Jordan Grotzinger

Jordan Grotzinger is a business trial lawyer. He represents companies in complex commercial litigation, including class actions involving consumer products and services and claims alleging false advertising and unfair competition. He also represents clients in the entertainment, real estate and other industries in various disputes.

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Massachusetts Retailers: Are Your Gift Certificate Policies Compliant with the Law?

Plaintiff class-action lawyers are now invoking the Massachusetts Gift Certificate Statute, General Laws Chapter 200A, Section 5D, as their latest vehicle to bring putative class action claims against companies doing business in Massachusetts under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act (Chapter 93A). Consumers are allegedly being misled about their rights to redeem gift certificates for cash, … Continue Reading

Wary of Class Action Abuses, Seventh Circuit Slams ‘Scandalous’ Settlement Over Allegedly Defective Windows

Recently, a District Court approved a class action settlement of an action against a manufacturer of allegedly defective windows.  The class representative was lead class counsel’s father-in-law; class counsel was embroiled in separate litigation and a state bar investigation over misappropriation of fees; the proposed settlement awarded class counsel $11 million in attorney’s fees without any … Continue Reading

Court Rejects Preemption and Primary Jurisdiction Arguments in “All Natural” Case

In our February 12, 2014 post, entitled “Consumer Class Actions Trending From Attacking ‘All Natural’ to ‘Raw,’” we addressed whether claims challenging consumer product advertising as “all natural” were preempted in the absence of specific guidance from the FDA and the mixed results the argument has produced.  In Ault v. J.M. Smucker Co. et al., 2014 … Continue Reading

Recent California Appellate Opinion Raises Issue of Concepcion’s Scope

On April 27, 2011, the Supreme Court in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740 (2011), cleared the way for consumer products companies and other businesses to incorporate class action waivers into their arbitration agreements with customers.  On April 7, 2014, the Second District Court of Appeal in California affirmed the denial of a … Continue Reading

Are Sugary Drink Warnings Coming to California?

California isn’t exactly known as a business-friendly state.  In some ways, the governor has tried to change that.  He’ll have an interesting choice to make if a recently-passed senate bill reaches his desk. Last week, the State Senate Committee on Health passed a measure that would require health warning labels on beverages with added sugar, … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Address Requirements for Class Action Removal

Consumer products companies are frequently the targets of nationwide class actions, and a common defense strategy includes removing these cases to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005. “CAFA” provides federal jurisdiction over certain class actions where the amount in controversy  exceeds $5 million. See 28 U.S.C.  §§ 1332(d)(2), (5). On April 7, 2014, the … Continue Reading

New Developments in Collecting ‘Personal Identification Information’ During Credit Card Transactions

Our Boston colleagues David G. Thomas, James P. Ponsetto and Michael E. Pastore recently authored a firm Alert as a follow up to a previous GT Alert regarding a consumer’s right to claim relief under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act (Chapter 93A). The new Alert provides an update on recent developments, and discusses how retailers can … Continue Reading

Sign up for a May 19, 2014 Webinar Presented by This Blog’s Editors on Work Product Protection of Communications With Expert Witnesses and Consultants

Litigation counsel are always sensitive about communications with experts, whether retained as witnesses or consultants. While the 2010 amendments to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 attempted to address common concerns and provide guidance on the scope of what is and is not discoverable, the new rule doesn’t provide all answers and the law continues … Continue Reading

National Survey Identifies Top Consumer Questions on GMOs

We frequently address issues relating to litigation over products advertised as “all natural” or containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. As interest in GMOs has grown (along with related litigation), an initiative known as GMO Answers has published new survey results identifying consumers’ top 10 questions about GMOs. GMO Answers is funded by the members of The … Continue Reading

Another ‘Evaporated Cane Juice’ Class Action Proceeds as the FDA Solicits Comments on the Description

On March 7, 2014, my colleague Justin Prochnow posted The Name Game:  FDA Revisits its 2009 Draft Guidance on ‘Evaporated Cane Juice,’ which addressed the FDA’s recent announcement that it is revisiting a 2009 draft guidance stating its position on the description “evaporated cane juice.”  The 2009 draft guidance took the position that describing the ingredient as … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Rejects ‘Gotcha’ Class Actions Under California Privacy Law

Consumer products companies increasingly do business online, which means they frequently collect, and sometimes share, customers’ personal information.  That practice makes companies potential class action targets under various privacy laws.  Recently, the Ninth Circuit rejected three similar putative class actions under California’s “Shine the Light” law (STL), Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1798.83-1798.84, and Unfair Competition Law … Continue Reading

Former Lance Armstrong Endorsement of Supplement Company FRS Doesn’t Support False Advertising Class Action, Court Rules

On February 25, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California dismissed a putative class action against supplement maker The FRS Company and its former endorser, cyclist Lance Armstrong, in the case of Martin v. FRS Company, et al., Case No. CV-13-01456-BRO (MANx).  The Plaintiffs, alleged purchasers of FRS products, claimed that … Continue Reading

Can a Consumer Products Company Moot Class Actions by Offering a Refund?

Many lawsuits over consumer products involve allegations that a product didn’t work as advertised, or that the manufacturer failed to adequately disclose how to use the product.  These cases often are filed by plaintiffs who have spent just a few dollars on the product and suffered no real damages, other than possibly the price of … Continue Reading

Strategy of Offering Refunds to Moot Class Actions Gains Traction

As addressed in a separate post on this blog, the Supreme Court’s decision in Symczyk v. Genesis Healthcare Corp., 133 S.Ct. 1523 (2013) and cases since raised the issue of whether a defendant’s unaccepted offer of judgment for complete relief can moot class actions before a class is certified, which in turn raises the issue … Continue Reading

Consumer Class Actions Trending From Attacking ‘All Natural’ to ‘Raw’

Last year saw a trend in consumer class actions attacking advertising for products labeled as “all natural.”  The cases produced mixed results, and the extent to which this theory will succeed remains unclear.  Some cases settled.  See, e.g., Trammell v. Barbara’s Bakery, 12-cv-02664 (N.D. Cal. June 21, 2013).  Others were dismissed.  See, e.g., Rapcinsky v. … Continue Reading
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