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Eyes on Ecom Law

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Class Actions: What Might Be On Your Horizon as a Direct Marketer?

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Companies who have faced class action lawsuits, even (and maybe especially) frivolous ones, won’t soon forget the experience.  Just getting a case dismissed, or fending off class certification in the first place, can be extraordinarily costly and stressful.   The amounts at stake are often huge–with potential downsides of “per violation” penalties in the four...

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South Carolina DOR Goes After Amazon Services For Unreported Sales/Use Tax On Third-Party Transactions

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Companies that operate online marketplaces should be aware of a recent determination issued by the South Carolina Department of Revenue upholding an assessment of uncollected sales tax against Amazon Services LLC (“Amazon Services”)  the entity that operates the website at www.amazon.com (the “Amazon website”), through which sales are made by both Amazon affiliates and non-affiliated...

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CAN-SPAM: Is the FTC Poised For Major Changes?

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The FTC has asked interested parties to address a wide variety of questions concerning its CAN-SPAM rules, including whether the rules provide any benefits at all to consumers. Where might this lead?

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Indiana “Economic Presence” Nexus Law Suspended Pending Litigation

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On August 28, 2017, the Indiana Department of Revenue acknowledged that it has no authority to enforce Indiana’s new “economic presence” nexus statute (House Enrolled Act 1129) as a result of ongoing litigation regarding the law’s constitutionality now pending in state Superior Court in Indianapolis.  Under the new law, which took effect on July 1,...

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Spokeo Speaks — Again

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In Robins v. Spokeo, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for Ninth Circuit has again allowed a case to go forward on a gossamer thread of alleged “harm,” despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s admonition that concrete harm must alleged.

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Reference Prices: Are You at Risk?

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Reference prices advise consumers that they are getting a bargain. The California Court of Appeal, however, just upheld a $6.8 million penalty on the grounds that a company’s use of list prices and comparison prices constituted a deceptive trade practice.  Amazon is also apparently under investigation for its use of list prices.  If past is prologue, we...

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Alabama Court Cancels Alabama Use Tax Assessment Against Scholastic Book Clubs

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In an order issued on August 18, 2017, the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Alabama canceled an assessment of use tax issued against Scholastic Book Clubs, concluding that Scholastic, represented by partner David Bertoni, lacked sufficient contacts with Alabama to be required to collect and remit tax. The court found that the activities of teachers...

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Former Prices: A Class Action Trap

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Do you promote “former prices” to underscore the bargains you’re offering?  If so, you should be on high alert.  Increasingly, lawyers are targeting these kinds of promotions for sweeping class action lawsuits.

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George Isaacson Testifies Before House Judiciary Committee

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On July 25, 2017, Senior Partner George Isaacson gave testimony to the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law of the House Judiciary Committee in Washington, DC. His subject was state regulatory overreach and its negative impact on American business and consumers. In his testimony, available here, Isaacson addressed the increasing problem of extra–territorial...

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ACMA and NetChoice File Suit Challenging Wyoming and Indiana Anti-Quill Laws

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Last week, on behalf of the American Catalog Mailers Association and NetChoice, Brann & Isaacson initiated lawsuits in state court in Wyoming and Indiana, challenging the constitutionality of each state’s “economic nexus” statute, due to take effect July 1, 2017.  On Wednesday, June 28, the associations filed suit in Circuit Court in Laramie County, Wyoming...

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