle’s deep knowledge in these areas and her strong footing in the privacy community help her to resolve issues in the most expedient manner possible. Michelle also advises clients as to what policies and procedures can be put in place to show a company’s good faith efforts, should the government come knocking. When companies are involved in potential data or security breaches, Michelle knows which questions to ask to ensure they have a sound legal strategy. She works with the company step-by-step to resolve the situation from both the government’s, and her clients’ as well as their customers’ points of view. Michelle has extensive experience defending individual and class actions in the consumer protection context, including dozens of Telephone Consumer Protection Act cases.

In addition to having received the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell AV rating, Michelle has received certification as a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP-US) from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). The IAPP’s extensive training and continuing education in the area of privacy ensures that Michelle stays abreast of developments in the U.S. and abroad, so that she can provide the up-to-date information her clients need.

Previously, Michelle was a partner at Thompson Hine where she was a member of their telecommunications, corporate transactions & securities and emerging technologies groups. She began her legal career in the litigation department at Paul Hastings, where she spent seven years honing her litigation skills, prior to moving into their corporate practice. Her litigation experience gives her a solid foundation for helping clients avoid litigation as well as in advising them when they are faced with litigation. This litigation experience, coupled with her regulatory and corporate experience, allow Michelle to offer her clients a full complement of services.

Awards + Recognition

  • ALM 2013 Washington DC's Women Leaders in the Law
  • ALM 2012 Top Rated Lawyer - Technology Law
  • Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) certification, International Association of Privacy Professionals
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating
  • Editorial Board Member, E-finance & Payments Law & Policy
  • Editorial Board Member, E-Commerce Law & Policy

Professional + Community

  • Women in Cable and Telecommunications Past Board Member Washington, D.C. - Baltimore Chapter
  • Federal Communications Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Women's Bar Association of DC
  • Volunteer, Special Olympics
  • Brandeis University Alumni Admissions Council
  • Volunteer, Arlington County Public Schools, Virginia
  • Pro Bono Volunteer through the District of Columbia Bar
"U.S. Banking Regulators to Review Laws," E-Finance & Payments Law & PolicyJune 2014
"The Wild World of Witnesses: When Good Witnesses Go Bad," WMACCA Litigation Forum, McLean, VAJune 26, 2014
"Zealous Counsel or Unethical Social Media Maven – How Far Can a Lawyer Go?," WMACCA E-Newsletter May 9, 2014
"Net Neutrality – Verizon v. Federal Communications Commission," E-Commerce Law ReportsFebruary 18, 2014
"Oral Arguments Heard in the FCC’s ‘Open Internet’ Dispute," E-Commerce Law ReportsDecember 2013
"Data Security: FTC v. Wyndham Corporation," E-Commerce Law ReportsOctober 3, 2013
Michelle Cohen, Speaker, "Don’t Litigate, Mediate: Here’s How," WMACCA Litigation Forum, McLean, VASeptember 11, 2013
"Mobile Advertising and Messaging: Litigation Under the TCPA," E-Commerce Law ReportsJuly 2013
"Smart House, Smart Car, Smartphones. The FTC Examines the ‘Internet of Things," E-Commerce Law ReportsJune 2013
"FTC issues privacy focused mobile payments report," E-Finance & Payments Law & PolicyMarch 2013
"FATCA: the end of hiding US accounts in foreign banks?," E-Finance & Payments Law & PolicyMarch 2013
Michelle Cohen, Speaker, "Trash Talk? Viral Leaks? What to do When Employees and the Public Take to the Internet Town Square," WMACCA Technology and IP Forum, McLean, VAFebruary 19, 2013
"Editor’s Insight – Mobile Marketing and Privacy," E-Commerce Law & Policy February 7, 2013
"The FTC reports to the US Congress on Dodd-Frank," E-Finance & Payments Law & PolicyJanuary 2013
"Visa/MasterCard Antitrust Litigation," E-Commerce Law ReportsSeptember 2012
Michelle Cohen, Presenter, "The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: The Financial Industry’s New Watchdog," LeadsCon East Conference Presentation, New York City, New YorkJuly 2012
"Best Offense Is a Good Defense," Inside Supply ManagementMarch 2012

Successfully Negotiating the Sale of Assets During a Government Investigation

When a company that is under investigation for money laundering decides to sell its assets, what was once a straightforward sales process becomes a complex negotiation. That is what happened with our client, a provider of diagnostic testing equipment.

Ifrah Law and Michelle Cohen represented the company in its sale of radiology and cardiology diagnostic services equipment, which involved numerous challenges. Understandably, the buyer was concerned about the ongoing criminal investigation, and Michelle worked closely with them to address their concerns about representations and warranties and possible post-sale seizure from the government. Additionally, since there were bank liens on some of the assets, Michelle worked with the bank’s outside counsel to arrange a prompt payoff, obtain a satisfactory pay-off letter and secure a release of the liens in order to close the deal. Michelle also worked with the buyer to create a creditor payment plan that would payoff unsecured creditors and obtain releases from them in order to address the buyer’s concerns about unsecured creditors seeking relief from the buyer. Finally, she created an employee fund (funded by the buyer) to pay for uncompensated leave time.

These complicated issues were resolved in less than two weeks, as a result of Michelle’s skilled negotiations with all parties. The buyer was represented by Delaware’s largest law firm.

 

Successful Resolution of a TCPA Class Action

Michelle Cohen’s client, a publicly-traded enhanced messaging provider, was involved in a large-scale class action alleging violations of the TCPA’s unsolicited facsimile advertising rules. In addition to having provided the client with TCPA advice for over 15 years, Michelle represented them in enforcement matters before the FCC, including obtaining the rescission of an FCC citation, a highly unusual ruling from the FCC, finding that the client had a valid defense to the citation.

This TCPA case involved the alleged sending of 125,000 unsolicited faxes. The class was suing for triple damages of $1500 per violation – up to $180 million. Michelle and her team handled discovery, including depositions and motions. When the other parties decided to enter mediation, Michelle represented her client through the mediation, to the settlement agreement and ultimate dismissal of the case. Given the damages at stake, this case was successfully resolved for Michelle’s client, whose settlement contribution fell below the limits of their insurance policy.

 

Ensuring TCPA Compliance for a Global Provider of Customer Management Services

On behalf of our client, a leading provider of customer management services with call centers around the world, Ifrah Law led a full-scale review of its customer communications to ensure that they comply with federal and state requirements, including those of the TCPA and the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR). We addressed the many different types of calls that the company undertakes on behalf of its varied customer base – service calls, appointments, live sales calling and pre-recorded calls – to ensure that its call centers are using consistent protocols and controls in the United States, and that these protocols are in compliance with the TCPA and TSR. Our client trusted Ifrah Law with this extensive project due to our long history with managing TCPA matters – we have been involved with the TCPA since its inception in 1991 – and due to our prior work for the client, including successfully representing the client in two FCC inquiries.

We worked with the company’s Director of Privacy to develop a thorough understanding of the types of calls that the company makes for its customers, and the contractual protections that are in place and which could be revised to protect the company further. A critical aspect of this project was to educate leaders within the company that there are different TCPA requirements based on the type of call: technology used, person being called, whether the call is pre-recorded or live; mobile or business. We also wrote the call center guidelines and controls to ensure that all employees – from those being trained to the marketing team – had the same information regarding how to handle different types of customer call projects.

This large-scale process took a year to complete. Once the documentation was finalized, our client was ready to begin a company-wide training program on the guidelines, well in advance of TCPA rule changes.

 

Weight Loss Claims and Dr. Oz Gain Congressional Interest

We’ve all heard the statistics showing obesity rates rising in the U.S. year after year. Most of us are well aware of the billion dollar diet and weight-loss supplement industry to which millions turn with the hope of finding that one “miracle pill” to help them lose that stubborn belly fat or get rid of […]

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Sprint Gets a Wallop of a Reminder – Company-Specific Do Not Call Lists Still Matter – $7.5 Million Record Do Not Call Consent Decree

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) announced a consent decree with Sprint Corporation for federal do not call violations. Specifically, under the terms of the agreement, Sprint will make a $7.5 million “voluntary contribution” to the United States Treasury.  This payment represents the largest do not call settlement reached by the FCC.  Sprint also agreed […]

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TCPA Plaintiff Loses—Express Consent Given to Health Insurance Plan Trumps Claim

In a recent case in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, the district court held that the plaintiff’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) claim should be dismissed. The court ruled that the plaintiff gave prior express consent when she agreed to the terms of her health insurance plan, which stated that […]

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Zealous Counsel or Unethical Social Media Maven – How Far Can a Lawyer Go?

Social media has opened a Pandora’s box of information about just about everyone today, including jurors, witnesses, opposing counsel, defendants and plaintiffs.  As lawyers we want to leave no stone unturned in pursuing a client’s interest, but just how far can we go without jeopardizing our case?  For instance, can counsel (or someone acting at […]

The post Zealous Counsel or Unethical Social Media Maven – How Far Can a Lawyer Go? appeared first on Crime In The Suites.

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FDA Says Product Containing No Tobacco is a “Tobacco Product” – FDA Expands Authority to Include E-Puffing

In an effort that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials say was motivated by the (Big Brother?) desire “to correct a misperception by consumers that tobacco products not regulated by FDA are safe alternatives to currently regulated tobacco products,” the FDA released proposed regulations this morning that would regulate the rapidly growing e-cigarette market. (The […]

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