Federal Agency Litigation

Overview

As companies seek wider markets for their products and services by offering them online, they become increasingly vulnerable to claims which challenge the veracity of their advertising or the integrity of their processes. When a company faces claims like false advertising, deceptive loan practices or insider trading, the impact of a government investigation can be devastating: business can come to a complete standstill under a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction, assets can be seized, and a receiver may be appointed.

Rooted firmly in the nation’s Capital with strong relationships and credibility across many branches of government, the team at Ifrah Law has deep experience defending companies in ligation with federal agencies. We represent clients on cutting edge issues arising from the intersection of internet business, finance and technology, defending against claims by the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

We have a strong track record of trying and winning cases, and otherwise successfully concluding matters with these agencies so that our clients can get back to business. We also assist in responding to investigations, requests for information, and government subpoenas. Additionally, Ifrah attorneys counsel clients on compliance with these agencies’ ever-evolving regulations in the areas of online advertising, cybersecurity and consumer protection.

Ifrah Law has handled a number of high-profile FTC and CFTC investigations and enforcement actions involving internet marketing campaigns and related issues such as the scientific substantiation of advertising claims.

In one highly publicized matter against a regulatory agency, Ifrah Law succeeded in convincing a jury to completely reject the government’s claims of fraud in one of the very few SEC compliance cases that actually proceeded to trial. In another high profile litigation, we represented international financial clients against federal claims by the SEC and the CFTC regarding the trading of binary options contracts, resulting in a satisfactory global settlement.

Case Studies

Defending a Healthcare Provider Against Claims of Fraud

Our client, a prominent anesthesiologist, employed a medical services billing specialist to submit insurance claims for his practice and surgery center. The terms of the specialist’s contract stated that she would receive 18% of each claim she filed using a specific step-by-step submission and follow-up process.

After the billing specialist was terminated for not following the established submission procedures, she sued the doctor to retain her full commission on outstanding claims she had worked on prior to her dismissal, including those that hadn’t yet been paid. In addition to this contract dispute, she also accused our client and his surgery center of fraud, alleging that they funneled money into a “secret account” to avoid paying her commission under the contract.

Although there was very little basis for the fraud claim, the court allowed it to move forward.  Jeff understood the importance of attempting a settlement on the contract claim, so he analyzed the agreement and claims reports and devised a methodology for valuing the claim. When the plaintiff refused to settle, Jeff and the client pursued mediation with confidence, understanding both the fair value of the case and specific details of the parties’ contract. During mediation, the plaintiff’s side raised several arguments that demonstrated their lack of familiarity with the contract.  Jeff’s thorough understanding of certain provisions allowed the defendant to quickly address and dismiss the arguments.  As a result, the plaintiff ended up settling for much less than she originally claimed.

While the settlement terms are confidential, our client was thrilled with the final result, not only with the amount and the dismissal of the fraud claims, but also in terms of how well the matter was handled.

Defense of Retaliatory Discharge Case Results in Precedent-Setting Ruling

Ifrah’s defense of its clients, Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions LLC (“TAES”) and Scott Torres, who were charged in a retaliatory discharge case, not only turned out to be a victory for the defendants, but it was also a resounding victory for employers and the court system. The ruling, made in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, set important precedent regarding federal pre-emption in worker’s compensation issues overseas and retaliatory discharge charges.

Two former employees of Ifrah’s clients claimed that they were improperly discharged in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim under the Defense Base Act (“DBA”) and Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act. They were working for TAES at Forward Operating Base Shield in Iraq when they were discharged.

Ifrah argued that the DBA provided the exclusive remedy for the plaintiffs’ causes of action and otherwise preempted their case. In a 26-page opinion, the judge dismissed all four counts of the First-Amended Complaint, agreeing with Ifrah’s argument. She further held that plaintiffs’ remaining common-law causes of action, including breach of contract, were preempted under the DBA. Specifically, she noted in her opinion that federal courts across the country have found that the DBA expressly preempts other remedies state law affords to similarly-situated plaintiffs. Accordingly, the doctrine of conflict preemption barred plaintiffs’ common-law claims and mandated their dismissal.

Despite the lack of clear precedent on the issue, the opinion clearly establishes as the law of Washington, D.C. that employees subject to a federal workers’ compensation plan must exhaust their administrative remedies first before filing an action in court. The decision will result in the saving of time and expenses related to litigating complex retaliatory discharge claims that can otherwise be resolved more efficiently in the administrative context.

(Sickle et al v. TorresAdvanced Enterprise Solutions, LLC et al., Case No. 1:11-cv-02224 (U.S. District Court, District of Columbia))

Prevailing in a Government Contractor’s Debarment Proceeding

How long should your past haunt you? A client of Ifrah Law faced that question when it was confronted with a potentially crippling debarment from a federal agency.

The government contractor had participated in a conspiracy to bribe a public official for a contract award. However, it was the first to cooperate in the resulting federal investigation, which led to a successful conviction. Fast forward four years, and the Department of Defense moved to debar our client. The DoD had already placed the contractor on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) but wanted to go a step further. Debarment would have been devastating for our client’s business, resulting in an almost complete loss of revenue.

Presenting the client’s strong performance record since the bribery incident (we even got the prosecutor from the contract bribery case to write a letter to the court on our client’s behalf), Ifrah Lawyers successfully represented the contractor in the debarment proceeding. We obtained a decision of no debarment period at all.

Protesting Procurement Irregularities to Keep a Client in Competition

A client contractor participated in a procurement competition over a multi-award contract with the Department of the Army that was valued at almost half a billion dollars. After submitting a proposal, our client (along with other bidders) was excluded from the competition because of a deficiency in a proposed labor rate. The other excluded parties protested to the Government Accountability Office, and the Army permitted five of the protesting parties to rejoin the bidding process.

With just a week left before the final proposal revisions were due, our client asked us for help. We filed a U.S. Court of Federal Claims protest asking to reverse the exclusion based on irregularities in the procurement process. We also asked for an injunction to prevent the bidding process from ending.

As a result of our filing and subsequent negotiations with the Department of Justice, our client was permitted to rejoin the bidding and to submit a revised bid.

(Platinum Business Corporation, et al. v. United States, 1:12-cv-00001, Court of Federal Claims, Bid Protest (2012))

Successful Challenge to Denial of Top Secret Security Clearance

A renewal for a Top Secret security clearance became career threatening for an Ifrah client’s CFO when the renewal application was denied due to foreign influences concerns. As the CFO of a defense contractor whose continued employment was a condition for the company’s line of credit, maintaining a security clearance was critical for both the CFO and the company. After the Statement of Reasons was issued, the CFO submitted his own letter challenging the decision but it was denied. The CFO then retained Ifrah Law who, on behalf of the client, drafted a written response and successfully mitigated the security concerns. This resulted in the withdrawal of the Statement of Reason and the ultimate renewal of the CFO’s security clearance.

Successfully Defending a Government Contractor Against a Terminated Employee’s Health Care Claim

Ifrah Law successfully defended a government contractor against claims by a terminated company employee. Our client, a health care professional supplier, faced allegations that it failed to offer the former employee COBRA insurance coverage, as required under the COBRA statute.

Ifrah Law conducted a bench trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in January 2012. The judge sustained minimal claims and awarded the plaintiff a mere $500.

(Middlebrooks v. Godwin Corporation, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, No. 1:10CV1306))

Successfully Obtaining a Preliminary Injunction at the Court of Federal Claims

Our client, a long-time government contractor, rightly turned to Ifrah Law when it suspected a competitor had violated FAR regulations. Our client submitted a proposal in response to a government RFP to provide seminars and library services to detainees at the U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay. The RFP stated that this would be a “lowest price technically available” (LPTA) contract.

Our client’s proposal was unsuccessful, and they moved to challenge the award. Our critical review of the record revealed that the successful bidder may have utilized unbalanced pricing. We successfully argued that our client’s pricing was balanced and potentially fairer to the government – a difficult argument to make in LPTA solicitations because of the discretion granted to contracting officers. Our challenge was successful and following the court’s order granting a preliminary injunction, the government was forced to take corrective action.

(Torres AES v. United States, 1:13-cv-00898 (Damich, J.))

Effectively Advocating for a Government Contractor Facing Debarment

Having spent over 30 years in the environmental and renewable energy industry, our client was dismayed when he received a Notice of Suspension and Proposed Debarment (the Notice) from the EPA. Facing the possibility of a three-year debarment, our client knew that such a black mark would mean not only the end of his company, but also the end of his career.

Ifrah Law set to work on contesting the Notice and addressing the mitigating and aggravating factors. While our written response was strong, the bold and clearly reasoned advocacy we provided during the oral argument had the biggest impact on the case. Ifrah argued that this was a one-time oversight during an alleged emergency situation, for which our client was truly remorseful. But we took the additional step of arguing that that our client never should have been prosecuted in the first place, and that he was the victim of an overzealous prosecutor.

After the record closed, we were told that a settlement of two years was feasible, but we refused to settle. When the decision was rendered, our client faced no debarment whatsoever, allowing him to resume his government contracting business immediately. The EPA legal counsel involved in this matter told us that the advocating we did on our client’s behalf was one of the best she has ever seen.

Securing Dismissal of a False Claims Qui Tam Suit

Jeff Ifrah successfully represented global health care leader Merck in a False Claims Act qui tam suit and got the case dismissed.

The suit involved a whistleblower that worked for a health care buying company (a group purchasing organization that purchases supplies and drugs). Terminated from the buying group, the employee alleged she was retaliated against because of issues she raised about the buying process.

The case was brought before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, and 18 drug companies were named as defendants in an alleged bribery scheme. Jeff represented Merck, which was one of the named defendants. He filed a successful motion to dismiss the complaint, based on the former employee’s alarming lack of specificity in her claim.

Not only was our motion to dismiss successful, it was efficient: Jeff won the dismissal roughly one year after Merck and the other defendants were originally served.

(United States ex rel. Fitzgerald v. Novation LLC, et al., S.D. Tex., No. 3:03-CV-01589))

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.

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.

Clearing SEC Charges Against a Former Securities Broker

When the U.S. government pushed Frederick O’Meally, the former Prudential Securities Inc. broker pushed back – and won.

Ifrah Law acted as co-lead counsel in obtaining a jury verdict, rejecting claims by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that O’Meally defrauded 60 mutual fund companies. The jury also rejected the SEC’s negligence claims with respect to 54 of the funds and found only that O’Meally was negligent in his conduct with respect to six of the funds.

Mr. O’Meally had fought the SEC for eight years, claiming his innocence and sticking up for his rights. The SEC asserted that the mutual fund companies had tried to prevent O’Meally from market timing on behalf of his clients, and that he had continued doing so through deception involving multiple account numbers and numerous financial advisor identifying numbers used in trades. But after a four-week trial, the jury found that the defendant did not commit any intentional fraud against the mutual fund companies. Evidence at trial showed that O’Meally had not misused these tools and that, in fact, all of his trading practices had been approved multiple times by his supervisors, by Prudential Securities lawyers and compliance personnel, and even by outside regulators.

The O’Meally case was one of the very small number of SEC compliance cases that go to trial each year, and one of an even smaller number of cases in which a jury has completely rejected SEC claims of fraud. While Prudential Securities and a number of other brokers targeted by the SEC negotiated settlements, Ifrah Law was part of the team that helped Frederick O’Meally vindicate his claims that he was innocent of the SEC’s fraud accusations.

(Securities & Exchange Commission v. O’Meally, No. 06-Civ-6483 (LTS) (S.D.N.Y.), No. 13-1116 (2d Cir.) )

Blog Posts
May 20, 2014

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

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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… Read More

April 17, 2017

D.C. Circuit v. FCC – More Pushback to Come?

D.C. Circuit v. FCC – More Pushback to Come?

Over the past several years, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) took an expansive view of its rules under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (“TCPA”). The TCPA bars certain calls, texts and faxes without prior express consent and requires disclosures and opt-out procedures.  While the FCC and state attorney generals may enforce the TCPA,… Read More

October 25, 2017

Congress Saves Consumer Arbitration

Congress Saves Consumer Arbitration

In July 2017, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (“CPFB”) announced a new rule broadly barring arbitration provisions in a wide swath of consumer contracts.  See 12 CFR part 1040.  To go into effect next Spring, the final rule would have prohibited providers of certain consumer financial products and services from using an agreement with… Read More

November 21, 2016

Presidential Predictions For Financial Consumer Protections

Presidential Predictions For Financial Consumer Protections

In January 2017, the Obama Administration will transfer power to the incoming Trump Administration, and Congress will convene with a Republican majority in both houses. Predictions abound as to what legislative and regulatory changes will transpire under the new administration. Earlier this month, WSJ Pro hosted a live video event to discuss how the election… Read More

October 13, 2016

The Blacklisting Rules Are Coming: What Federal Contractors Need to Know

The Blacklisting Rules Are Coming: What Federal Contractors Need to Know

The Federal Acquisition Regulation final rule implementing the “Fair Play and Safe Workplaces” Executive Order 13673 was issued on August 25, 2016, and the rule goes into effect on October 25, 2016. This new regulation presents a significant change – and potential challenge – for major government contractors. President Obama signed Executive Order 13673, often… Read More

June 3, 2016

What the Payday Proposal Would Do

What the Payday Proposal Would Do

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proposed a new rule to regulate payday lending and auto-title loan companies. Right now, it is merely a proposal, meant to undergo the notice and comment period until September 14, 2016. But if the rule goes into effect, it would be a significant imposition on the lending business…. Read More

May 5, 2016

CFPB Scare Tactics: The New Arbitration Rules

CFPB Scare Tactics: The New Arbitration Rules

Recently, I wrote about the CFPB’s plans to issue new regulations restricting arbitration clauses in certain consumer contracts.  Today, the agency announced those new rules and CFPB Director Richard Cordray is expected to discuss them at the agency’s field hearing in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  As expected, the new rules eliminate the use of class action… Read More

March 21, 2016

To Refer, Or Not To Refer? OIG’s Outdated Health Care Referral Restrictions

To Refer, Or Not To Refer? OIG’s Outdated Health Care Referral Restrictions

The Office of the Inspector General, which enforces Health and Human Services, has long been averse to referral services that don’t meet certain criteria.  To get protection against a possible enforcement action, the referral service can’t exclude anyone from participating in the service, and payments for referrals have to be reasonable and cannot be tied… Read More

March 1, 2016

CFPB No-Action Letters Are No Help

CFPB No-Action Letters Are No Help

In the age of handheld banking apps, private funds transfer systems, and digital currencies, ensuring that new products are fair to consumers and compliant with existing – and sometime archaic – regulations are difficult tasks. The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (“CFPB”) recently finalized a new policy for providing “no-action letters” (“NALs”) to companies seeking… Read More

January 15, 2016

Halting Business And Seizing A Domain Without A Moment’s Notice

Halting Business And Seizing A Domain Without A Moment’s Notice

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons- Uploaded by NativeForeigner Every year, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas proves to be one of the more interesting conventions to attend. 2016 did not disappoint: companies showed off cool innovations in displays, robotics, and integrated smart technology across the consumer products platform. Adding to the excitement at this year’s… Read More

October 15, 2015

Jumping To Judgment on For-Profit Education

Jumping To Judgment on For-Profit Education

  If you didn’t know any better, you might have gotten pretty fiery over for-profit education after reading one of the front page stories of Tuesday’s New York Times. The lengthy article titled “For-Profit Colleges Fail Standards, but Get Billions” is all about accusations of greedy institutions bilking taxpayers and taking advantage of students through… Read More

August 13, 2015

The Key to Steering Clear of the FTC’s Crack Down on Car Dealership Advertisements

The Key to Steering Clear of the FTC’s Crack Down on Car Dealership Advertisements

  Car dealerships are notorious for running loud, flashy ads with too-good-to-be-true offers for outrageous deals to buy or lease cars.  Some dealerships downplay or even hide the seemingly endless list of qualifications on those offers which render many potential buyers ineligible for the deals, much to the irritation of misled consumers.  The FTC has… Read More

June 1, 2015

FAIL: For-Profit Education Sector Dealt Major Blow

FAIL: For-Profit Education Sector Dealt Major Blow

  For-profit education was dealt a major blow in a federal court case challenging the Department of Education’s Gainful Employment Rule. U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan of New York dismissed a lawsuit that was filed last November by the Association of Proprietary Colleges. The lawsuit is one of two filed in federal court shortly… Read More

March 6, 2015

Why the FTC Can Go After Companies For Insufficient Data Security Allegations

Why the FTC Can Go After Companies For Insufficient Data Security Allegations

  FTC seems more confident than ever in its authority to go after companies with insufficient data security measures. As of January 2015, FTC had settled 53 data-security enforcement actions, and FTC Senior Attorney Lesley Fair expects that number to increase. Not everyone is sanguine about FTC’s enforcement efforts. Companies targeted for administrative action complain… Read More

February 20, 2015

Employers Running Background Checks: Top 10 Tips to Avoid Joining the Fair Credit Reporting Act Litigation “Club”

Employers Running Background Checks:  Top 10 Tips to Avoid Joining the Fair Credit Reporting Act Litigation “Club”

  What do Whole Foods, Chuck E. Cheese, Michael’s Stores, Dollar General, Panera, Publix, and K-Mart have in common?  Each of these companies has faced lawsuits (including class actions) under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).  Although Congress passed the FCRA way back in 1970 and litigation has focused on credit reporting agencies’ duties under… Read More

October 3, 2014

School Scams: FTC Cracks Down on Florida Online Diploma Mills

School Scams: FTC Cracks Down on Florida Online Diploma Mills

  Online diploma mills, which require little or no coursework to complete a degree have recently garnered much attention within the online education realm.  Websites which offer questionable diplomas for hundreds of dollars target vulnerable consumers seeking a degree to improve their life prospects, while simultaneously casting a shadow over legitimate online educational institutions which… Read More

September 15, 2014

For-Profit Education Flunking Regulations Overload 101

For-Profit Education Flunking Regulations Overload 101

  The last few years have been tough on the for-profit education industry – it’s not easy being the target of a host of federal and state investigations. For-profit educators have been poked and prodded by, among others, the U.S. Congress, a coalition of state attorneys general, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade… Read More

August 18, 2014

Recording Calls? Five Things You Can Do to Avoid the Litigation Frenzy

Recording Calls? Five Things You Can Do to Avoid the Litigation Frenzy

Restaurant chain Applebee’s has joined other businesses such as Overstock.com, Hilton, Capitol One, and Bass Pro Shops as defendants in purported class action lawsuits alleging that they illegally recorded calls to or from California residents.  In fact, plaintiffs have filed hundreds of individual and class actions in California courts under California’s various eavesdropping/call recording laws…. Read More

June 20, 2014

Weight Loss Claims and Dr. Oz Gain Congressional Interest

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… Read More

June 10, 2014

Higher Ed False Claims Act Suits – Pass or Fail?

Higher Ed False Claims Act Suits – Pass or Fail?

Career Education Corporation, like a host of other for-profit education companies, has found itself spinning on the courthouse revolving door. The latest legal challenge for CEC: a False Claims Act suit filed in federal court in New Jersey on May 16. The lawsuit alleges that CEC defrauded the federal government by (1) falsifying job placement… Read More

May 20, 2014

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

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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… Read More

April 24, 2014

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

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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… Read More

April 17, 2014

Don’t be a Jerk

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Last week the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) charged the operators of Jerk.com with harvesting personal information from Facebook to create profiles for more than an estimated 73 million people, where they could be labeled a “Jerk” or “not a Jerk.” In the complaint, the FTC charged the defendants, Jerk, LLC and the operator of the… Read More

April 10, 2014

TCPA Litigation Explosion Leads to Rule Clarifications

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Congress enacted the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) to protect consumers from unwanted telemarketing, fax marketing, and prerecorded/auto-dialed phone calls. Recently, there has been an explosion in TCPA litigation, including class action litigation. In response, several parties have asked the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) to clarify certain of the agency’s TCPA rules to provide relief… Read More

April 28, 2016

Feds Open The Gates and Seize the Domain Names

Feds Open The Gates and Seize the Domain Names

Does the federal government have the right to seize a domain name without notice? With growing frequency, the feds have seized the domain names of thousands of websites for alleged criminal wrongdoing. The latest example is the seizure earlier this week of 67 website domain names for the alleged illegal sale and distribution of counterfeit… Read More

May 2, 2016

Getting Started with E-Rate

Getting Started with E-Rate

Public schools and libraries in the U.S. can save a lot of money on Internet service by applying for the Schools and Libraries Program, a federal subsidy better known as E-Rate. E-Rate funding, capped yearly at $3.9 billion, helps eligible institutions cover costs of Internet service. Participants can save anywhere from twenty to ninety percent… Read More

June 9, 2016

Keep It Short and Prosper

Keep It Short and Prosper

What a difference two words can make. Just ask the Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) or Americans for Prosperity (AFP), two organizations that filed separate lawsuits against the same defendant, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, over the same issue: whether Harris’s office had the right to access the organizations’ donor information. (The cases are Center… Read More

November 28, 2017

CFTC Regulated Markets May Give Bitcoin the Stability It Needs

CFTC Regulated Markets May Give Bitcoin the Stability It Needs

The unregulated nature of virtual currencies like Bitcoin plays a big role in their appeal. However, wild swings in prices in addition to the perception that these markets are subject to manipulation, make it difficult—if not impossible—for the average person to rely heavily on Bitcoin and other virtual currencies as a currency, much less as… Read More

December 5, 2017

Did the Paradise Papers and Panama Papers Play a Role in the GOP Tax Plan?

Did the Paradise Papers and Panama Papers Play a Role in the GOP Tax Plan?

Congress is poised to deliver on tax reform this year. As part of the package, both houses are seeking to encourage the repatriation of trillions of dollars that corporations and wealthy individuals have been stockpiling offshore. For decades, corporations and wealthy individuals have been able to avoid taxes legally by transferring assets to tax-friendly jurisdictions… Read More