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The most enduring customer relationships are built on trust. For the overwhelming majority of businesses, this trust is created by making and marketing high-quality products and services in an open, truthful manner. 

In today’s market, however, advertisers in every industry face intense scrutiny from federal and state regulators and law enforcement officials. Competitors and consumer plaintiffs have become increasingly sophisticated in their use of the Lanham Act, the rules of the National Advertising Division (NAD), and state consumer protection laws to pursue allegations of unfair and deceptive practices.

To help clients address these challenges, Hunton & Williams LLP offers a strong bench of former federal and state regulators and law enforcement officials prepared to help businesses address and resolve even the most complex government investigations, competitor, and consumer lawsuits.

However, even the most effective counsel cannot always ensure that a dispute will not escalate. When disagreements can only be resolved in court, we deploy our skilled trial lawyers to represent clients before juries, district and appellate judges, and administrative panels. As a result, our experience is varied, useful, and indicative of our deep bench.

Experience

  • Selected representations include:

    • Represented Fortune 25 company in a 226,000-member consumer class action in which plaintiff alleged false advertising and violation of unfair trade practices statutes in the advertising and sale of consumer electronics products. Obtained defense verdict after a three-week trial.
    • Represented Fortune 25 technology company in related state and nationwide consumer class actions in nine different states, involving allegations of unfair and deceptive trade practices and breach of warranty in the advertising and marketing of consumer electronics and computer products. Member of client's defense panel for 20 other cases involving 22 million putative class members. Client obtained a global settlement for a nominal amount after several defense victories.
    • Represented Fortune 25 company in alleged nationwide consumer class actions involving allegations of unfair and deceptive trade practices in the advertising and marketing of personal computers. Obtained favorable settlements after discovery, which were approved by trial courts.
    • Served as nationwide counsel for medical device manufacturer in decertifying nationwide class and obtaining dismissal of product liability, unfair competition and CLRA claims.
    • Defending an appliance manufacturer in a consumer class action under
      California’s unfair practices and false advertising statutes. Plaintiff alleges that all of the client’s washing machines have a particular undisclosed defect.
    • Representing a sunscreen manufacturer in a putative class action alleging that the product manufacturer misled consumers into believing that high SPF values and certain language on its products afforded greater protection.
    • Represented a tobacco manufacturer in a putative nationwide class action where plaintiffs sought to certify a worldwide class of all persons who ever (from 1971 to the present) bought a light cigarette in Georgia manufactured by our client. Plaintiffs alleged that our client made false statements on the packaging and in the advertising of various brands of light cigarettes. They sought reimbursement of all or part of the purchase price of all such light cigarettes. Plaintiffs dismissed their claims on the eve of the class certification hearing.
    • Represented an electronics manufacturer in a putative nationwide class action brought against several MP3 player manufacturers. Plaintiff alleged unfair and deceptive trade practices and false advertising in respect to the memory capacity of defendants’ MP3 players. After depositions of the named plaintiffs, defendants settled the named plaintiffs’ claims for a nominal amount and plaintiffs’ counsel dropped the litigation.
    • Represented nation’s largest provider of funeral and cemetery services and corporate officers in multiple putative class actions alleging improper burial practices and unfair and deceptive trade practices relating to advertising and marketing of burial and funeral services. In a federal action removed by defendants to federal court over plaintiffs’ objections, the named plaintiffs’ claims were dismissed for lack of standing, a result that was affirmed on appeal. In a Florida state court action, class action allegations were dismissed at pleadings stage (affirmed on appeal).
    • Representing a beverage manufacturer in the defense of a false advertising class action claiming plaintiffs were misled by the label’s language identifying the whiskey producer.
    • Represented leading juice manufacturer as national coordinating counsel in multiple national cases involving allegedly deceptive marketing of apple juice. These matters were filed and handled throughout the United States.
    • Defended energy drink manufacturer with respect to unfair competition/17200 claims related to product distribution agreements.
    • Represented Fortune 10 energy and petrochemicals company in consumer fraud and products liability litigation involving deceptive marketing of plastic piping in Florida.