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Retail Industry Trade Regulation

The Retail Industry Trade Regulation Practice Group (“Retail Trade Practice Group”) is headed by Renée D. Wasserman, an experienced trial attorney. The Retail Trade Practice Group specializes in representing retailers and suppliers in the regulatory aspects of their business. Clients include large retail chains, grocery and drug stores on a national, regional and independent level and suppliers to California retailers.

The Retail Trade Group represents clients in a wide variety of lawsuits, but particularly those involving false advertising, unfair competition, consumer class-action litigation, retail hazardous wastes, Proposition 65, antitrust, unfair business practices, consumer legal remedies, disabled access laws (ADA and Unruh Act), and challenges to various state statutes, regulations and municipal ordinances affecting the retail industry. Our attorneys provide regulatory advice, but also have a breadth of experience in all aspects of litigation and alternatives to litigation such as mediation, arbitration and negotiating with state and municipal regulatory and enforcement agencies to avoid litigation.

Rogers Joseph O'Donnell’s Retail Trade Practice Group regularly analyzes discrete issues of business practices for our retail and supplier clients, advising them on the effect of federal, state and local laws on their sales and operations in California and nationwide. We provide advice on such diverse areas as packaging, labeling, advertising, licensing, internet and conventional sales and shipment of products, hazardous waste laws, toxic substance and consumer product safety laws. We have negotiated with federal, state and municipal agencies on behalf of our clients in resolving disputes and dealing with weights and measures, and environmental regulations, compliance with local ordinances and the sale of regulated products.

The Retail Trade Practice Group’s attorneys also specialize in analyzing and litigating a broad range of complex commercial* and environmental* cases.

Representative Cases and Issues:

  • Representation of major retailers and their suppliers in a multitude of Proposition 65 cases alleging failure to warn, including: Inflatable Children’s Toys and Sporting Goods (phthalates); Potato Chips, French fries (acrylamide); Coffee Products (acrylamide); Balsamic Vinegar (lead); Beef Products (PCB's and dioxins); Brass Irrigation (lead); Cables (phthalates); Calcium Supplements (lead); Crystal (lead); Decorated Glass and Ceramic Ware (lead and cadmium); Electric Cords (phthalates); Farmed Salmon (PCB's and dioxins); Fresh Fish (mercury); Jewelry (lead and cadmium); Fashion Accessories (phthalates); Lunch Boxes/Beverage Containers (phthalates); Smokeless Tobacco and Cigars (nicotine); Candy (lead); String Lights (phthalates); Tool Kits and Kitchen Utensils (phthalates); Fruit Juice and Fruit Products (lead)
  • Successful resolution of state actions brought against retailers for alleged unlawful handling and disposal of retail hazardous waste
  • Multi-party representation of suppliers and retailers in nationwide consumer class action in federal court alleging misrepresentation for sales of toy products containing asbestos
  • Representation of national retailers in weights and measures enforcement actions including pricing, MSRP and slack fill packaging
  • Negotiation of retailer violation of air quality laws in the sale of consumer products with the State Air Resources Board
  • Successful bifurcated trial and settlement of an unfair business practices case challenging a client’s limitation of liability clause in contract
  • Representation of major retailer in multi-party antitrust actions alleging price-fixing and solicitation of below cost sales
  • Dismissal of retail grocery chain from case alleging price-fixing in the sale of milk
  • Successful settlement of nationwide consumer class-action alleging misrepresentation by suppliers and sellers of computer monitors
  • Successful resolution of case brought against major retailers and suppliers for misrepresentation in sales of computer printers
  • Dismissal of an unfair business practices case against a national retailer for alleged sale of adulterated food product
  • Negotiation of retailer violations of State Alcoholic Beverage Control Act with the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
  • Representation of major retail grocer in litigation over sales of expired products
  • Dismissal of a case against a retailer of biomedical products alleging violations of federal labeling and packaging requirements
  • Negotiation with public interest group on behalf of retailer resulting in avoidance of disabled access suit
  • Successful representation of retailer in federal court regarding violation of ADA and Unruh Act disabled access laws, including cross claims against contractor for indemnity and against insurer for attorneys fees
  • Defense verdict for a large retailer after a two-week binding arbitration on a $2 million vendor claim for ceasing exclusive business dealings
  • Dismissal of a case against a national retail chain claiming unfair business practices in the sale of products under Federal Food Stamp Act and California Recycling Act
  • Advice to major retailers concerning compliance with federal, state and local laws on their operations nationwide in the area of licensing, sales and shipment of products, internet sales and web access, packaging and labeling
  • Representation of a major retailer in false advertising and unfair business practices class action based on the sale of a mislabeled consumer product
  • Representation before the California Supreme Court of two major retailers challenging use of decoys in alcoholic beverage sale compliance, resulting in state legislation mandating guidelines for the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and law enforcement agency in the use of decoys
  • Representation of Retailer Coalition challenging conditional use permits as unconstitutional regulation and taxation of retail alcohol beverage licensees
  • Negotiation of compliance exemption to local ordinance banning the use and sale of non-biodegradable packaging
  • Dismissal of suits brought in numerous California counties against retailers for sale of tobacco products to underage decoys
  • Successful settlement of unfair business practices cases brought against numerous retailers for alleged violation of federal regulations requiring warning signs for food additives
  • Negotiation of compliance exemptions to local ordinances restricting the sale and advertising of tobacco products

References available upon request.

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Retail Industry Trade Publications


Attorneys
Renée D. Wasserman (chair)
Robert C. Goodman
Walter S. Chen
James Robert Maxwell
Alexis J. Morris

*Environmental / 
 Complex Commercial