Author: Gibbons P.C.

New Jersey Appellate Division Finds No Ascertainable Loss Where a Plaintiff Never Used a Product and Made Hypothetical Allegations of Loss

On May 31, 2022, the Appellate Division in Hoffman v. Pure Radiance, Inc. affirmed the trial court’s order granting summary judgment for a defendant and dismissing the plaintiff’s Consumer Fraud Act (CFA) claims because the plaintiff could not show that he suffered an ascertainable loss where he never used the product and his allegations were not supported by facts. In this putative class action, serial plaintiff Harold Hoffman sued defendant Pure Radiance, Inc., alleging that it falsely marketed a hair growth product. Specifically, Pure Radiance advertised that its product Re-Nourish could help an individual regrow “a thick, full head of hair, even after years of balding” and was “the world’s first and only hair loss solution that revives dead hair follicles” to regrow hair “in just 30 days.” The advertisement also showed a before-and-after picture of a man’s head, with the before picture showing a balding head and the after picture showing a full head of hair. Based on this advertisement, Hoffman purchased the product and then, after researching the product but before ever trying it himself, filed a proposed class action alleging, among other things, that the ad contained material misrepresentations and that he suffered an ascertainable loss by reason of his purchase of the product for $108.90. Significantly, Hoffman did not receive the...

Parties’ Obligations Under the Federal Rules “Reign” Supreme and Render Language in ESI Protocol Unnecessary

In Raine Group v. Reign Capital, the Southern District of New York highlighted parties’ affirmative obligations under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26 and 34 when conducting ESI searches and determining the identities of custodians and locations of relevant documents or information. In particular, the court emphasized that an agreement regarding keyword search terms should work in “tandem” with the responding party’s independent and inherent obligations to search for and produce documents that are “reasonably accessible, relevant, and responsive within the meaning of Rule 34.” The court also made clear that parties have a fair degree of autonomy in determining what is “reasonable” under Rules 26 and 34. In this trademark infringement case, the plaintiff, a merchant bank with more than 100 employees, objected to certain provisions proposed by the defendant, a two-person real estate firm, in the parties’ ESI protocol and proposed search terms. After the parties’ failure to reach a resolution, the court intervened. The court ruled that the defendant’s proposed language regarding the parties’ search obligations in the ESI protocol was unnecessary, given the scope of Fed. R. Civ. P. 26 and 34, and because the provisions were overbroad. Specifically, the defendant’s proposal including the following provisions: “The parties also acknowledge that, apart from this ESI protocol, each party has an independent...

Gibbons Recognized as a Leading Firm in 2022 ‘Chambers USA Guide’

The 2022 edition of the Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business features the highest numbers of Gibbons P.C. practices and attorneys ever ranked in the publication in one year. The 2022 guide recognized 12 Gibbons practice areas, with 27 firm attorneys earning individual rankings. Three attorneys and one practice were selected for the first time this year. One of the legal industry’s leading client- and peer-review resources, Chambers annually rates the nation’s leading business lawyers and law firms through both comprehensive interviews with top companies, attorneys, and business executives, and extensive supplementary research. For the full list of Gibbons practice areas and attorneys highlighted in the 2022 guide, please click here.

Gibbons New York-Based Director and E-Discovery Task Force Co-Chair Mark S. Sidoti to Co-Present on ADA Website Accessibility Compliance

With the Department of Justice not yet issuing regulatory action on website accessibility pertaining to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), e-commerce and other businesses need to interpret and apply conflicting guidance to be prepared to deal with the seemingly inevitable demand letter or lawsuit. On May 24, Gibbons Director and E-Discovery Task Force Co-Chair Mark S. Sidoti will co-present the live, interactive Strafford webinar, “ADA Compliance and Website Accessibility: Circuit Split, Online Accessibility ACT, W3C Guidance.” This CLE program will provide corporate counsel with the necessary tools to mitigate liability for websites or mobile apps that do not comply with the ADA. Mr. Sidoti and his fellow panelists will discuss the conflicting legal authority in various jurisdictions, how this authority affects this type of litigation, and current trends in this area of the law. Additionally, they will address best practices for mitigating risks of an ADA website claim as well as navigating liability and damages when a claim has been filed. Mr. Sidoti, also Director of Commercial & Criminal Litigation at Gibbons based in the firm’s New York office, has extensive experience counseling clients regarding website access and compliance requirements under the ADA and other disability laws, and has represented numerous companies in website litigation. He has written and presented frequently on this topic....

NAIOP-NJ’s Public Policy Symposium

Gibbons P.C. is proud to serve as Event Sponsor for NAIOP-NJ’s Public Policy Symposium, on March 23, 2022 at the Carpenters Apprentice Training Center in Edison, NJ. We hope that you can join us and the greater NAIOP-NJ membership as we hear from the new Senate and Assembly leadership teams, along with the Mayors of Newark and Paterson, and the development community as they discuss how to keep New Jersey prosperous and growing. To register: NAIOP New Jersey – Public Policy Symposium (1 Credit) (wildapricot.org).

Gibbons P.C. Presents “Keys to Negotiating Better Software and Software-as-a-Service Agreements”

From May 17-19, Peter J. Frazza, a Director in the Gibbons Commercial & Criminal Litigation Group, will lead a seminar in Las Vegas analyzing the negotiation of software licenses and software-as-a-service agreements, including data protection and privacy issues companies face that are specific to software transactions, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Mr. Frazza has over 30 years of experience handling complex lawsuits and contract negotiations on behalf of licensees and users in software licensing and software-as-a-service matters. For additional seminar details or to register, visit https://conta.cc/3CFGxws.

Gibbons Is NJ’s Top Lawyer-Lobbying Firm for 14th Straight Year

For the fourteenth year in a row, Gibbons P.C. has been ranked the #1 lawyer-lobbying firm in New Jersey, according to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (NJ ELEC), which today released its report on 2021 lobbying expenditures in the state. The firm, whose Government & Regulatory Affairs Group celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, also ranked sixth in the state among all lobbying practices. In 2021, the Gibbons Government & Regulatory Affairs Group increased its revenues over the prior year, even while overall lobbying expenditures in the state fell by over 12 percent. “Our lawyer-lobbyists are equally focused on helping clients achieve their business goals and maintaining excellent working relationships in the executive and legislative branches in both Trenton and Washington, regardless of which party is in power,” said Patrick C. Dunican Jr., Executive Chairperson of Gibbons. Peter J. Torcicollo, the firm’s Managing Director, added, “Our presence, influence, and longstanding relationships allow us to provide creative, strategic solutions to a wide-ranging client base that has, for 20 years, turned to Gibbons as New Jersey’s ‘go to’ lawyer-lobbying firm for tackling the legislative and regulatory issues that impact bottom lines.” Gibbons opened its Trenton office and launched its Government & Regulatory Affairs Group in 2002 to offer public, private, and nonprofit sector clients the...

Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order to Prevent State Resources from Supporting the Russian Government

Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 291 (“EO 291”) on March 2, 2022, which requires all state agencies to review their authority to suspend or revoke licenses, permits, registrations, and certifications of businesses that invest directly in companies owned or controlled by the governments of Russia, Belarus, or their instrumentalities, and businesses that invest directly in such companies. EO 291 also directs all relevant State agencies to undertake a review of the State’s ability to boycott or halt the import or purchase of products or services provided from Russia or Belarus. EO 291 is broad-reaching in its scope and includes: Boycotting or halting the import or purchase of any products or services provided from the Russian Federation or Belarus, including, but not limited to, food products, energy products, clothing products, jewelry, and liquor or other alcoholic beverages made in the Russian Federation or Belarus. Reviewing all relevant State contracts to determine if any are with companies owned or controlled by the governments of Russia, Belarus, or their instrumentalities, or businesses that invest directly in such companies, directly or as subcontractors. Requiring the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance to issue bulletins or directives to regulated entities requiring them to fully comply with United States sanctions on the Russian Federation and Belarus, as well as with...

David J. Freeman Co-Authors Article for Bloomberg News on the Future of New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program

David J. Freeman, a Director in the Gibbons P.C. Environmental Group, has co-authored an article with Lawrence P. Schnapf for Bloomberg Law on New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP). The two authors, who co-chair the New York State Bar Association’s Brownfields Task Force, are well positioned to offer insights on the future of the program. The tax credit provisions of the BCP, a key feature of the highly successful program, are scheduled to expire at the end of this year. New York Governor Kathy Hochul has supported efforts to expand and reauthorize the tax credit provisions. The article describes the current tax credit provisions and the key features of Governor Hochul’s proposal, which would result in a ten-year extension of the BCP tax credits. The article also describes changes to the BCP program recommended by other interested stakeholders and in bills introduced by the legislature in last year’s session. The article notes that, while a positive step, the Governor’s proposed reforms “fall short of the changes recommended by the New York State Bar Association, community groups, and developers, and in bills introduced in last year’s legislative session.” Noting that developments in the next two months may impact the shape of BCP for the next ten years, the authors recommend that interested stakeholders make their voices...