Consumer Protections Posts

CFTC Wins Suit Against DAO, With Potential Broad Implications for DAO Ecosystem

Jun 26, 2023

CFTC Wins Suit Against DAO, With Potential Broad Implications for DAO Ecosystem

The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) has only brought one lawsuit against a Decentralized Autonomous Organization, or a DAO, which was recently decided in federal court. The case involved a decentralized finance trading protocol “that had transformed into a decentralized autonomous organization, a DAO, offering leveraged and margined retail commodity transactions to the public,” according…

Liar, Liar Robot on Fire – Can You Seek Legal Relief if a Chatbot Defames You?

May 22, 2023

Liar, Liar Robot on Fire – Can You Seek Legal Relief if a Chatbot Defames You?

When another person publishes a lie about you that causes harm to your reputation, you can seek relief by filing a defamation lawsuit. But what sort of relief is available when the person making the defamatory statement isn’t a person at all – but instead is a robot? The world may soon find out. In…

Federal Court Dismisses Illegal Lottery Claims Against Omaze, Emphasizing Adequacy of Fundraiser’s Alternative Means of Sweepstakes Entry

Feb 25, 2022

Federal Court Dismisses Illegal Lottery Claims Against Omaze, Emphasizing Adequacy of Fundraiser’s Alternative Means of Sweepstakes Entry

 As covered in this blog, in most states, companies that offer sweepstakes entries with certain purchases must also allow free entry (often called “alternative means of entry” or “AMOE”). This requirement stems from the three elements that generally make up regulated gambling: (1) consideration, (2) prize, and (3) chance. Random-chance giveaways inherently meet the latter…

New Federal Court Decision Counsels “Clear and Conspicuous” Advertisement of Alternative Means of Sweepstakes Entry – Coinbase Suit Proceeds

Jan 12, 2022

New Federal Court Decision Counsels “Clear and Conspicuous” Advertisement of Alternative Means of Sweepstakes Entry – Coinbase Suit Proceeds

  Most states require that companies offering sweepstakes allow entry without requiring purchase or other consideration. This alternate means of entry, or “AMOE,” avoids liability under gambling and lottery statutes by removing the “consideration” element in state gambling and lottery laws. A recent decision in California federal court has shed new light on how sweepstakes…

Supreme Court Finds That CFPB Director Can Be Removed By President, But Allows Agency To Continue To Operate

Jun 29, 2020

Supreme Court Finds That CFPB Director Can Be Removed By President, But Allows Agency To Continue To Operate

On June 29, 2020, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that expanded the President’s authority to remove a director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), while simultaneously finding that the Bureau itself could continue to exist an operate. In Seila Law LLC v. CFPB, both the law firm Seila Law—which was under investigation by…

TCPA Prior Express Consent Via Business Card? Third Circuit Says “Yes, It Counts”

Apr 1, 2020

TCPA Prior Express Consent Via Business Card? Third Circuit Says “Yes, It Counts”

As businesses that make telemarketing or automated/prerecorded phone calls and send text messages and telemarketing faxes are well aware, the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) imposes certain restrictions on communications sent without the recipient’s express consent or permission.  Many courts view the “prior express consent” or permission requirement quite broadly.  And just this week,…

Raising Money for COVID 19 Related Causes? Read this First.

Mar 23, 2020

Raising Money for COVID 19 Related Causes? Read this First.

Cause Marketing Social causes are an important part of both community and business culture. Increasingly, businesses identify social causes to support as a part of their company mission. When they fold that mission into their marketing, it can trigger federal and state consumer protection laws (as well as federal tax laws). Why? To prevent fraud…

Ability to Revoke TCPA Consent Limited When Consent Was Provided Via Contract

Apr 3, 2019

Ability to Revoke TCPA Consent Limited When Consent Was Provided Via Contract

Although the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) limits the ways in which companies may contact individuals via automated dialers, with prerecorded messages, or via text message, one of its hallmarks is that companies are entitled to contact consumers who have provided their express consent to be called.  However, in 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”)…

Passage of the 2018 Farm Bill: America’s Amber Waves of Grain Turn Green. What Does It Mean For CBD Oil Products and Advertising?

Dec 21, 2018

Passage of the 2018 Farm Bill: America’s Amber Waves of Grain Turn Green. What Does It Mean For CBD Oil Products and Advertising?

Much excitement surrounds the 2018 Farm Bill – the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 – which President Trump recently signed into law. The hubbub is all about hemp. The new law removes hemp from the Controlled Substances Act and opens markets across the fifty states to hemp and its many derivatives. Farmers and product manufactures…

Mount Sinai Health System Defeats TCPA Action for Flu Shot Reminder

Jan 18, 2018

Mount Sinai Health System Defeats TCPA Action for Flu Shot Reminder

No one likes being on the receiving end of an immunization shot, but many of us submit to a flu shot each fall or winter.  David Latner, a patient of the Mount Sinai Health System’s West Park Medical facility, apparently found a single text from West Park reminding him about flu shots to be alarming…