The Litigation Counsellor®

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With the rise of social media and constant communication, it seems that we live in a world of relentless peer competition to prove who has the most fulfilling life. Images flash along an Instagram or Facebook feed showing well-behaved children, beautifully decorated homes and expensive vacations to exotic locales. These images are used to project a version of a life that may not match up with day-to-day realities. The posted pictures do not show an exhausted child’s meltdown in the middle of that expensive vacation, that beautifully decorated home when it is a cluttered mess at 6:30 pm on a weeknight, or a weary woman who has returned home from a long, aggravating day at the office to face a second shift of domestic chores and childcare.

Popular Dog Food Accused of Containing Toxic Ingredient

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel

On March 16, 2018, putative class claims were filed against Big Heart Pet Brands Inc., makers of popular canned dog food Kibbles ‘n Bits, alleging that the company purposefully mislead the public by labeling its product as safe for pets although recent samples of the product were found to contain ingredients toxic to pets.

Why Doesn’t a Bank Understand My Firm?

Kelly Anthony, Esq. | Deputy General Counsel

You have a plan ready-to-go for your law firm. Now, you need the funds to implement it. Case fees are unpredictable with respect to timing, so what do you do?

Many law firm owners first turn to a bank to get a loan. Banks are a reliable source of financing with generally low rates. However, there is one major problem—qualifying for the amount you want.

$1.5 Billion Settlement Reached in Syngenta AG Corn MDL

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel

On March 12, 2018, a $1.5 billion settlement was submitted to Kansas federal court Judge John W. Lungstrum for preliminary approval. The settlement will bring a resolution to the Syngenta AG Corn multidistrict litigation (“MDL”) and is believed to become the largest GMO settlement recorded to date in United States history. It is being hailed as a record-breaking achievement in agricultural litigation.

You’re considering financing for your firm, but where do you start? It’s first important to identify what type of funding will best work for you. Start with the basics—what’s the difference between taking out a loan and obtaining a line of credit?

1. How you get the money 

One of the biggest distinctions between a loan and a line of credit is how you acquire the funds. A loan is typically delivered in a one-time lump sum. Most often, loans are taken out to complete large purchases that would otherwise not be affordable or to consolidate pre-existing debt.

Counsel Financial, the nation’s leading law firm financing company, is proud to announce its continued role as the National Sponsor for TrialSmith. TrialSmith houses the largest online litigation bank with more than 600,000 depositions, available only to plaintiffs’ attorneys, and provides critical information to trial lawyers nationwide.

Proposed Class Claims Filed Against Kombucha Tea-Maker

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel

On March 6, 2018, proposed class claims were filed against Brew Dr. Kombucha LLC in Illinois state court alleging that the healthy beverage company intentionally misled consumers with its false advertising scheme.

The suit was filed by named plaintiff Vladislav Bazer. Bazer alleges that the defendant claims its bottles of kombucha contain a significantly higher concentration of probiotic bacteria than is actually found in the beverage. In the complaint, Bazer argues that consumers generally purchase a specific brand of kombucha based on the probiotic content as stated on the product label. In the context of kombucha, probiotics refer to helpful bacteria found within the digestive system, which assist in regulating various bodily functions. Probiotics are measured in colony forming units (“CFUs”).

On March 5, 2018, named plaintiff Ketrina Gordon petitioned a California federal court to certify a California class of consumers who all similarly allege that candy-manufacturing giant, Tootsie Roll Industries Inc., has been under-filling boxes of its popular candies, Junior Mints and Sugar Babies.

On February 23, 2018, an $8.5 million settlement was submitted to California federal court judge Jesus G. Bernal by a class of exotic dancers who claimed that their former employer, the Spearmint Rhino nightclub chain, violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.

On February 23, 2018, California federal court judge Anthony Battaglia rejected Kellogg Company’s motion to dismiss a punitive class action suit alleging that the company’s hugely popular Pringles-brand salt-and-vinegar flavor chips are deceptively marketed as naturally flavored when in reality the chips are mostly artificially flavored.

Private Prison Company Accused of Running Forced Labor Camp

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel

On February 23, 2018, a proposed class action suit was filed in Texas federal court against private prison company CoreCivic Inc., alleging that the company violated basic human rights and the US Constitution when it forced immigrant detainees into forced labor.

A $5 million proposed class action suit was filed against food manufacturer MJS America LLC, alleging that the company engaged in false advertising with the marketing of its popular “Ancient Grain Twists” snack food.

On February 20, 2018, self-described “Modern Nature” hair care manufacturer Monat was hit with a proposed class action suit claiming that the company’s products cause hair loss and irritation.

Named plaintiffs Trisha Whitmire and Emily Yanes de Flores filed the suit in Florida federal court.

McDonald’s Faces ADA Class Suit

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel

On February 13, 2018, a visually impaired plaintiff filed a putative class action in Illinois federal court against fast-food giant McDonald’s alleging that the company is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) during its drive-thru-only hours.