Since the Herbalife and Vemma consent decrees with the Federal Trade Commission, the litigation focus in direct selling has shifted to private putative class actions filed against a large number of companies accused of operating illegal pyramid schemes, RICO (racketeering), false advertising, unfair business practices and the like. One of these cases has been certified as a class action, while the others are all in their early procedural stages. Many of these cases have been filed in Los Angeles, but others are pending in Miami, Houston, and elsewhere.
Larry Steinberg of Buchalter will share his experiences with class action litigation and will address issues such as arbitration, choice of law, forum selection, class certification, policies and procedures, the current state of pyramid scheme law since FTC v. BurnLounge, and the securities law exemption to RICO. He will offer his analysis and insights as to how these cases can be litigated effectively and how direct selling companies can ward off and/or defeat these types of claims.