Insights
Firm News

Farella Braun + Martel Wins Important Victory for Businesses Prosecuting False Advertising Claims

April 16, 2010 Announcement

Companies May Defend Their Business Against Competitors' False Advertising Without Being Subjected to Anti-SLAPP Motions

SAN FRANCISCO, April 16, 2010 - Farella Braun +Martel secured, in an appellate decision certified for publication, an important victory for businesses that must prosecute false advertising claims against their competitors' and associated third-party organizations.

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, the nation's leading liquid soap brand, filed a suit against some of its competitors, which are alleged to have falsely labeled their products as organic, and the trade association "Oasis," which is made up of some of the defendants in Dr. Bronner's suit.  Oasis purports to certify (only its members') products as "Oasis Organic," pursuant to its own standard.  

Oasis brought an anti-SLAPP motion, which the Dr. Bronner's team defeated in the trial court.  Farella defeated it again in the First District Court of Appeals.

In a published opinion, released April 14, the First District largely accepted Farella's analysis of the proper application of the anti-SLAPP statute in the context of a trade association's promotional activities of its members' products, an issue not squarely addressed in any prior published opinions.  In denying Oasis' anti-SLAPP motion, the Court of Appeals held that Oasis' certification only promotes the sale of Oasis-members' products and was not "true third-party endorsement or criticism, in the nature of consumer protection information"; nor did the certification contribute to the broader debate on the meaning of the term "organic." 

The Court of Appeal's opinion affirms that companies may defend their business against false advertising from their competitors without being subjected to an anti-SLAPP motion, including an anti-SLAPP motion brought by a trade association or related third-party organization. 

Attorneys representing Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps are John Cooper of San Francisco's Farella Braun + Martel and Joseph Sandler of Washington D.C.'s Sandler Reiff & Young PC.  John Cooper argued the appeal; assisting him on the brief was Farella Braun + Martel attorney Morgan Jackson.

More about Dr. Bronner's lawsuit and "organic" labeling of personal care products is available on Dr. Bronner's Web site at http://www.drbronner.com

Farella Braun + Martel represents clients throughout the United States and abroad in sophisticated business transactions and high-stakes commercial, civil and criminal litigation. Founded in 1962, the firm is headquartered in San Francisco and maintains an office in the Napa Valley focused on the wine industry. Farella Braun + Martel lawyers are known for their imaginative legal solutions, dynamism and intellectual creativity. With an unwavering service ethic and interdisciplinary team approach, the firm is committed to advancing clients' objectives in the most effective, coordinated and efficient manner. Farella Braun + Martel is a green business. www.fbm.com

Contacts:

Melinda Hepp / Traci Stuart                        
Blattel Communications                                          
415.397.4811                                                           
[email protected] / [email protected]             

Cheryl Loof
Farella Braun + Martel
415.954.4433
[email protected]

Firm Highlights

News

Farella Names Ashley Breakfield and Cynthia Castillo As Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Pathfinders

Farella Braun + Martel is proud to announce that senior associates  Ashley Breakfield and Cynthia Castillo were selected to be members of the 2022 class of Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Pathfinders. The...

Read More
News

Janice Reicher Named a 2022 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellow

Farella Braun + Martel is proud to announce that Janice Reicher has been named a member of the 2022 class of Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Fellows. Janice joins a select group of...

Read More
Publication

No Quarter: What Claims Doesn’t Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act Protect Platform Companies Against?

Depending on what you read or who you talk to, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (47 U.S.C. § 230) (CDA) is either a tool of censorship, a shield of Big Tech that...

Read More
Publication

Litigation Trends In the Private Equity and Venture Capital Space

In today's Upside episode, we explore fiduciary duty in the venture capital context. Can owners of a venture capital management company act in ways that explicitly disadvantage their business partners? Can they agree to...

Read More
News

Farella Attorneys Named to 2022 Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Thirty-four Farella Braun + Martel lawyers were named to the Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists of top attorneys in Northern California for 2022. Super Lawyers: Carly Alameda – Business Litigation George Argyris &ndash...

Read More