Consumer Protection

Brownstein takes a multi-disciplinary approach to serving clients who market consumer products and services. Our litigators, experienced in consumer protection claims, skillfully address the legal challenges that arise from individual and class-action plaintiffs as well as government agencies. Our regulatory and compliance counsel catch your litigation risks before they leave your building and help you obtain pro-industry policy through agency rulemaking. Brownstein’s intellectual property and privacy attorneys protect your assets through registrations, business-minded contracts, data collection practices and website privacy and cybersecurity incident response plans. For clients in highly-regulated and emerging industries, we obtain licenses and our government relations personnel pave the way for better and more informed governance at the federal, state and local levels.

We provide coordinated, relationship-based service and work with clients to develop and update policies and procedures for pre-existing or new consumer products and services and conduct on-site or remote compliance reviews. We derive our expertise in class actions and regulatory work from the highest reaches of government and as staff in the halls of Congress. Our experience extends to local levels, as well, where we employ our relationships and subject matter expertise to help clients with their licensing and regulatory examination issues.

Representative Matters
  • Advised a high-end regional retailer in a matter with the Colorado Attorney General's Uniform Consumer Credit Code Administrator in an investigation regarding its "house account" loans. Brownstein attorneys advocated to the state that the client's loans were only incidental to its retail trade, therefore it was not under the UCCC Administrator's authority. In addition, the Brownstein team revised loan agreements and disclosures to ensure that it's client employs lending best practices.

  • Represent multiple nationwide financial services companies before the Colorado Uniform Consumer Credit Code (UCCC) Administrator and other state attorneys general on issues including the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Regulation Z (Reg Z), credit insurance, the Telephone Solicitation Rule (TSR) and state law equivalents, partnership agreements with banks and licensed brokers, mortgage origination, as well as other provisions of the Colorado UCCC and state law. Through early understanding of issues and straightforward discussions with regulators, Sarah’s team guides companies to fair and efficient resolutions with lending regulators. The Brownstein team has a local presence with regulators in California, Colorado, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

  • Filed a lawsuit against a major credit card bank for failing to properly investigate and respond to the client’s credit card fraud disputes arising from a money laundering conspiracy. This case involves vindicating customer rights under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) and Utah tort laws of negligence and misrepresentation related to onboarding and vetting credit card merchants.

  • Act as outside financial services regulator for federally-recognized American Indian Tribes. Tribes are sovereigns that must have their own government regulators to make sure business operations within their boundaries are legal and safe. Sarah and her team use her experience standing up the CFPB to stand-up regulatory commissions with similar supervision and enforcement authorities as the CFPB and state departments of finance. This work ensures that tribal lender consumers receive the same regulatory protections as state-licensed lenders and that tribal governments exercise control and direction of their economic development projects.

  • In less than 90 days, Brownstein attorneys helped Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver start-up and license a stand-alone mortgage lending and servicing affiliate. Support for this project included entity creation, transfer of mortgage assets between affiliates, and the creation and implementation of policies, procedures, and disclosures necessary for state and federal consumer financial protection compliance.

  • Advise CoinLion in its compliance, licensing, and consumer-facing materials. Coinlion is a trading and portfolio management platform that allows users to easily and efficiently manage and trade cryptocurrency. There are over 1,500 different cryptocurrencies with more emerging every day. Coinlion is the world's first cryptocurrency trading platform with built-in portfolio management, social integration, and token incentivization.

  • Successfully represented as amici the lending regulatory commission of an American Indian Tribe, the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake, in a lawsuit filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, alleging that lenders regulated by the commission violated federal unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices (UDAAP) prohibitions because the tribally-owned and regulated lenders did not comply with some states’ lending laws. The lenders filed a motion to dismiss. Instead of responding to the arguments raised by the lenders, the Commission, and others, the Bureau filed a notice of voluntary dismissal.

  • Defended and successfully resolved product liability litigation on behalf of agriculture product manufacturer.

  • Developed and conducted a consumer protection audit for public hospitality company in the time-share market. The audit entailed reviewing every consumer-facing aspect of the company’s business including its compliance with state and federal consumer protection laws. Following the audit, conducted multiple training sessions for all of the company’s consumer-facing employees and management.

  • Successfully moved to dismiss Colorado Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) case brought by a competitor in Colorado against two Florida companies in the automobile ancillary insurance industry and their officers and directors. The court ruled that the plaintiff failed to plead the requisite elements of a CCPA claim and failed to establish personal jurisdictions over the individual officers and directors. Notably, the court rejected plaintiff’s argument that the harm element was satisfied by merely pleading that the plaintiff was a competitor and therefore suffered injury.

  • Designed and conducted due diligence on behalf of venture capital fund that specializes in the educational fin tech space. Also advised client on compliance with state and federal consumer protection laws and regulations.

  • Developed and conducted a consumer protection audit for a for-profit education company specializing in technology and coding bootcamps. The audit entailed reviewing every consumer-facing aspect of the company’s business including its compliance with state and federal consumer protection laws. Following the audit, conducted multiple training sessions for all of the company’s consumer-facing employees and management.

  • Successfully represented natural food company in threatened class action matter involving claims of a “slack-fill” violation in a pre-litigation dispute alleging that more than 10 of the company’s products had more than double the amount permitted of un-useable space.

  • Successfully represented one of the largest health insurance companies in the country in a lawsuit alleging violations of the Sherman Act and Colorado Antitrust Act. Asserted counterclaims under the Sherman Act, Colorado Antitrust Act, Colorado Consumer Protection Act, and ERISA, in addition to various tort claims.

  • Successfully represented an industry leading company and its commerce chain in state wide class action alleging violation of Prop. 65.

  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of defendant loan servicer on all claims in action brought by borrower for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in connection with serving of loans.

  • Represented international electronics company in assessing exposure for violations of Prop. 65.

  • Represented cosmetic company in successful pre-litigation settlement of threatened nationwide class action regarding misleading branding of products.

  • Defended company in “Made in the USA” class action litigation.

  • Counsel to investment management client in defending state and federal class action lawsuits brought by music festival ticket purchasers and vendors seeking damages for alleged breaches of contract, unjust enrichment, and deceptive trade practices in connection with the cancellation of the event.

  • Represented a client in matters concerning alleged violations of consumer protection and fair debt collection laws, in additional to private contract and tort claimes.

  • Represented manufacturers, importers and retailers including the world’s largest corporations and stakeholders of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

  • Successfully resolved on an individual basis, a threatened class action against cosmetic company involving alleged false marketing materials, violations of FTC standards, representations required FDA approval and violation of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act.

  • Represent national loan servicing company in multiple loan related matters including FDCPA, FCRA, and other potential nationwide class actions.

  • Successfully represented international company in Prop. 65 class action involving multiple beauty industry related products.

  • Represented client in putative class action lawsuit regarding disputed foreclosure practices and alleged violations of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and the Colorado Antitrust Act.

  • Successfully resolved breach dispute for public company that operates over 1,000 retail locations.

  • Defended international beauty product company in state wide class action matter involving allegations that marketing representations required FDA approval and violated the Consumer Legal Remedies Act.

  • Represented client in litigation in disputed foreclosure action, asserting claims of breach of contract, violations of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and civil conspiracy.

  • First chair jury trial counsel for the defense of the largest insurer in the country regarding experimental artificial disc implants where plaintiffs were seeking in excess of $25 million. Won a mistrial in the second week of a three-week trial.

  • Lead counsel representing a manufacturer in a breach of contract and warranties claims against a multi-billion dollar manufacturing corporation. Successfully removed and transferred case to foreign jurisdiction under § 1404 principles, leading to positive settlement.

  • Successfully and efficiently represented international personal care product company in a California Proposition 65 class action lawsuit alleging that upon application, the particular cosmetic product released a previously bound chemical, which required a Proposition 65 warning.

  • Successfully defended a nutritional supplement company and its officers in Colorado and New York Attorney General's Consumer Protection and Deceptive Trade Practices investigations and related civil litigation.

Meet The Team

Richard B. Benenson Managing Partner T 303.223.1203 rbenenson@bhfs.com
Sarah Auchterlonie Shareholder T 303.223.1228 sja@bhfs.com
Eric R. Burris Shareholder T 505.724.9563 eburris@bhfs.com
Jonathan C. Sandler Shareholder T 310.564.8672 jsandler@bhfs.com
Hal Stratton Shareholder T 505.724.9596 hstratton@bhfs.com
Sherli Frank Associate T 310.500.4618 sfrank@bhfs.com
Matthew C. Arentsen Associate T 303.223.1152 marentsen@bhfs.com
Allison L. Gambill Of Counsel T 303.223.1175 agambill@bhfs.com
Alissa H. Gardenswartz Shareholder T 303.223.1207 agardenswartz@bhfs.com
Stanley L. Garnett Shareholder T 303.223.1286 sgarnett@bhfs.com
Patrick J. Reilly Shareholder T 702.464.7033 preilly@bhfs.com