FTC

Welcome back to Above the Four Loko. In today’s episode, we find that the drink that used to combine alcohol and caffeine in really obvious ways has settled a false advertising suit with the Federal Trade Commission.

As we’ve discussed often with Four Loko, the alcoholic kick IS the appeal of the product. This drink is not getting by on its taste.

But it appears that regulators can’t grasp this simple point. So, as part of the settlement, Four Loko is being forced to make it more obvious just how potent their drink is.

Uhh… okay….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Four Loko Settles With FTC — Will Improve ‘Warning’ That Product Will Get You Drunk”

Really? You're still suing?

* Sorry Missouri, but your reign as the “Show Me” state is over. Thanks to its immigration law, Alabama is going to be taking over as the “Show Me Your Papers” state. [CNN]

* Time to review the footage. Irving Picard stands to lose the game for the Investors if he can’t get an instant replay on Judge Rakoff’s home run decision for the Mets. [Bloomberg]

* Reebok has to pay out $25M in refunds because contrary to popular opinion, wearing a pair of sneakers won’t give you a nicer butt. Dammit, foiled again. [Blog of Legal Times]

* The EEOC is suing because a 680-pound man was allegedly fired for being too fat. Everything really is bigger in Texas, and now it’s considered a disability. [Houston Chronicle]

* Unpaid interns who worked on “Black Swan” are suing because they didn’t benefit from the job. Seriously? They should be sued for not appreciating all the film’s HLA. [New York Times]

David Boreanaz

* What kind of a tour bus does Willie Nelson have? A cannabus. The singer won’t have to make a pit stop to sing in court on his maryjane charges. [New York Daily News]

* How is there a human trafficking problem in Michigan? Are they all Canadians? No one cares if Canadians aren’t getting their fair share of maple syrup. [Chicago Tribune]

* The FTC can be a real Buzz-kill. Google settled its privacy case with the feds over its failed social networking site. [Bloomberg]

* The big O avoids the big ©: my FAAAAAVORITE talk show host doesn’t have to pony up $100M. That makes me want to scream, cry, and then pee my pants. [Crimesider / CBS News]

* Let me save you the trouble: Dockette, your comment about dwarfs was completely inappropriate. I hope that you turn into a dwarf. [Washington Post]

* David Boreanaz settled a wangtastic lawsuit about his peen — and rightfully so, because the show is called Bones, not Boners. [E! Online]

* Howrey gonna make ends meet? By moving to Baker Hostetler. [Am Law Daily]

Every once in a while, we talk about fashion here at ATL, such as our recent post on the Chicago Bar Association’s (confusing) advice for how legal types should dress.

But the real experts on fashion here in the Breaking Media offices are the ladies at our sister site Fashionista. They’ve recently weighed in on how Ann Taylor LOFT got around the new FTC regulations for bloggers and on Fordham University’s new Fashion Law Institute

Given students’ difficulties finding “regular” law jobs, Fordham is apparently thinking outside of the box. Elle Woods would be proud.

Ann Taylor’s Blogger Initiative Made the FTC Uncomfortable [Fashionista]
Fashion Law at Fordham [Fashionista]

rtfm Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgIf so, then Uncle Sam wants you. The feds need your valuable skills — badly.
First the Department of Justice produces original documents, instead of copy sets, to Congress. And now, the AP reports on a screw-up by the FTC:

Lawyers for the FTC electronically filed documents as part of [its] court case [challenging the Whole Foods purchase of Wild Oats] yesterday afternoon. Court officials realized the redacted portions of the document could easily be read and blocked it from being downloaded from court computer servers. The Associated Press downloaded the document from the public server before it was replaced by a properly redacted version.

In the original version, the words looked redacted but were actually just electronically shaded black. The words could be searched, copied, pasted and read. The second version of the document was filed using scanned pages of the redacted documents. There is no way to remove the blacked-out portions from the final copy.

In a statement late Tuesday, Whole Foods said it was investigating the “apparent improper release by the Federal Trade Commission of confidential proprietary business information.”

So bite your tongue next time you want to dismiss document production as mindless drudgery. If the DOJ and the FTC can’t get it right, surely there must be SOME skill involved, right?
Error by FTC Reveals Whole Foods’ Trade Secrets [Associated Press]
Earlier: Earth to DOJ: Document Production Isn’t That Hard

* Wow, talk about passive-aggressive behavior. (The husband, not the wife.) [Island Packet]
* The FTC may be good at many things, but creative punny language is not one of them. [Truth on the Market]
* Sexual harassment: once a dog, always a dog. [Reuters / Oddly Enough]
* I blame the same wiring responsible for guys’ breasts-as-stimuli reaction for the double take on that guy with the Che Guevara neck tatt. Reflex trumps judgment. [Agoraphilia]

box for mailing Above the Law Legal Blog.JPGWe’ve all done it: Use of office resources for personal purposes. Maybe you take the occasional personal call on your office telephone. Maybe you used the work fax machine to receive a one-page tax document from your accountant. Maybe you took some paperwork home with you one night, along with an office-issued ballpoint pen, and later used that pen to take down your mother’s chicken casserole recipe, as she read it to you over the phone.
If it’s de minimis use, then it’s okay. But this might have been, um, de maximus:

According to court records, while an attorney in the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, Seth Zimmerman used his office’s Federal Express account to send Redskins tickets to eBay bidders….

The FTC says he cost the federal government $1,938. FedEx also says it lost $3,880 due to the discount shipping rate given to the federal government. According to the plea agreement, Zimmerman also profited by charging each buyer an additional $12 fee for the FedEx delivery.

Two grand strikes us as a sizable sum. But there is room for argument. Zimmerman might respond: “Come on, feds, lighten up! Isn’t that just, like, three Pentagon toilet seats — not even the padded kind?”
So how was the fraud detected? Was an elaborate investigation required?

In August 2004, investigators at the Office of Inspector General for the FTC were contacted by people complaining that tickets they bought from Zimmerman on eBay were never delivered.

What could have been some difficult Internet sleuthing was made easier because Zimmerman used his FTC e-mail address to set up his eBay account. The inspector general subpoenaed records from eBay showing that Zimmerman had been buying and selling tickets on the site since 2001.

Seth, it’s called Gmail. Try it, you might like it.
(Yes, we know: even if Zimmerman had used Gmail, if he used it from his work computer, messages could still be traced back to him using his IP address. But at least then the investigators would have WORK a little to uncover his identity, instead of having it served up on a silver platter.)
Penalty Box: FTC Lawyer No ‘Overnight Sensation’ [Legal Times (pass-through link) via NYLawyer.com]

musical chairs above the law legal blog above the law legal tabloid above the law legal gossip site.GIFThe latest news on the most notable moves within the profession:
Government to Private Sector:
* Seth Silber, to Wilson Sonsini (as counsel), from the FTC. (Quips our tipster: “What a lovely week to join that particular firm!”)
New Office Openings:
* Crowell & Moring — aka “Cruel & Boring”*** — is opening a New York office. They’ve grabbed litigator William McSherry, from Arent Fox, and patent lawyer Janet McLeod, from Dorsey & Whitney, to kick things off.
* The exceedingly profitable, Houston-based Susman Godfrey is opening a New York office, headed by name partner Stephen Susman.
Lateral Private Sector Moves:
* Bankruptcy guru Paul Basta, to Kirkland & Ellis, from Weil Gotshal & Manges.***
* Patent litigators Joseph O’Malley and Bruce Wexler, to Paul Hastings (NY), from Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto.
*** “Cruel and Boring” is just a silly nickname for Crowell & Moring that we’ve heard around town. We have no idea as to whether it has any factual basis. We just think using nicknames for law firms is fun.
Other law firm nicknames we’ve heard: Weil Gotshal & Manges = “We’ll Getcha & Mangle Ya” (self-explanatory); Cravath Swaine & Moore = “The Death Star” (self-explanatory); Davis Polk & Wardwell = “The Teahouse on Lexington Avenue” (for their penchant for hiring geishas attractive Asian-American females — don’t get mad at us, we didn’t make it up).
(Feel free to add more law firm nicknames in the comments to this post.)
On The Move [Antitrust Review]
Basta Says Hasta to Weil Gotshal [WSJ Law Blog]
DC Firm Opens NY Office [NYLawyer.com]
Houston Firm Opens Manhattan Office [NYLawyer.com]
Firm Adds NY Patent Litigators [NYLawyer.com]

musical chairs above the law legal blog above the law legal tabloid above the law legal gossip site.GIFA few moves to report today:
Lateral Moves:
* Antitrust attorney Jeffrey Brennan, to Dechert (DC), from the FTC (where he was Associate Director of the Bureau of Competition and Assistant Director of the Bureau’s Health Care Services and Products Division).
* Capital markets lawyer Rachel Coan, to Morrison & Foerster (NY), from LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae.
* White-collar and securities litigator Stephen Ascher, to Jenner & Block (NY), from Kronish Lieb.
On The Move [Antitrust Review]
Federal Trade Commission Associate Director Jeffrey W. Brennan Joins Dechert LLP [Dechert]
NY Capital Markets Partner Switches Firms [NYLawyer.com]
NY Partner Leaves Merging Firm [NYLawyer.com]

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