News & Analysis as of

Food Recall Events: The Importance of Evaluating Your Insurance Coverage Before a Voluntary and Mandatory Food Recall

Food recalls are on the rise as consumer protection regulations become more stringent, and they can be costly events. There can be significant expenses associated with removing impacted products from stores; reimbursing...more

Crowdfunding: A Potential Cash Source for Business That Could Make a Well-Intentioned Company's Financial State Worse

“Crowdfunding”: In broad terms, it’s a decade-old means to an end for those with bright ideas and dim financials who hope to bring an inspired cause to market. As established as the practice is, with the more recent explosion...more

CFPB Issues Consent Orders Regarding Debt Collection Practices

On September 9, the CFPB ordered the two largest U.S. debt buyers and collectors to pay a combined total of nearly $80 million in civil penalties and consumer restitution related to their debt collection practices. The CFPB...more

9th Circuit Remands Two California Energy Crisis-Related Settlements for Reconsideration by FERC

On September 4, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit issued an opinion remanding a series of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) orders approving, with modifications, two settlements related to...more

City Ordered to Refund $10.5 Million in Beach Parking Fees

On August 28, 2015, a California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's judgment against the City of San Clemente (City) ordering the City to refund approximately $10.5 million in unexpended development impact fees...more

CA Supreme Court Expands Scope of Lawyers’ Statute of Limitations to Non-Legal Malpractice Claims – Confusion Predicted for Law...

In Lee v. Hanley (S220775 – Filed 8/20/2015), the California Supreme Court clarified the meaning of Code of Civil Procedure section 340.6 by holding that its limitations period applies to claims against attorneys “whose...more

Los Angeles Settles Disputed Phone Tax for $92.5M

Recently, a class of plaintiffs settled with City of Los Angeles over its alleged unlawful collection of telephone utility user tax (UUT). The class alleged that the Los Angeles Municipal Code exempted from UUT all amounts...more

Thoughts from the CFPB on Private Mortgage Insurance Cancellation and Termination

On August 4, 2015, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) issued a bulletin (CFPB Bulletin 2015-03) to assist residential mortgage servicers and subservicers (Servicers) with their compliance obligations regarding...more

GSP Refunds Clarified

While the oft-rumored Federal Register notice has yet to be seen, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) did publish information about obtaining refunds under the now reinstated Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)....more

Trade Preference Programs Get New Life

On June 29, 2015, the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 became Public Law No. 114-27. As a result, the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) was extended to December 31, 2017, with retroactive effect to July 31, 2013...more

FTC Takes Its First Action Against Crowdfunding Site

As the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) targets more FinTech (new and emerging financial technology) under the banner of protecting consumers from deceptive trade practices, the Commission finally turned its attention to the...more

Congress Passes Bill to Reinstate Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) – Opportunities to Seek Refunds; Support or Oppose...

Congress has recently passed the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, which renewed the Generalized System of Preferences, the U.S. trade program that promotes economic growth in the developing world, allowing for nearly...more

Who’s Watching Dietary Supplement Advertising?  Everybody!

For several years now, dietary supplement advertising has been squarely on the radar of the FTC, state regulators, self-regulators, and last but never least, plaintiff’s lawyers. A recent FTC settlement with the makers of the...more

Do You Deserve a Refund from US Customs? Tariff Refunds Soon Available for Certain Imported Goods as Congress Acts on Generalized...

On June 29, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 (HR 1295). Among other actions, the law revives the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, a trade preferences program...more

FCC Proposes Unprecedented Fine of $100 Million for Alleged Violations of Open Internet Transparency Rule

The FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability (“NAL”) to AT&T for alleged violations of the 2010 Open Internet “transparency rule.” The FCC contends that AT&T “willfully and repeatedly” violated the rule by: (1) using the...more

EU Consumer Rights Directive is in effect: 9 highlights for distance selling

E-commerce is the fastest growing retail market in Europe. Compound annual growth is currently running at around 12 percent per annum, predicted to result in an online retail market worth €233.9 billion (approximately US$262...more

Texas Renews Efforts to Require Cash Redemption of Certain Stored Value Cards

Texas renews effort to require that certain stored value cards be redeemable for cash if the balance on the card is less than $2.50. In early March, Texas House Bill 2391 was introduced. It would require a cash refund...more

FTC Settles with Technology Company for Allegedly Misleading Consumers about Refunds

On April 7, the FTC announced a proposed settlement of an administrative complaint alleging that a web hosting provider violated the Federal Trade Commission Act. According to the press release, the company offered web...more

And the Defense Wins

In Banner Life Insurance Co. v. Jacqueline L. Noel, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 1539 (4th Cir. 2013), aff’g 861 F. Supp. 2d 701 (E.D. Va. 2012), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently affirmed the district court’s...more

Premium Refund Theory in Insurance Class Action Rejected By Michigan Federal District Court

One theory that has been raised by plaintiffs’ lawyers in some insurance class actions is that policyholders should receive a partial refund of their premiums because they are not receiving the coverage they paid for, or...more

Revised CFPB Ability to Repay Rule Allows Excess Points and Fees Refunds for Qualified Mortgages

The Dodd-Frank Act amended the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) to require a creditor making a residential mortgage loan to make a reasonable and good faith determination (based on verified and documented information) that, at the...more

The D.C. Circuit Remands FERC Order Denying Refunds for Changes to Cost Allocation

On December 5, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit remanded an order of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denying refunds to certain Louisiana-based utility companies for rates that...more

FTC $19 Million Settlement with Google: Unauthorized In-App Charges Are Not Child’s Play

The FTC recently approved a final Order resolving allegations that Google unfairly billed customers millions of dollars for unauthorized charges made by children using mobile apps downloaded from the Google Play app store....more

Pennsylvania Court Recognizes That A Payment Required By Law Is Not A “Voluntary Payment” Requiring The Insurer’s Consent

If you are required by law to perform an act, the act is not “voluntary.” This proposition may seem obvious enough to most, but one insurer recently needed to be reminded of this common sense point by a Pennsylvania federal...more

Leases Not Subject to Business Privilege Taxes - Commonwealth Court Case Presents Refund Opportunities

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, in a 5-2 decision, held that the Local Tax Enabling Act ("LTEA") bars taxing jurisdictions from imposing business privilege taxes, on leases or lease transactions. Fish, Hrabick and...more

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