California’s New Junk Fees Law (July 2024) and FTC Proposed Rule on Unfair and Deceptive Fees: Transparent pricing practices, civil penalties, and potential lawsuits

Mark S. Adams
Jim Butler
Catherine A. Veeneman
Pooja S. Nair
Mark S. Adams | Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP
Jim Butler | Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP
Catherine A. Veeneman | Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP
Pooja S. Nair | Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP

On-Demand: July 18, 2024

California’s New Junk Fees Law (July 2024) and FTC Proposed Rule on Unfair and Deceptive Fees: Transparent pricing practices, civil penalties, and potential lawsuits

$195.00 2 hour CLE

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Program Summary

Session I - The New Junk Fees Laws: Hotels, restaurants (and others) beware! – Jim Butler and Mark Adams

On July 1, 2024, the first comprehensive Junk Fee Law in the United States took effect in California. It prohibits drip pricing, which involves advertising a price that fails to include all mandatory charges and fees a consumer will have to pay. It requires upfront disclosure of the full price of goods or services on first consumer contact. It applies to the sale of most goods and services, with only a few exceptions. One last-minute exemption for restaurants was rushed into law only two days before the effective date of the law.

This program will present a current update on California and Federal regulation of Junk Fees. SB 478, SB 1524, AB 537 are all in the rearview mirror. The final impact of these bills on the law will be thoroughly complete. We will also analyze HR 6543 and S 2498 pending in the US Congress and the FTC's proposed rule on drip pricing and misleading business practices.

In other words, this course includes the latest information on all the changes to the most significant Junk Fee regulation in California, Congress, and the FTC. So, you know you are not missing anything, here is a list of the common names or references for the laws or regulations covered in our Junk Fee program:

  • Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) – SB 478, SB 1524, and CC 1750, et seq.
  • California Junk Fee Law - SB 478, SB 1524 and CRLA as amended California
  • CA Honest Pricing Law – SB 478
  • CA Hidden Fees Statute – SB 478
  • CA Transparency in Short-term Lodging Law – AB 537
  • CA SB 478 – Honest Pricing Law, or Hidden Fees Statute
  • California SB 1524 – Restaurant exception to SB 478 (and to CC 1770(a)(29)(D))
  • California CC 1770 - Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), California's Section 5 of the FTC Act
  • California Unfair Business Practices – various, including CC 1770(a)
  • HR 6543 – No Hidden FEES Act
  • S 2498 – Hotel Fees Transparency Act

Key topics to be discussed:

  • New junk fees law for beginners and detailed enough for deep divers
  • Special insights for hotels, restaurants, retailers, and other advertisers
  • The Restaurant exception: relief, unintended consequences or trap for the unwary?
  • What are the penalties for violation? Who can sue me?
  • How to spot and use the good things that the new law brings

Session II - SB 478: Comprehensive overview and legal amendments – Catherine A. Veeneman and Pooja Nair

This session will provide a comprehensive overview of the law and its recent amendments, explore compliance requirements and enforcement mechanisms, and discuss the law's impact on various sectors and its potential influence on national consumer protection laws. This session is essential for legal professionals and business leaders aiming to navigate and comply with SB 478 efficiently.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Examination of SB 478
  • Compliance requirements, penalties, enforcement mechanisms, and emerging trends
  • Sectoral and national impact of SB 478
  • Strategies, best practices, and tools for compliance and communication
  • Evolution of hidden fees and resources for legal updates

This course is co-sponsored with myLawCLE.

Closed-captioning available

Speakers

Mark S. Adams_FedBarMark S. Adams | Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP

Mark S. Adams, Hotel Dispute Lawyer, is an experienced trial lawyer and a senior member of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group®. A primary focus of Mark’s practice is devoted to representing clients on hundreds of matters involving Hospitality Litigation, Arbitration & Dispute Resolution – from avoiding litigation to conducting complex, multi-state litigation, arbitration, and mediation.

Mark’s expertise is in business litigation involving contracts, corporate and partnership disputes, and hospitality disputes and litigation. On behalf of hotel and resort owners, Mark has successfully litigated the termination of long-term, no-cut, hotel management agreements, franchise agreements, fiduciary duty issues, investor-owner disputes, TOT assessments, and more. He has wide-ranging trial experience in various commercial disputes, including complex multi-party litigation and class actions. He has tried numerous cases in state courts, federal courts, and domestic and international arbitrations and is a frequent author and speaker on trial practice. Forbes, Reuters, and other publications have covered Mark’s trial wins. He obtained two of California’s 50 largest jury verdicts in the same year.

Mark has taken or defended nearly 1,000 depositions throughout North America, Europe, and the Middle East. The Wall Street Journal has quoted him as an expert on noncompete agreements.

 

Jim Butler_FedBarJim Butler | Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP

Jim Butler is a founding partner of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP, and founder and chairman of the Firm’s Global Hospitality Group®. One of the top hotel lawyers in the world, he devotes 100% of his practice to hospitality, providing unmatched hotel business experience and practical legal advice.

Jim and his team represent lenders, owners, developers, independent management companies and capital providers on their hotel projects worldwide. The Group brings more than 30 years’ of hotel experience with more than 4,700 hospitality properties located around the globe valued at more than $125 billion. They have worked on more than 2,700 hotel management and franchise agreements and more than 100 hotel mixed-use developments.

They have worked on many hundreds or even thousands of acquisitions, sales, developments, brandings, repositionings, financings, and other hotel business transactions as well as complex hotel litigation under Common Law and Civil Law legal systems. They have handled more than 2,000 hotel receiverships and bankruptcies and even more workouts for distressed assets.

How do they work anywhere in the world? Location is not an issue on any significant project because most of their work is done by telephone, virtual meetings, and email. This enables Jim and the Group to provide their services across all time zones, making physical office location immaterial. They often work with regional advisors for handling local law permits or regulatory issues.

He is frequently quoted as an expert on hotel issues by national and industry publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, BusinessWeek, Hotel Business, Thomson Reuters, and Bloomberg News. He is also the author of www.HotelLawBlog.com, and serves as an expert witness in hospitality matters.

 

Catherine A. Veeneman_FedBarCatherine A. Veeneman | Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP

Cate represents California employers in responding to a wide-range of employment claims and minimizing litigation risk. Her clients include small and medium-sized employers in the hospitality, retail, media, security, and construction industries. Cate has defended her clients against all types of employment claims, including wrongful termination, retaliation, discrimination, harassment, and wage and hour. In addition to obtaining favorable outcomes for her clients in dozens of individual matters, Cate has experience defending her clients against both class and PAGA claims.

Cate works with her clients to find the best solution for each case. She understands that, when it comes to resolving a matter, there is no one size fits all solution. Cate therefore strives to be there for her clients through each step of litigation, working with them to find the most effective solution for each case, whether that be guidance regarding an internal investigation or early settlement, challenging unsupported claims with a motion for summary judgment, or defending the case through to arbitration or trial. Moreover, Cate’s experience with complex commercial, construction, and business litigation matters ensures that she understands not only the legal issues her clients face, but also the complexities of the business decisions her clients must often make as well.

Cate has published several articles on employment, food and beverage, and class action issues. She was recognized by J.D. Supra in their 2022 and 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards as a top author in the categories of food and beverage and class action. Cate has also given several presentations in the Los Angeles community regarding employment legal issues, including an analysis on the effect recent changes in California law has had on employee classification.

During law school, Cate received an award for “Excellence in Preparation for Trial Practice” from the American Board of Trial Advocates and was a member of the Southern California Law Review.

 

Pooja S. Nair_FedBarPooja S. Nair | Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP

Pooja S. Nair is a business litigator with a focus on the food and beverage sector. She advises food and beverage clients, startups, and other businesses on a comprehensive range of issues, including employment, trade secrets, partnership disputes, contract negotiations, and intellectual property.

Pooja focuses on finding creative, long-term solutions to business problems affecting companies of all sizes, from startups to publicly traded entities. She combines her litigation experience with a strategic perspective, so that legal decisions make sense on a business level. She has published extensively on business law and food and beverage legal issues for publications including Law 360, Daily Journal, Eater, California Lawyer, and Bloomberg BNA. Additionally, she writes a bi-monthly column for Modern Restaurant Management, covering legal developments that impact restaurants.

In previous years, Pooja was the head of the Food and Beverage practice group at TroyGould. She also spent five years at Foley & Lardner focused on white collar criminal defense and internal investigations. Pooja is active in the community and serves on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Music and Arts School and the Harvard Club of Southern California.

Agenda

Session I – The New Junk Fees Laws: Hotels, restaurants (and others) beware! | 1:00pm – 2:00pm

  • New junk fees law for beginners and detailed enough for deep divers
  • Special insights for hotels, restaurants, retailers, and other advertisers
  • The Restaurant exception: relief, unintended consequences or trap for the unwary?
  • What are the penalties for violation? Who can sue me?
  • How to spot and use the good things that the new law brings

Break | 2:00pm – 2:10pm

Session II – SB 478: Comprehensive overview and legal amendments | 2:10pm – 3:10pm

  • Examination of SB 478
  • Compliance requirements, penalties, enforcement mechanisms, and emerging trends
  • Sectoral and national impact of SB 478
  • Strategies, best practices, and tools for compliance and communication
  • Evolution of hidden fees and resources for legal updates