People talk about the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) a lot, but what does the FTC really do? Well, I’m glad you asked!
The FTC’s main job is to protect consumers — if you buy stuff, that’s you! The FTC protects consumers by doing three main things:
1. making rules,
2. investigating suspected rule violations, and
3. bringing lawsuits against people who break the rules.
When it comes to consumers and marketing or advertising, the FTC makes clear that “[u]nder the law, claims in advertisements must be truthful, cannot be...
Two weeks ago
you were furloughed from your job in San Francisco. You’re still on the company’s
health care plan—but are struggling to pay rent, and are worried that these
health benefits will vanish if your employer goes out of business.
During a Zoom
call with your friend in Milan, she tells you that the Italian government may issue “Immunity Certificates”
that would allow people who have recovered from COVID-19 (and are probably
immune from further infection) to return to work. You respond that the US reopening
plans, under current CDC guidance and California’s Roadmap, require employers...
NDAs (nondisclosure agreements) have become as common in Silicon Valley as Patagonia vests. You just can’t get into a meeting without one. Should you sign what’s presented to you to be polite and get the pitch or interview you covet? Not necessarily. Read the agreement and feel free to push back, even if it means rescheduling. Too many companies are offering wildly broad NDAs with serious implications that may deceptively disadvantage the recipient.
I just taught a Contracts section in the Entrepreneur’s Clinic at Santa Clara University School of Law, where I had the opportunity to...
One of my startup clients called me the other day. It was the CEO. He got right to the point.
“I’ve got a problem,” he said. “I owe you money, and we’ve run into some real financial problems. Here’s what we are doing to overcome it, and you are high on my list to be paid. If you want to stop working with us, I understand.”
Working with startups is an art. You need to know how to triage issues and control legal spend. Most importantly, you need to align your goals for them as a legal adviser with their goals for the company, and understand how to do so in an environment where resources...