Practice Areas

Contact my
Bethesda, MD office

for experienced
representation in
Maryland, Washington,
D.C., and Florida.

REPRESENTATION OF CORPORATE CLIENTS

Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices and AntitrustAdministrative LawComplex Commercial LitigationFinancial FraudFTC Investment FraudFinancial Institutions InsuranceConsumer and PrivacyContractsNegligence-Torts

REPRESENTATION OF INDIVIDUAL CLIENTS

Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices and AntitrustAdministrative LawComplex Commercial LitigationFinancial FraudFTC Investment FraudFinancial Institutions InsuranceConsumer and PrivacyContractsNegligence-TortsDiscrimination

REPRESENTATION OF CORPORATE CLIENTS

Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices and Antitrust

A large part of my career has been spent investigating and litigating claims for unfair or deceptive trade practices, in private practice as well as for the United States government agency (the Federal Trade Commission) that enforces the primary federal law prohibiting such practices.

State law claims for deceptive or unfair trade practices are often brought together with fraud claims but, unlike such claims, do not usually require proof of an intention to deceive. In any action where fraud is an issue, a claim for unfair or deceptive trade practices may also be asserted. In recent years, many consumer class actions have been brought under state deceptive and unfair trade practices statutes.

I have defended corporations and their officers in investigations and civil suits brought by the FTC. I have also provided consulting services to other lawyers defending FTC actions who have sought my assistance and experience. As Of Counsel to a South Florida law firm, I advise it on antitrust matters including an action by a central Florida public hospital against a vertically integrated health care system, seeking to halt a merger/acquisition and stop other anticompetitive actions.

I have represented Florida corporations and their presidents in investigations and enforcement actions, by the Florida Attorney General's Office and a California district attorney's office, concerning alleged unfair and deceptive marketing and sales practices.

Please visit my Articles to review my several articles on this subject. Some of them have been cited as legal authority in a published state appellate court decision.

Administrative Law - FTC - Regulatory (including governmental takings) Law books and gavel

I have represented individual and corporate clients before federal and state administrative agencies, including the federal Office of Thrift Supervision, the Florida Department of Banking, the Florida Attorney General’s Office, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and a county civil rights office. My lengthy tenure at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provided me a broad background in administrative practice and procedure, including the investigatory and enforcement processes. I have handled compulsory process enforcement and Freedom of Information Act litigation, which frequently are parts of those processes. I am intimately familiar with how the FTC operates both administratively and internally, and how it litigates in federal court. I understand how government enforcement and regulatory agencies work from the inside. See above as to my FTC defense work.

I also handled a complex federal court action against the Florida Department of Insurance by an out-of-state property and casualty insurer doing business in Florida. The insurer alleged that Florida's extended regulatory and subsequent statutory moratorium on policy non-renewals and cancellations following the destruction of Hurricane Andrew in 1992 caused it extended operating losses on its Florida business, thereby constituting an unconstitutional, "as-applied" regulatory taking (among other constitutional claims). The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit vacated a district court's ruling against the claim, and the case subsequently settled. The case was intertwined with an administrative insurance ratemaking challenge proceeding brought by the Department of Insurance against the insurer, which was also settled.

Financial Fraud, Investment Fraud, Financial Institutions and Insurance

I have handled a wide variety of financial fraud matters. For years at the FTC, I investigated and prosecuted "boiler room" investment fraud cases, which sought injunctive relief against offending corporations and individuals as well as monetary restitution on behalf of investors. I obtained preliminary equitable relief including appointment of corporate receivers and personal and corporate asset freezes, and also participated in corporate bankruptcy proceedings.

In private practice, I have handled fraud claims in many contexts, including:

  • Alleged fraud in the management of a federally chartered savings and loan;
  • Claims against banks for aiding and abetting securities frauds by supplying financing to investors and other services;
  • Director and officer liability issues in cases and investigations targeting corporate acts or omissions;
  • Claims against accounting firms for aiding and abetting securities frauds by supplying services in connection with securities offerings;
  • Numerous other fraud and RICO (racketeering) claims asserted in the context of business disputes, including as class actions.

As explained in the above section, I have handled litigation concerning insurance ratemaking and constitutional issues of reasonable rate of return on insurance company business. I have also handled matters involving health insurance and transportation insurance coverage, as well as insurance defense cases (personal injury, defamation, and false imprisonment).

Complex Commercial Litigation

All types of matters discussed here can arise in complex commercial litigation. Such representations often involve multiple parties, including class actions, and multiple proceedings in federal and state court as well as before federal or state agencies. The court actions may allege both federal and state claims, including but not limited to common law fraud, statutory deceptive and unfair trade practices claims, and federal RICO (racketeering) claims and their state statutory counterparts.

Such actions may seek preliminary as well as final relief. For example, in investment fraud actions I prosecuted at the FTC, courts issued orders including temporary restraining orders, temporary corporate and individual asset freezes, preliminary injunctions, the appointment of a corporate receiver, permanent injunctive relief and final monetary restitution. In a trademark counterfeiting action I handled in private practice, the court issued an ex parte counterfeiting seizure order as well as other preliminary injunctive relief.

In the FTC prosecutions, corporate defendants or their creditors sometimes filed bankruptcy petitions on behalf of defendants, which could result in simultaneous litigation in both proceedings. The defendants were sometimes the subject of parallel criminal investigations or prosecutions targeting the same conduct. Representation of the CEO of a Miami savings and loan involved responding to federal and state banking agency investigations, defending an administrative proceeding brought by another federal agency and defending a state court shareholder derivative action. It also involved coordination with criminal defense counsel and counsel representing the S&L. The insurance- regulatory taking matter I litigated included simultaneous conduct of the federal court matter and defense of a related state administrative ratemaking proceeding, as well as institution of collateral state and federal court lawsuits seeking preliminary injunctive relief to postpone a regulatory market conduct examination noticed by the state insurance department.

I have also represented plaintiffs and defendants in collections-type actions. As counsel for a court-appointed receiver in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, I engaged in actions to gather and repatriate aircraft assets toward satisfaction of a judgment obtained by the Justice Department against an aircraft parts supply company for unpaid federal taxes. The case involved issues of domestic as well as international law.

Consumer and Privacy

Just like individuals, businesses are frequently consumers of goods and services furnished by other businesses. My background in this area derives from my prosecution of investment fraud matters and handling of claims under state laws prohibiting unfair and deceptive acts and practices in trade and commerce, followed by research and publishing on such laws. I also have experience, going back to my FTC tenure, with the federal credit regulation statutes, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Truth in Lending Act. (The FTC is the primary federal enforcement agency for those statutes.) One of the very first matters I handled at the FTC was an industry-wide investigation of procedures used to assure the accuracy and privacy of personal information collected and reported on individuals by the nation's five largest computerized consumer credit reporting agencies.

Businesses can be consumers just as individuals can, and I have represented both. In appropriate circumstances, businesses can also bring class actions against other businesses.
Please visit my Articles to review my articles on deceptive and unfair trade practices, as well as on consumer privacy in e-commerce and federal and state laws that can be used to prevent and remedy invasions of privacy.

Contracts

My litigation experience has spanned claims for breach, enforcement, and interpretation of a wide variety of commercial contracts. It has included, but is not limited to, contracts in the areas of health care, aircraft repair, purchase and sale agreements, building construction, employment, partnership agreements, entertainment royalties, telecommunications service and product supply, and environmental remediation. I have also handled issues of federal telecommunications law and ERISA (Employee Retirement and Income Security Act) preemption, and I have represented individuals in actions brought by federal agencies to collect on federally-insured student loans.

Negligence - Torts

I have handled a wide variety of negligence and other tort claims. Claims I have defended on behalf of corporations include accounting malpractice, negligence in building design and construction, negligence in premises maintenance by business and corporate entities open to the public, negligence in elevator repair, as well as defamation and false arrest. I have also handled a lender liability counterclaim, on behalf of a bank, for negligent preservation of collateral (the bank itself, pledged as collateral for a large infusion of capital by its major lender, which then assumed a management role).

Intellectual Property

I have handled claims for copyright violation asserted by an author against a national magazine for unconsented edits changing the substance of his article; for trademark and copyright violations asserted by a clothing manufacturer against a competitor (including claims for violation of Florida's "little" FTC act); and for trademark violations asserted by a major insurer against a counterfeiter in the issuance of a performance bond. In that case, an ex parte counterfeiting seizure order was obtained and documents seized in conjunction with the United States Marshals Service.

REPRESENTATION OF INDIVIDUAL CLIENTS

Administrative Law - FTC- Regulatory

Individuals as well as corporations can become involved in federal or state administrative proceedings, as claimants or respondents. I have represented individual and corporate clients before federal and state administrative agencies, including the FTC, the federal Office of Thrift Supervision, the Florida Department of Banking, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Florida Department of Insurance, the Florida Attorney General's Office and a California district attorney's office.

My lengthy tenure at the FTC has provided me with a broad background in administrative practice and procedure, including the investigatory and enforcement processes. The FTC is increasingly targeting individual defendants in its federal court investment fraud and other cases seeking injunctive relief, asset freezes and monetary restitution. While at the FTC I prosecuted such actions, and sought and obtained such relief. I have also handled compulsory process enforcement and Freedom of Information Act litigation, which frequently are parts of the investigative stage leading up to the filing of suit by the FTC or other federal agencies. I have internal as well as external perspective on how government enforcement and regulatory agencies work.

Financial Fraud

Individuals can be the victims of financial fraud, and may assert fraud claims in their own lawsuits to recover money they have lost or as counterclaims in response to collection actions brought by the defrauding parties.

I have handled a wide variety of financial fraud matters. For years at the FTC, I investigated and prosecuted "boiler room" investment fraud cases, which sought injunctive relief against offending corporations and individuals as well as monetary restitution on behalf of investors. Orders issued in those cases included temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions, appointment of corporate receivers and personal and corporate asset freezes. One such case led to participation in corporate bankruptcy proceedings.

In private practice, I have handled fraud claims in many contexts, including:

  • Alleged fraud in the management of a federally chartered savings and loan;
  • Claims against banks for aiding and abetting securities frauds by supplying financing to investors and other services;
  • Claims against accounting firms for aiding and abetting securities frauds by supplying services in connection with securities offerings;
  • Director and officer liability issues in cases and investigations targeting corporate acts or omissions, and;
  • RICO (racketeering) claims asserted in the context of business disputes.

I have handled the fraud defenses and counterclaims of vocational school students being sued on federal private student loans that financed their coursework, as well as of a dentist sued by state and subsequently federal authorities on federally guaranteed student loans. Such litigation can sometimes involve surprisingly complex legal issues.

Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices and Antitrust

These claims are most frequently brought by individuals in the consumer context. This practice area overlaps with the Financial Fraud practice area. State law claims for deceptive or unfair trade practices are often brought together with fraud claims but, unlike such claims, do not usually require proof of an intention to deceive. In any action where fraud is an issue, a claim for unfair or deceptive trade practices may also be asserted. Also, these types of claims are frequently advanced in consumer class actions.

A large part of my career has been spent investigating and litigating claims for unfair or deceptive trade practices, in private practice as well as for the United States government agency (the Federal Trade Commission) that enforces the primary federal law prohibiting such practices.

Please visit my Articles to review my several articles on this subject. Some of them have been cited as legal authority in a published state appellate court decision.

Consumer and Privacy

Consumer claims may be individual or lend themselves to class action treatment; I have dealt with them in both contexts. This practice area also overlaps substantially with the Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices, Financial Fraud and Contracts practice areas.

My background in this area derives from my prosecution of investment fraud matters and handling of claims under state laws prohibiting unfair and deceptive acts and practices in trade and commerce, followed by research and publishing on such laws. I also have experience, going back to my FTC tenure, with the federal credit regulation statutes enforced by the FTC, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, and the Truth in Lending Act.

I have also dealt with abusive debt collectors and threats to report negative information on the debtors to consumer credit reporting agencies.

Please visit my Articles to review my articles on consumer privacy in e-commerce, and federal and state laws that can be used to prevent and remedy invasions of privacy.

Contracts

Many of the legal principles in contract law litigation are the same for corporate and individual clients. This practice area overlaps to a significant degree with the Consumer practice area. Individual consumers enter into purchase contracts, service contracts, educational contracts, loan and other financing contracts, real estate contracts, and a multitude of other types of contracts.

My litigation experience has spanned claims for breach, enforcement, and interpretation of a wide variety of commercial contracts. It has included, but is not limited to, contracts in the areas of health care, aircraft repair, purchase and sale agreements, building construction, employment, partnership agreements, entertainment royalties, telecommunications service and product supply, and environmental remediation. I have also handled issues of federal telecommunications law and preemption of state law claims by the federal ERISA law (Employee Retirement and Income Security Act).

Discrimination

I have dealt with claims of racial, sex and age discrimination, including retaliation and sexual harassment, in the employment and housing contexts. I have brought such claims against private entities and federal agencies, i.e., the National Institutes of Health and the Broadcasting Board of Governors, in Federal district court, before the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and before a county civil rights office.

Negligence

I have handled numerous personal injury, premises liability, and medical negligence claims on behalf of individuals against corporate and individual defendants.

Also, please visit my Articles to review my article on the use of state unfair and deceptive trade practices statutes in the litigation of health care claims.

Intellectual Property (Copyrights, Trademarks)

Individuals as well as corporations can have claims for violations of copyright and trademark.

I have handled claims for copyright violation asserted by an author against a national magazine for unconsented edits changing the substance of his article; for trademark and copyright violations asserted by a clothing manufacturer against a competitor (including claims for violation of Florida's little FTC act); and for trademark violations asserted by a major insurer against a counterfeiter in the issuance of a performance bond. In that case, the court issued an ex parte counterfeiting seizure order and documents were seized in conjunction with the United States Marshals Service.

Contact my Bethesda, MD office for the assistance of an experienced attorney in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Florida.

The Law Office of David J. Federbush
4977 Battery Lane, Suite 913
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
Telephone: (301) 657-4680
Facsimile: (301) 657-4684
Email: federbus@erols.com