The Food and Drug Administration has proposed revoking the regulation that authorizes the use of brominated vegetable oil (BVO) in food because the agency no longer considers it safe. Public comments on the proposed rule are due Jan. 17, 2024. Read on to learn what California and New York are doing related to BVO and which other ingredients the FDA is reviewing.

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed into law the California Food Safety Act and amendments to the 2020 Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act. Together, they ban four additives commonly used in popular snacks and beverages, and an additional 26 chemicals found in many personal care products.

Read on for details about these developments impacting food and personal care manufacturers, distributors and retailers.

Massachusetts is increasing its enforcement in the motor vehicle repossession space. On Jan. 17, the state Attorney General’s Office stated that it is “conducting an investigation” into “entities collecting, servicing and/or funding” motor vehicle-secured retail installment contracts. Read on to learn about two primary areas of compliance the state is targeting and implications for debt collectors and other companies involved in this area.

On June 26, the Federal Trade Commission announced a proposed consent order resolving allegations against a group of leather and other clothing accessory companies regarding Made in USA claims in online and print materials and qualified Made in USA claims on product labels. Read on for details about this enforcement action and key takeaways for companies that market or label their products as Made in USA.

Introduction

If you have ever telephoned a customer support hotline to be greeted with an explanation that “this call may be monitored for quality assurance,” you are familiar with the implications of various state laws governing the recording of telephone conversations. Most states have cold-war era wiretapping laws, with some states providing for two-party consent, meaning the recording party must announce to the other party it plans to record the call. Thus, the industry standard practice is to announce the call shall be recorded to avoid civil liability from such wiretapping statutes that provide private rights of action.

Continue Reading CIPA: An Old Statute Provides a New Frontier for Serial Filing Plaintiffs Against Retailers with Online Chat Services

On June 23, 2023, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Coinbase, Inc. v. Bielski, No. 22-105, 2023 WL 4138983 (U.S. June 23, 2023), that will provide further protection for parties seeking arbitration. The issue presented to the Court was whether a district court must stay its proceedings while an interlocutory appeal on the question of arbitrability is ongoing. The Court held that a district court must stay its proceedings pending such an appeal.

Continue Reading Supreme Court Rules that District Courts Must Stay Proceedings Pending Interlocutory Appeals of Denials of Motions to Compel Arbitration

GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, an American Lawyer Media publication, has selected McGuireWoods partners Greg RiegleChris Thanner and John Visconsi as 2023 Globe St. Influencers in Retail Real Estate. The honorees, all members of the firm’s Real Estate & Land Use Department, were profiled in a May 1, 2023, story.

Continue Reading Three McGuireWoods Partners Named ‘Influencers in Retail’ by ALM’s GlobeSt.

Over the past few years, many state legislatures have focused on data privacy and security. California, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Utah and Virginia have already passed comprehensive data privacy laws. Many other states have introduced bills that are likely to become law.

Read on for a brief overview of common requirements among these state laws — and potential penalties.

In response to a wave of Supreme Court decisions affirming the enforceability of class action waivers in arbitration agreements, plaintiffs’ firms began using the arbitration agreement’s language (and/or the arbitration provider’s rules) requiring that the entity pay virtually all the fees and costs associated with arbitration against the entities that drafted them through a process now referred to as “mass arbitration.”

Continue Reading A Primer on Mass Arbitration

In recent months, retailers have faced increased pressure from litigation related to their sales practices. While there is overlap, sales practices litigation can fall into four different buckets: pricing, data collection, auto-renewal, and “free” lawsuits. This post focuses on trends in recently filed pricing litigation.

Continue Reading The Price Isn’t Right?