DOJ’s Granston Memo and Recent Government-Requested Dismissal of False Claims Act Case Have Significant Implications for FDA-Regulated Entities

Ropes & Gray LLP


For more than twenty years, qui tam relators have played a significant role in setting the agenda for enforcement of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”) through whistleblower lawsuits alleging that violations of the FDCA caused the federal government (the “Government”) to pay for drugs that it should not have paid for, and would not have paid for had it known of the violations. Since a physician and former pharmaceutical company medical liaison filed a False Claims Act lawsuit in 1996 alleging that his former company had illegally driven up sales of the company’s drug by marketing it for off-label uses,1 whistleblowers have prompted investigations into a range of FDCA compliance issues, including promotional activities, current good manufacturing practices2 and reporting violations,3 that have resulted in significant False Claims Act (“FCA”) settlements and criminal fines.

For every FCA complaint that involves allegations that lead to an investigation and settlement with the United States, many more complaints are filed involving alleged violations of the FDCA in which the Government declines to intervene.4 Some of these declined cases proceed to years of civil litigation without the active participation of the Government.5

As the real party in interest in a FCA case, the Government is always entitled to seek dismissal of an FCA complaint under 31 U.S.C. § 3730(c)(2)(A), even in cases in which it does not intervene. The Government exercises this authority rarely. However, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) does recognize the need to protect Government interests potentially threatened by relator-driven FCA litigation.6 Recent FCA cases highlight several key considerations for FDA-regulated defendants navigating FCA litigation and considering a request for a Government-initiated dismissal under section 31 U.S.C. § 3730(c)(2)(A). This article describes the evolving use of this provision, the recent (c)(2)(a) dismissal of a case against a drug manufacturer,7 and key takeaways for the life sciences industry.


The False Claims Act

The FCA imposes civil liability on a person who knowingly submits a false claim for payment to the Government.8 Importantly, the FCA authorizes a private individual, referred to as the relator, to file suit for violations of the FCA on behalf of the Government, in what is known as a qui tam action.9 After the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) investigates the allegations in a qui tam complaint, it may intervene in the action on behalf of the Government and take the lead in pursuing relief, or it may decline to do so, allowing the relator to lead the case.

Although the relator may continue litigating the case if the Government declines to intervene, the FCA provides that “the Government may dismiss the action notwithstanding the objections of the person initiating the action if the person has been notified by the Government of the filing of the motion and the court has provided the person with an opportunity for a hearing on the motion.”10

The Granston Memo

Historically, DOJ rarely has sought dismissal of non-intervened qui tam cases under 31 U.S.C. § 3730(c)(2)(A) (often referred to as “(c)(2)(A) dismissals”). Rather, in most cases, DOJ has let relators proceed on their own, at times filing Statements of Interest to assert particular Government interests in the ongoing litigation. In January 2018, a DOJ memorandum, commonly referred to as the “Granston memo,” outlined non-exhaustive factors the Government should consider in determining whether to seek dismissal in cases in which it has declined to intervene. The memo describes the FCA’s provision on dismissal as “an important tool to advance the Government’s interests, preserve limited resources, and avoid adverse precedent”11 and advises prosecutors to consider filing a motion for dismissal if such dismissal would:

  1. Curb meritless qui tam actions;
  2. Prevent parasitic or opportunistic qui tam actions;
  3. Prevent interference with agency policies and programs;
  4. Control litigation brought on behalf of the United States;
  5. Safeguard classified information and national security interests;
  6. Preserve Government resources; or
  7. Address egregious procedural errors.12

The Granston memo also recommends advising relators when the Government is considering a (c)(2)(A) dismissal in order to provide them with the opportunity to voluntarily dismiss their actions.13

Currently, the Circuit Courts of Appeals are split regarding the standard that courts should apply when reviewing Government-requested dismissals under the FCA. In Swift v. United States, the D.C. Circuit held that the Government has an “unfettered right” to dismiss a qui tam action under § 3730(c)(2)(A).14 The Ninth Circuit, on the other hand, adopted a different standard of review in United States ex rel. Sequoia Orange Co. v. Baird-Neece Packing Corp., holding that a two-step analysis applies to test the Government’s justification for dismissal.15 First, the Government must identify a valid Government purpose for dismissal, and, second, it must show a rational relationship between the dismissal and accomplishment of the valid Government purpose. In the Granston memo, the DOJ espoused its view that the appropriate standard for dismissal is the standard adopted by the D.C. Circuit in Swift providing the Government an unfettered right to dismiss a qui tam action.16 Nonetheless, the Granston memo advises the Government to argue that, even where a court applies the higher Sequoia Orange standard, its review should be highly deferential and that the Government satisfies any potential standard for dismissal.17

The principles articulated in the Granston memo are incorporated in the Justice Manual at section 4-4.111.18

Impact of the Granston Memo on DOJ

In late 2018, DOJ sought dismissal of multiple cases brought by professional relators under the FCA alleging that certain patient assistance and support services provided by pharmaceutical manufacturers were unlawful kickbacks in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute. Generally speaking, DOJ argued that the Government had investigated the relators’ allegations in these cases and concluded that (i) the allegations lacked an adequate factual and legal basis; (ii) ongoing litigation would impose unjustified costs and burdens on the Government, and (iii) the allegations would undermine the Government’s policy and enforcement prerogatives related to industry practices that benefit federal health care programs. Of the 10 patient support cases in which the Government sought (c)(2)(A) dismissals, decisions have been issued in nine cases as of November 15, 2019. The court has dismissed five cases;19 the court denied dismissal in one case,20 and the relator voluntarily dismissed in three cases.21 A decision is pending on the Government’s motion to dismiss in one case.22 These developments illustrate the Government’s ability and willingness to apply the principles of the Granston memo in cases involving the life sciences industry.

In November 2018, in an amicus brief before the Supreme Court in an FCA case involving allegations of current good manufacturing practice (“cGMP”) violations by a drug manufacturer, the DOJ previewed that if the case were remanded to the district court, it would move to dismiss the suit in part because continued litigation would not serve the public interest.23 Based on the Government’s thorough investigation of relators’ allegations, the DOJ explained that dismissal would be appropriate because the burdensome discovery process would distract from the FDA’s public health responsibilities, stating that “allowing this suit to proceed to discovery (and potentially a trial) would impinge on agency decision-making and discretion and would disserve the interests of the United States.”24

On remand, the DOJ—as promised—moved to dismiss under § 3730(c)(2)(A), emphasizing the lack of merit to the relators’ case, FDA’s ongoing oversight, and that “[t]he FCA was never intended to allow a relator to substitute his or her own judgment for that of the Government as to whether the Government received the benefit of its bargain.”25 On November 5, 2019, after months of supplemental briefing and hearings, the court granted the Government’s motion to dismiss.26 The court found a sufficient factual basis to support the governmental purposes for dismissal asserted by the DOJ, which were (1) “to prevent [relators] from undermining the considered decisions of FDA and CMS about how to address the conduct at issue here,” and (2) “to avoid the additional expenditure of government resources on a case that it fully investigated and decided not to pursue.”27 Applying the Sequoia Orange standard, the court found dismissal appropriate because there was a rational relationship between dismissal and accomplishment of the Government’s two purposes, especially as the FDA had taken into account the relators’ claims in its regulatory oversight of the drug manufacturer and had taken the actions it deemed appropriate.28

Takeaways for the Life Sciences Industry

The Granston memo and recent FCA cases implicating FDA’s regulatory authority have the potential to be of great significance to drug and medical device companies fighting qui tam litigation.

Courts have increasingly recognized the potential for qui tam cases, especially meritless ones, to hinder FDA’s mission to promote and protect the public health. The Fourth Circuit in United States ex rel. Rostholder v. Omnicare, Inc. affirmed the district court’s grant of the defendant drug manufacturer’s motion to dismiss, holding that its submission of claims to the Government for payment of drugs allegedly packaged in violation of cGMP did not constitute fraud on the Government under the FCA.29 There, the court stated that relators failed to allege that defendants made a false statement or that they acted with the necessary scienter, as compliance with cGMP was not required for payment by Medicare and Medicaid. The court highlighted FDA’s significant remedial powers, including seizure, injunction, and recommending disapproval of new applications from the manufacturer, and found that allowing FCA liability based on regulatory non-compliance “could short circuit the very remedial process the Government has established to address non-compliance with those regulations.”30

In 2016, the First Circuit in United States ex el. D’Agostino v. Ev3, Inc. rejected the relator’s claims that the defendant device manufacturer’s allegedly fraudulent representations to FDA when seeking approval to market its medical devices caused the submission of false claims under the FCA.31 The First Circuit explained that qui tam actions based on claims of fraud on the FDA could undermine FDA’s public health responsibilities and lead to second-guessing of the agency’s decisions by juries. Pointing to the fact that FDA had chosen not to require a recall or relabeling of the devices at issue, and had not sought to withdraw product approval during the six-year period after FDA became aware of the allegations, the court held:

The FDA’s failure actually to withdraw its approval of [the subject device] in the face of D’Agostino’s allegations precludes D’Agostino from resting his claims on a contention that the FDA’s approval was fraudulently obtained. To rule otherwise would be to turn the FCA into a tool with which a jury of six people could retroactively eliminate the value of FDA approval and effectively require that a product largely be withdrawn from the market even when the FDA itself sees no reason to do so. The FCA exists to protect the government from paying fraudulent claims, not to second-guess agencies’ judgments about whether to rescind regulatory rulings.32

Likewise, in United States ex. rel. Petratos v. Genentech Inc., the Third Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of the defendant drug manufacturer’s motion to dismiss, finding that relator had failed to allege materiality under the FCA.33 The relator had alleged that the drug manufacturer concealed information about the health risks of its drug, but the relator did not dispute that the Government would reimburse claims even with full knowledge of the alleged deficiencies.34 The court described that even after the drug manufacturer’s alleged noncompliance had been disclosed to the Government, FDA maintained approval of the drug, approved additional indications, and did not initiate proceedings to require the manufacturer to change the drug’s label, thereby indicating that relators had failed to meet the high standard for alleging materiality established by the Supreme Court in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar.35 In Escobar, the Supreme Court had described the standard for materiality as demanding and rigorous, stating that “[t]he False Claims Act is not ‘an all-purpose antifraud statute,’ or a vehicle for punishing garden-variety breaches of contract or regulatory violations.”36

Since the issuance of the Granston Memo in 2018, the Government has increasingly recognized that meritless qui tam actions are a concern not only for defendants in such cases, but also for the Government itself, and the public. These actions can be a drain on limited Government resources and can interfere with agency expert determinations, priority setting, and policy considerations. They can also divert industry resources away from research and development and investment in manufacturing infrastructure, exacerbate product shortages, or result in increased prices for medical products, thus also undermining important Government interests and the public health generally.37 If the facts of a case are unfavorable to the Government, a ruling could lead to adverse precedent, which could ultimately make it more difficult for an agency to enforce its statutory and regulatory authority in a manner aligned with its policy and enforcement priorities. The Government’s decision to seek dismissal of appropriate FDCA-based FCA cases reflects its understanding that these types of FCA cases could make it harder for the FDA to enforce the FDCA as the agency deems appropriate and that the Government is acknowledging Congress did not intend the FCA as a tool for enforcing the FDCA.

Considerations for Discussions with DOJ during FCA Litigation

In light of the Granston memo and the evolving FCA landscape, defendants in the life sciences industry facing FCA litigation should consider whether and how to engage in discussions with DOJ attorneys regarding the potential for the Government to request (c)(2)(A) dismissal of cases in which the Government has declined to intervene.

As the cases described above illustrate, FCA litigation in the drug and medical device context has the potential to divert scarce resources to non-priority matters. Relators may easily underestimate how onerous FCA litigation can be for the agency, even when the Government has not intervened. For example, the burden accompanying discovery of FDA documents, many of which contain privileged and confidential information, may not be fairly appreciated by relators. Coordinating discovery across multiple FDA centers and offices and ensuring that any materials produced are appropriately redacted can be a challenging task, particularly when production of such materials is not a priority for the agency. As FDA-regulated products account for about 20 cents of every dollar spent by U.S. consumers,38 FDA’s resources are already spread thin. The agency cannot pursue every potential violation of the FDCA.

In addition to the use, or misuse, of scarce resources, there are other issues defendants should consider raising with DOJ. FCA litigation could second-guess agency expert determinations and undermine important FDA and public health policy interests, leading to unfavorable downstream consequences for the FDA and, ultimately, for the public health. Where FDA is aware of particular allegations and has made a determination that agency action is not warranted, or where the agency is already engaged in regulatory compliance activities with respect to a defendant that may be undermined by an FCA action, a request for dismissal may be appropriate and well-received.

In the context of FCA cases premised on alleged violations of cGMP requirements or other quality-related allegations, the threat of enforcement and a potential treble damages award could lead manufacturers to shut down production when faced with minor issues, potentially exacerbating drug shortages and adversely impacting public health. As drug shortages are of great concern to the FDA and the public,39 shortage implications of FCA action should be raised to the Government early in a Government FCA investigation or when urging the Government to seek to dismiss relator-led FCA litigation. In particular, if the issues raised by qui tam relators do not impact product quality in any material respect, a potential drug shortage resulting from FCA litigation could be extremely harmful to the public health.

With respect to FCA cases premised on allegedly off-label promotion of drugs or medical devices, FDA may not wish to pursue such action if it could potentially lead to unfavorable First Amendment precedent. The DOJ and FDA are already cautious about litigating cases raising First Amendment issues because judicial decisions may further expand on prior decisions where the courts have ruled against the Government.40 Further unfavorable precedent in this area could make it more difficult for FDA to pursue enforcement where the conduct at issue does risk patient harm.

Where safety-related labeling is at issue, if a relator continues litigation despite the Government’s objections, a judge or jury could determine that a defendant should have included information in labeling that FDA did not believe was required or prudent. When FDA reviews a potential label for a drug as part of a new drug application or a medical device as part of a premarket approval application, the agency carefully reviews the specific wording and ultimately approves a label based on its expert analysis. The agency does not require approved product labels to list every possible adverse event, as doing so could drown out the more significant risks. Allowing these types of FCA cases to proceed would be tantamount to allowing a judge or jury to second-guess FDA’s decisions, thereby inappropriately substituting agency expertise with the opinions of untrained individuals, potentially to the detriment of public health.

FDA, as the agency responsible for protecting the public health, requires the freedom to regulate the drug and medical device industries in accordance with its expert judgment. DOJ is beginning to recognize the potential risks of continued relator-led qui tam litigation of declined cases, both to Government priorities and the American public. When a DOJ investigation has determined that intervention is not warranted in a qui tam case because the allegations lack merit or FDA or other relevant federal agencies do not support the case for important policy reasons, defendants can and should marshal the evidence and arguments supporting a (c)(2)(A) dismissal by the Government. The recent (c)(2)(A) dismissal of a case against a drug manufacturer illustrates that even under the higher Sequoia Orange standard, dismissal may be appropriate where a relator continues to pursue litigation on its own despite FDA’s extensive oversight of the defendant and involvement in the Government’s decision not to intervene.41


In summary, if a drug or medical device company finds itself subject to a qui tam FCA action, it should highlight the considerations described above, and outlined in the Granston memo, in discussions with DOJ as the Government weighs whether to intervene or move to dismiss. Meritless FCA cases in the drug and medical device fields, where the FDA has powerful regulatory tools and authority, could ultimately lead to a negative impact on the public health. Such cases could also drain already scarce agency resources if FDA is forced to dedicate time and personnel to investigate situations where it has already exercised regulatory oversight. Lastly, discussions should remind DOJ of the purpose of the FCA – to provide a remedy for the Government when defendants submit a false claim to the Government or knowingly make a false record or statement to get a false claim paid by the Government. The FCA was not intended to be a tool for private individuals to seek monetary damages from life sciences companies for violations of the FDCA, especially when the FDA has already decided that regulatory action under that Act is not warranted or when such action has the potential to interfere with ongoing regulatory action or agency priorities.

  1. See United States ex rel. Franklin v. Parke-Davis, 147 F. Supp. 2d 39, 46 (D. Mass. 2001).
  2. See, e.g., DOJ, Generic Drug Manufacturer Ranbaxy Pleads Guilty and Agrees to Pay $500 Million to Resolve False Claims Allegations, cGMP Violations and False Statements to the FDA (May 13, 2013).
  3. See, e.g., DOJ, Boston Scientific and Subsidiaries to Pay $30 Million for Guidant’s Sale of Defective Heart Devices for Use in Medicare Patients (Oct. 17, 2013).
  4. See, e.g., DOJ, False Claims Act Cases: Government Intervention in Qui Tam (Whistleblower) Suits, (explaining that fewer than 25% of qui tam complaints lead to intervention by DOJ).
  5. See, e.g., United States ex rel. Rostholder v. Omnicare, Inc., 745 F.3d 694 (4th Cir. 2014); United States ex. rel. Petratos v. Genentech Inc., 855 F.3d 481 (3d Cir. 2017); United States ex el. D’Agostino v. ev3, Inc., 845 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2015); and Order Granting United States’ Motion to Dismiss, United States ex rel. Campie v. Gilead Sciences, Inc., No. C 11 0941 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 5, 2019).
  6. DOJ, Factors for Evaluating Dismissal Pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3730(c)(2)(A) (Jan. 10, 2018) (hereinafter “Granston Memo”). This memorandum was authored by Michael Granston, Director of the Civil Fraud Section of the Commercial Litigation Branch.
  7. Order Granting United States’ Motion to Dismiss, Campie, No. C 11 0941 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 5, 2019).
  8. 31 U.S.C. § 3729.
  9. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b).
  10. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(c)(2)(A).
  11. Granston Memo at 2.
  12. Id. at 3-7.
  13. Id.
  14. Swift v. United States, 318 F.3d 250, 252 (D.C. Cir. 2003).
  15. United States ex rel. Sequoia Orange Co. v. Baird-Neece Packing Corp., 151 F.3d 1139, 1145 (9th Cir. 1998). The Tenth Circuit has adopted the Sequoia Orange standard. Ridenour v. Kaiser-Hill Co., 397 F.3d 925, 936 (10th Cir. 2005).
  16. Granston Memo at 7.
  17. Id.
  18. DOJ, Justice Manual, (last visited Nov. 15, 2019).
  19. Order Granting United States’ Motion to Dismiss Relators’ Complaint, United States ex rel. SCEF, LLC v. Astrazeneca PLC, No. 17-cv-1328 (W.D. Wash. Nov. 5, 2019); United States ex rel. SMSPF, LLC v. EMD Serono, Inc., No. 16-cv-5594, 2019 WL 1468934 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 3, 2019); Order, United States ex rel. Health Choice Group, LLC. v. Bayer Corp., No. 5:17-cv-126 (E.D. Tex. Sept. 27, 2019); Order, United States ex rel. Health Choice Alliance, LLC v. Eli Lilly & Co., No. 5:17-cv-123 (E.D. Tex. Sept. 27, 2019); Order, United States ex rel. SMSF, LLC v. Biogen Inc., No. 1:16-cv-11379 (D. Mass. Dec. 18, 2018). In Health Choice Group and Health Choice Alliance, the relators have filed notices of appeal. See First Amended Notice of Appeal, United States ex rel. Health Choice Group, LLC. v. Bayer Corp., No. 5:17-cv-126 (E.D. Tex. Oct. 25, 2019); Second Amended Notice of Appeal, United States ex rel. Health Choice Alliance, LLC v. Eli Lilly & Co., No. 5:17-cv-123 (E.D. Tex. Oct. 25, 2019).
  20. United States ex. rel. CIMZNHCA, LLC v. UCB, Inc., No. 17-cv-765, 2019 WL 1598109 (S.D. Ill. Apr. 15, 2019). The Government filed a notice of interlocutory appeal on July 5, 2019. Amended Notice of Appeal, United States ex. rel. CIMZNHCA, LLC v. UCB, Inc., No. 17-cv-765 (S.D. Ill. July 5, 2019).
  21. Minute Entry, United States ex rel. Carle v. Otsuka Holdings Co., No. 17-cv-966 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 29, 2019) (granting voluntary dismissal and expressly denying Government’s motion to dismiss as moot); Order, United States ex rel. SAPF, LLC v. Amgen, Inc., No. 16-cv-5203 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 11, 2019); and Order, United States ex rel. Miller, v. AbbVie, Inc., No. 3:16-cv-2111 (N.D. Tex. May 9, 2019).
  22. United States ex rel. NHCA-TEV, LLC v. Teva Pharm., No. 17-cv-2040 (E.D. Pa.).
  23. Brief for the United States as Amicus Curiae at 14-16, Gilead Sciences, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Campie, 139 S. Ct. 783 (2019).
  24. Id.
  25. United States’ Motion to Dismiss Relators’ Second Amended Complaint at 10, United States ex rel. Campie v. Gilead Sciences, Inc., No. C-11-0941 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 28, 2019).
  26. Order Granting United States’ Motion to Dismiss, Campie, No. C-11-0941 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 5, 2019).
  27. Id. at 7, 12-13.
  28. Id. at 7, 9-11.
  29. United States ex rel. Rostholder v. Omnicare, Inc., 745 F.3d 694, 703 (4th Cir. 2014).
  30. Id. at 702 (internal citations omitted).
  31. United States ex el. D’Agostino v. Ev3, Inc., 845 F.3d 1, 8-9 (1st Cir. 2015).
  32. Id. at 8.
  33. United States ex. rel. Petratos v. Genentech Inc., 855 F.3d 481, 484 (3d Cir. 2017)
  34. Id. at 490.
  35. Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, 136 S. Ct. 1989, 1996 (2016) (holding that a “misrepresentation about compliance with a statutory, regulatory, or contractual relationship must be material to the Government’s payment decision in order to be actionable under the False Claims Act”).
  36. Id. at 2003 (citation and internal quotations omitted); see also Order Granting United States’ Motion to Dismiss at 12, Campie, No. C-11-0941 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 5, 2019) (explaining that FDA’s years-long investigation of the defendant, which did not result in “a recall or even a consumer or physician alert” for the defendant’s drugs, “casts some doubt on the element of materiality”).
  37. For example, as discussed above, the Government argued for dismissal of the Campie action by highlighting the resources expended on investigation and litigation, FDA’s ongoing regulatory oversight of the manufacturing processes for the drugs, and lack of action by the FDA against the drug manufacturer. United States’ Motion to Dismiss Relators’ Second Amended Complaint at 8-10, Campie, No. C-11-0941 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 28, 2019).
  38. FDA, Fact Sheet: FDA at a Glance, (last visited Nov. 15, 2019).
  39. See, e.g., FDA, Drug Shortages: Root Causes and Potential Solutions: A Report by the Drug Shortages Task Force (Oct. 2019); FDA, Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on FDA’s work to mitigate shortages of intravenous drugs, shorten supply disruptions and better predict vulnerabilities (May 31, 2018).
  40. See, e.g., United States v. Caronia, 703 F.3d 149 (2d Cir. 2012) (holding that First Amendment bars criminal prosecution for truthful, non-misleading speech promoting the lawful, off-label use of an FDA-approved drug); and Amarin Pharma, Inc. v. FDA, 119 F. Supp. 3d 196 (S.D.N.Y. 2015) (holding that First Amendment protects all truthful and non-misleading off-label speech).
  41. See Order Granting United States’ Motion to Dismiss at 7-14, Campie, No. C-11-0941 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 5, 2019).

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Ropes & Gray LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Ropes & Gray LLP

Ropes & Gray LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide

JD Supra Privacy Policy

Updated: May 25, 2018:

JD Supra is a legal publishing service that connects experts and their content with broader audiences of professionals, journalists and associations.

This Privacy Policy describes how JD Supra, LLC ("JD Supra" or "we," "us," or "our") collects, uses and shares personal data collected from visitors to our website (located at (our "Website") who view only publicly-available content as well as subscribers to our services (such as our email digests or author tools)(our "Services"). By using our Website and registering for one of our Services, you are agreeing to the terms of this Privacy Policy.

Please note that if you subscribe to one of our Services, you can make choices about how we collect, use and share your information through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard (available if you are logged into your JD Supra account).

Collection of Information

Registration Information. When you register with JD Supra for our Website and Services, either as an author or as a subscriber, you will be asked to provide identifying information to create your JD Supra account ("Registration Data"), such as your:

  • Email
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Company Name
  • Company Industry
  • Title
  • Country

Other Information: We also collect other information you may voluntarily provide. This may include content you provide for publication. We may also receive your communications with others through our Website and Services (such as contacting an author through our Website) or communications directly with us (such as through email, feedback or other forms or social media). If you are a subscribed user, we will also collect your user preferences, such as the types of articles you would like to read.

Information from third parties (such as, from your employer or LinkedIn): We may also receive information about you from third party sources. For example, your employer may provide your information to us, such as in connection with an article submitted by your employer for publication. If you choose to use LinkedIn to subscribe to our Website and Services, we also collect information related to your LinkedIn account and profile.

Your interactions with our Website and Services: As is true of most websites, we gather certain information automatically. This information includes IP addresses, browser type, Internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp and clickstream data. We use this information to analyze trends, to administer the Website and our Services, to improve the content and performance of our Website and Services, and to track users' movements around the site. We may also link this automatically-collected data to personal information, for example, to inform authors about who has read their articles. Some of this data is collected through information sent by your web browser. We also use cookies and other tracking technologies to collect this information. To learn more about cookies and other tracking technologies that JD Supra may use on our Website and Services please see our "Cookies Guide" page.

How do we use this information?

We use the information and data we collect principally in order to provide our Website and Services. More specifically, we may use your personal information to:

  • Operate our Website and Services and publish content;
  • Distribute content to you in accordance with your preferences as well as to provide other notifications to you (for example, updates about our policies and terms);
  • Measure readership and usage of the Website and Services;
  • Communicate with you regarding your questions and requests;
  • Authenticate users and to provide for the safety and security of our Website and Services;
  • Conduct research and similar activities to improve our Website and Services; and
  • Comply with our legal and regulatory responsibilities and to enforce our rights.

How is your information shared?

  • Content and other public information (such as an author profile) is shared on our Website and Services, including via email digests and social media feeds, and is accessible to the general public.
  • If you choose to use our Website and Services to communicate directly with a company or individual, such communication may be shared accordingly.
  • Readership information is provided to publishing law firms and authors of content to give them insight into their readership and to help them to improve their content.
  • Our Website may offer you the opportunity to share information through our Website, such as through Facebook's "Like" or Twitter's "Tweet" button. We offer this functionality to help generate interest in our Website and content and to permit you to recommend content to your contacts. You should be aware that sharing through such functionality may result in information being collected by the applicable social media network and possibly being made publicly available (for example, through a search engine). Any such information collection would be subject to such third party social media network's privacy policy.
  • Your information may also be shared to parties who support our business, such as professional advisors as well as web-hosting providers, analytics providers and other information technology providers.
  • Any court, governmental authority, law enforcement agency or other third party where we believe disclosure is necessary to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation, or otherwise to protect our rights, the rights of any third party or individuals' personal safety, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or safety issues.
  • To our affiliated entities and in connection with the sale, assignment or other transfer of our company or our business.

How We Protect Your Information

JD Supra takes reasonable and appropriate precautions to insure that user information is protected from loss, misuse and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. You should keep in mind that no Internet transmission is ever 100% secure or error-free. Where you use log-in credentials (usernames, passwords) on our Website, please remember that it is your responsibility to safeguard them. If you believe that your log-in credentials have been compromised, please contact us at

Children's Information

Our Website and Services are not directed at children under the age of 16 and we do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of 16 through our Website and/or Services. If you have reason to believe that a child under the age of 16 has provided personal information to us, please contact us, and we will endeavor to delete that information from our databases.

Links to Other Websites

Our Website and Services may contain links to other websites. The operators of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using our Website or Services and click a link to another site, you will leave our Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We are not responsible for the data collection and use practices of such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of our Website and Services and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Information for EU and Swiss Residents

JD Supra's principal place of business is in the United States. By subscribing to our website, you expressly consent to your information being processed in the United States.

  • Our Legal Basis for Processing: Generally, we rely on our legitimate interests in order to process your personal information. For example, we rely on this legal ground if we use your personal information to manage your Registration Data and administer our relationship with you; to deliver our Website and Services; understand and improve our Website and Services; report reader analytics to our authors; to personalize your experience on our Website and Services; and where necessary to protect or defend our or another's rights or property, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, safety or privacy issues. Please see Article 6(1)(f) of the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") In addition, there may be other situations where other grounds for processing may exist, such as where processing is a result of legal requirements (GDPR Article 6(1)(c)) or for reasons of public interest (GDPR Article 6(1)(e)). Please see the "Your Rights" section of this Privacy Policy immediately below for more information about how you may request that we limit or refrain from processing your personal information.
  • Your Rights
    • Right of Access/Portability: You can ask to review details about the information we hold about you and how that information has been used and disclosed. Note that we may request to verify your identification before fulfilling your request. You can also request that your personal information is provided to you in a commonly used electronic format so that you can share it with other organizations.
    • Right to Correct Information: You may ask that we make corrections to any information we hold, if you believe such correction to be necessary.
    • Right to Restrict Our Processing or Erasure of Information: You also have the right in certain circumstances to ask us to restrict processing of your personal information or to erase your personal information. Where you have consented to our use of your personal information, you can withdraw your consent at any time.

You can make a request to exercise any of these rights by emailing us at or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

You can also manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard.

We will make all practical efforts to respect your wishes. There may be times, however, where we are not able to fulfill your request, for example, if applicable law prohibits our compliance. Please note that JD Supra does not use "automatic decision making" or "profiling" as those terms are defined in the GDPR.

  • Timeframe for retaining your personal information: We will retain your personal information in a form that identifies you only for as long as it serves the purpose(s) for which it was initially collected as stated in this Privacy Policy, or subsequently authorized. We may continue processing your personal information for longer periods, but only for the time and to the extent such processing reasonably serves the purposes of archiving in the public interest, journalism, literature and art, scientific or historical research and statistical analysis, and subject to the protection of this Privacy Policy. For example, if you are an author, your personal information may continue to be published in connection with your article indefinitely. When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, we will either delete or anonymize it, or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible.
  • Onward Transfer to Third Parties: As noted in the "How We Share Your Data" Section above, JD Supra may share your information with third parties. When JD Supra discloses your personal information to third parties, we have ensured that such third parties have either certified under the EU-U.S. or Swiss Privacy Shield Framework and will process all personal data received from EU member states/Switzerland in reliance on the applicable Privacy Shield Framework or that they have been subjected to strict contractual provisions in their contract with us to guarantee an adequate level of data protection for your data.

California Privacy Rights

Pursuant to Section 1798.83 of the California Civil Code, our customers who are California residents have the right to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

You can make a request for this information by emailing us at or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

Some browsers have incorporated a Do Not Track (DNT) feature. These features, when turned on, send a signal that you prefer that the website you are visiting not collect and use data regarding your online searching and browsing activities. As there is not yet a common understanding on how to interpret the DNT signal, we currently do not respond to DNT signals on our site.

Access/Correct/Update/Delete Personal Information

For non-EU/Swiss residents, if you would like to know what personal information we have about you, you can send an e-mail to We will be in contact with you (by mail or otherwise) to verify your identity and provide you the information you request. We will respond within 30 days to your request for access to your personal information. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why. If you would like to correct or update your personal information, you can manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard. If you would like to delete your account or remove your information from our Website and Services, send an e-mail to

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our Privacy Policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use our Website and Services following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site, your dealings with our Website or Services, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

JD Supra Cookie Guide

As with many websites, JD Supra's website (located at (our "Website") and our services (such as our email article digests)(our "Services") use a standard technology called a "cookie" and other similar technologies (such as, pixels and web beacons), which are small data files that are transferred to your computer when you use our Website and Services. These technologies automatically identify your browser whenever you interact with our Website and Services.

How We Use Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to:

  1. Improve the user experience on our Website and Services;
  2. Store the authorization token that users receive when they login to the private areas of our Website. This token is specific to a user's login session and requires a valid username and password to obtain. It is required to access the user's profile information, subscriptions, and analytics;
  3. Track anonymous site usage; and
  4. Permit connectivity with social media networks to permit content sharing.

There are different types of cookies and other technologies used our Website, notably:

  • "Session cookies" - These cookies only last as long as your online session, and disappear from your computer or device when you close your browser (like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Safari).
  • "Persistent cookies" - These cookies stay on your computer or device after your browser has been closed and last for a time specified in the cookie. We use persistent cookies when we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example, we use them to remember your preferences for the next time you visit.
  • "Web Beacons/Pixels" - Some of our web pages and emails may also contain small electronic images known as web beacons, clear GIFs or single-pixel GIFs. These images are placed on a web page or email and typically work in conjunction with cookies to collect data. We use these images to identify our users and user behavior, such as counting the number of users who have visited a web page or acted upon one of our email digests.

JD Supra Cookies. We place our own cookies on your computer to track certain information about you while you are using our Website and Services. For example, we place a session cookie on your computer each time you visit our Website. We use these cookies to allow you to log-in to your subscriber account. In addition, through these cookies we are able to collect information about how you use the Website, including what browser you may be using, your IP address, and the URL address you came from upon visiting our Website and the URL you next visit (even if those URLs are not on our Website). We also utilize email web beacons to monitor whether our emails are being delivered and read. We also use these tools to help deliver reader analytics to our authors to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

Analytics/Performance Cookies. JD Supra also uses the following analytic tools to help us analyze the performance of our Website and Services as well as how visitors use our Website and Services:

  • HubSpot - For more information about HubSpot cookies, please visit
  • New Relic - For more information on New Relic cookies, please visit
  • Google Analytics - For more information on Google Analytics cookies, visit To opt-out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit This will allow you to download and install a Google Analytics cookie-free web browser.

Facebook, Twitter and other Social Network Cookies. Our content pages allow you to share content appearing on our Website and Services to your social media accounts through the "Like," "Tweet," or similar buttons displayed on such pages. To accomplish this Service, we embed code that such third party social networks provide and that we do not control. These buttons know that you are logged in to your social network account and therefore such social networks could also know that you are viewing the JD Supra Website.

Controlling and Deleting Cookies

If you would like to change how a browser uses cookies, including blocking or deleting cookies from the JD Supra Website and Services you can do so by changing the settings in your web browser. To control cookies, most browsers allow you to either accept or reject all cookies, only accept certain types of cookies, or prompt you every time a site wishes to save a cookie. It's also easy to delete cookies that are already saved on your device by a browser.

The processes for controlling and deleting cookies vary depending on which browser you use. To find out how to do so with a particular browser, you can use your browser's "Help" function or alternatively, you can visit which explains, step-by-step, how to control and delete cookies in most browsers.

Updates to This Policy

We may update this cookie policy and our Privacy Policy from time-to-time, particularly as technology changes. You can always check this page for the latest version. We may also notify you of changes to our privacy policy by email.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about how we use cookies and other tracking technologies, please contact us at:

- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.